Date of visit: 17/18th November, 1944.
STALAG III A, LUCKENWALDE.
Commandant: Oberst Lutter
Assistant Commandant: Oberstlt. Löhr
Arbeitsseinsatz Offizier: Major Schwarz
Lageroffizier: Hptm. Müring
Abwehr: Hptm. v. Karnitz
Betreuer: Sonderführer Braune und Jenke
German High Command Accompanying Officer: Hptm. Jeske
British Chief Man of Confidence: B.S.M. W.A. Henderson (12597)
I. GENERAL DESCRIPTION:
There are prisoners of war of seven different nationalities in this camp, all of whom are segregated, consequently being locked in small compounds during the greater part of the day, with the exception of the French & Yugo-Slavs who are allowed the free run of the camp. This privilege was promised to the British prisoners about six months ago, but has not yet been granted.
II. CAPACITY AND PRESENT PERSONNEL:
At the base camp Luckenwalde:
Detailed on 19 work-detachments:
Total strength 1443
It is noteworthy that all these prisoners are Irishmen, natives from Eire or Northern Ireland or such Dominion citizen with Irish names and parentage.
The following is a list of the work-detachments:
Number and locality:
1127 B Gräbendorf
130 A Gross Behnitz
579 E Potsdam
833 B Voighbrugge
308 Damm I
Man of Confidence:
L/Cpl. J. Clifford
Sgt. R. Robinson
Pte. E. Rogers
Cpl. R. McCammon
Sgt. J. McCullough
S/Sgt. D. McKenna
Pte. H. McCourt
L/Cpl. G. Bothwell
Cpl. J. Morrison
Cpl. M. Cull
Cpl. W. Jordan
Cpl. J. Jarvis
Cpl. T. Mills
Pte. E. Brown
Sgt. J. Walton
L/Cpl. T. McCaughey
Gdsm. R. Phillips
Sgt. T. McNamara
W.O. S. McIntyre
III. INTERIOR ARRANGEMENTS:
The prisoners at the base camp who formerly dwelt in 3 barracks are now penned into two. This causes considerable overcrowding and the men are now sleeping in the lower bunks of the three-tier beds. There are only eight tables for 178 men, one table normally accommodates about eight men. This is totally inadequate, but floor space does not permit of more tables being installed.
There are two rooms to one barrack, one room serves as infirmary leaving only three rooms as living accommodation. The following are the specifications for one room:
Number of me in occupation = 178
Length 25 m.
Width 12 m.
Height to wall place 3,16 m.
Height to apex 4,80 m.
Space of two fireplaces 2 x 1,25 . 0,95 . 4,3
Space occupied by beds 186 sq. meters
Average distance between complete bed frame = 0,90 meters
Measurement of rectangular frame, consisting of three shelves on which six men sleep:
Width = 153 cm.
Length = 190 cm.
Height = 180 cm.
8 tables size 145 x 78 cm, 71 stools for seating.
Light = 12 x 25 Watts = 300 Watts.
Acting Commandant explained that in accordance with instructions the capacity of the barracks had been increased by 30%. He informed the Delegate that considerable contingents of prisoners from East and West are now being concentrated more centrally, in the course of such evacuations some four thousand French officers are shortly due to arrive at this camp. He admitted that conditions are not agreeable.
IV. WASHING AND BATHING FACILITIES:
Adequate, regular hot showers are provided.
V. TOILET FACILITIES:
VI. FOOD AND COOKING:
No complaints, provided the present arrangement of wood party goes on. Prisoners are permitted to fetch fire wood in a near-by forest. This is done under the obligation not to escape on such occasions.
VII. MEDICAL ATTENTION AND STATE OF HEALTH:
The German Stabsarzt visits the British section on Mondays and Thursdays.
The infirmary is situated in one of the two barracks. It is not very suitable for this purpose owing to the overcrowded state of the adjoining barrack room. A German sanitator is in charge of the infirmary assisted by several British medical orderlies. Many prisoners are suffering from colds, chills and headaches. More serious cases are treated in the nearby well equipped lazaret, under French and Yugo-Slav physicians.
