Translation by the London Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

 

STALAG LUFT 1

Germany.

 

Visited on February 22nd. 1945 by M. R. Bovey.

 

Senior Officers - American - Hubert ZEMKE, No.6559

                          British Group Capt. WEIT, No.6891

 

Strength - 9346 prisoners including -

 

1144 British of which

7202 Americans   "

Officers

768

4949

N.C.O.

289

2234

 

The British are divided as follows -

        British ............... 759

        Canadians ......... 260

        Australians ......... 59

        Newzealanders .. 30

        South Africans ... 49

        Irish ................... 3

        Rhodesians ........ 5

        Liberians ............ 1

 

        New arrivals ....... 34

 

Among the prisoners are 78 staff officers, 7 doctors and 4 chaplains.

 

General remarks - The Delegate's visit had been announced as that of the Protecting Power; in view of this, the Senior Officer had prepared a note. The Delegate discussed with him and with the camp authorities all questions within his competence. The Senior Officer also handed him a certain number of documents and lists of special requests which have been sent to Geneva.

        The camp doctors would be glad to receive some medical parcels; reserves are nearly exhausted and many of the prisoners arriving from the East are ill. Requests were also made for 1500 greatcoats, 10,000 woollen socks, 5000 pairs of gloves, 5000 pairs of boots or shoes, also individual cooking utensils and cutlery for new arrivals who are becoming more numerous every day. The possibility of sending supplies of salt should also be considered as there is a total lack of this condiment in the region.

 

Interview with Camp Representatives - The interview concerned all matters within the Delegate's competence.

 

Final interview -

        1. The absence of lighting in the camp is a great hindrance, specially in the infirmary. The Senior Medical Officer asked if lighting in the infirmary huts could be branched on to another circuit, that which supplies the projectors above the barbed wire fences. Reply - The matter will be considered from a technical point of view; on the other hand, the Commandant promised to obtain for the infirmary a battery and oil lamps.

        2. The Senior Medical Officer requires chloride of lime for sterilizing water. Reply - Another fountain will be set up in the yard and the chloride will be supplied.

        3. As serious cases can no longer be sent to the next camp, a proper supply of medical stores and drugs will be required if they are to be treated in the camp itself. Reply - These medical supplies have been ordered and will be fetched by a lorry the day after the visit.

        4. The number of patients having considerably increased, a wood burning cooking stove is necessary for the infirmary. Reply - The Commandant will do his best to procure a stove.

        5. The Senior Officer would like to have a written order concerning the prohibiting of Red Cross Parcels to men sentenced to disciplinary punishment or under detention in the camp. Reply - The Commandant will give him an extract from the orders issued by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht concerning this matter.

 

General impression - The general feeling in the camp is good but it is to be feared that this will not last if new prisoners continue to arrive, as is anticipated, in such numbers. Relations between prisoners and the German authorities are most correct and prisoners and guards are in perfect agreement in matters of strict military discipline.