The position with regard to dentures is very acute. Approximately 60 Non-Commissioned Officers require dentures, either complete or partial. Many of them are on diets, this is due mainly to stomach troubles as a cause through lack of teeth. Prisoners from working detachments receive a better consideration on the waiting list for dental treatment than non-working Non-Commissioned Officers. This is an established fact.
Satisfactory, it is now done in the camp's laundry.
X. MONEY AND PAY:
No complaints; it is said to be correct.
There is a general canteen for the whole camp, poorly stocked.
XII. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY:
About 70% of the strength are of Roman Catholic faith, unfortunately and despite repeated applications no Roman Catholic priest has arrived so far. Acting Commandant promised to renew his applications.
Church of England Padre, Capt. the Rev. Hurst, has left the camp some time ago. It is hoped that he soon may return or be replaced by another padre.
XIII. RECREATION AND EXERCISE:
In good order.
Regular outgoing and incoming mail, the employment of British staff at the prisoners' post office was requested and granted by the Assistant Commandant.
XV. WELFARE ACTIVITY:
YMCA headquarters have generously supplied a fair number of sports equipment, musical instruments and books.
Delegate visited the arrest cells. There were four prisoners under arrest, two of them were charge for thefts, one for passive resistance and one for drunkenness and association with civilians. These four cases will come before court-martial.
WORK-DETACHMENTS DEPENDING ON STALAG III A
As mentioned above, there are 19 British work-detachments depending on this Stalag. The British Chief Man of Confidence is permitted to visit these detachments regularly. This privilege is not everywhere granted and is well appreciated. The British Chief Man of Confidence reported conditions on the detachments to be more or less satisfactory. A complaint referring to detachment No.179/Neuruppin with regard to long working hours was promised by the Acting Commandant to be immediately examined by an officer. Orders and instructions were dispatched accordingly.
The following two detachments were visited by the Delegate on November 17th, 1944:
WORK-DETACHMENT 192 LIEPEN
Man of Confidence: Gdsm. G.A. Coonam (13146)
Prisoners are housed in the wine-cellar of a farmhouse.
The actual strength is 18 men, ten of them are due to return to the base camp owing to lack of work during wintertime.
There is a kitchen and three rooms with double-tier beds, straw palliasses and two blankets. Two small tables and forms. One of the rooms is heated by a stove.
About ten basins for washing and a large tub for bathing, latrine-house with three seats.
The food is cooked by a prisoner.
A civilian doctor attends to the sick.
The clothing position is in order; prisoners do their own laundry.
The men work for a farm, the pay is RM 40.- per month during summer and RM 18.- per month during wintertime. No work on Sundays.
So far there were no religious activities. In the spare time prisoners play football or do boxing.
Outgoing and incoming mail in order.
WORK-DETACHMENT 1581 NONNENDORF
Man of Confidence: Cpl. William Jordan (247653)
Prisoners are housed in a good farmhouse, two bedrooms, one large dining-room with kitchen.
The strength is 12 prisoners.
The interior arrangements are very satisfactory, the rooms look friendly, bright and clean, good single beds, nice flower and vegetable garden.
Good washing and bathing facilities, latrine house with two seats.
Cooking is done by one of the prisoners, food is reported to be wholesome and good.
Sick prisoners can see a civilian doctor at any time.
Every prisoner is in possession of two complete suits. Laundry is done by the men themselves.
Farmwork, reasonable working-hours, no work on Sundays. The pay is RM.-70 per day. It has now been arranged for prisoners to attend mass with a French priest.
In and outgoing mail in order.
A very good detachment.
XVII. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS:
In the absence of the Commandant Oberst Lutter, the Delegate conferred with Assistant Commandant Oberstlt. Löhr. It was a pleasure to meet this officer, he is considered to be straightforward and fair. The British prisoners came to this Stalag in May of this year and are now well "organised and settled down". Despite some adverse conditions mentioned in this report, prisoners appear content and in a good state of health.
(Signed) Rudolph E. DENZLER.