Nasty treatment of Germans, Italians in British POW camp unearthed by Sheffield archaeology team

Published by carolyn on Thu, 2019-07-04 15:30

A painting by Heinz Georg Lutz while a prisoner at Lodge Moor POW camp in Scheffield, England. Lutz was an architect and ex-Wehrmacht officer who was confined in the camp September 1945-April 1948. He made several linocuts and watercolour sketches of the camp and the area around it. Credit: Picture Sheffield


By Carolyn Yeager

REMAINS OF THE LARGEST PRISONER OF WAR CAMP IN BRITAIN, housing at least 11,000 Germans and Italians at its peak in 1944, has been uncovered by archaeologists from University of Sheffield.

The site is overgrown with woodlands and was forgotten for more than 60 years.

The research, conducted by students of the University's Department of Archaeology – said to be one of the most respected in Europe – searching camp records, documents and witness statements along with excavation of barracks foundations, found the camp to be a not very pleasant place to be held. In sharp contrast to the way British pow's were treated in German Reich camps (coddled), the research revealed:

  • prisoners were fed out of galvanised dustbins;

  • had to stand outside in the mud, rain and cold for several hours a day during roll call;

  • overpopulated, with little personal space in tents or barracks;

  • former prisoner Heinz George Lutz wrote in a diary that barracks built for 30 sometimes held upwards of 70 prisoners;

  • Red Cross report of 20 January (no year) relayed that the camp leader seemed not to care very much “for repatriates”.

By 1948, when the camp was still operating, the students said his attitude had escalated and he was “deemed to be a selfish amateur.” I guess that's their way of saying he did not behave professionally. This inexact language is also used when saying that later in WWII the camp held “the most fanatical of prisoners.” Does fanatical mean they were loyal to their homeland and not persuaded to renounce it? Does it mean they were SS? Or does it just mean they were unhappy and tried to escape? Hard to say.

A lino-print of the Lodge Moor camp by Heinz Georg Lutz in 1946 when he was a prisoner there. To do the lino cut, Lutz used a piece of linoleum he had picked up, probably in the staff huts, and used a razor blade to make the cuts. Credit: Picture Sheffield


The camp already existed during WWI. It housed submarine captain Karl Doenitz for a time, who went on to become Grossadmiral Doenitz, Supreme Commander of the German Navy under Adolf Hitler. On 4 October 1918, Doenitz was captured when forced to surface his U-boat 68 due to technical problems. He spent six weeks in camp Lodge Moor, as it was called, during which time he planned his escape to avoid being tried as a war criminal by feigning mental illness. Doenitz succeeded and was sent to a hospital in Manchester where he remained until the end of the war.

There was also an escape by several German prisoners on 20 December 1944. They were recaptured without resistance 24 hours later in Rotherham. A few prisoners stayed in Sheffield after the war; one who was interviewed in the local newspaper became a nurse.

The authorities allowed the camp to “go back to nature” after the 1940's and most people in the area had no idea that it had been there. Perhaps it was not even known to many at the time it was in operation. The University of Sheffield archaeologists say they hope to continue exploring the area.

The remains of one of the prison's barracks that were used to hold the prisoners. There were more than 80 barracks at the camp according to the Sheffield students' research.

Comments

Eva Kor died this morning. She was 85. For those who might not be up on her, she was a Polish Jew who ended up in Auschwitz with her twin sister, which they both survived in good health, and afterward Eva made up delirious stories about being tortured with medical experiements conducted by "Dr. Mengele." Of course, she was believed and honored for her lies.

She ended up living in Indiana and is claimed to be the founder of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Educational Center in Terre Haute. She was on her annual visit to Poland when she died. Very fitting. They should keep her there.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/eva-kor-holocaust-survivor-dies-peacefully-at-age-85

I’m shocked at this.
I live approximately thirty miles away from that location, I have passed this place on numerous occasions, although I don’t know the exact place.
 
When I get chance I’ll pay a visit, it’s on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District, a picturesque area, just off a country road, the A57 known as Snake Pass.
 
Though not far at all from civilisation, literally a stone throw away, it can be a bleak area that often gets closed in the winter period.

... for writing in about it. It's more than I expected to receive. Maybe you'll let us know if you find out more.

John Derbyshire, at V-Dare, has talked about growing up in this area. His family name comes from it. I think he was in his 20's when he emigrated to the U.S. He's in his 70's now, and is noticeably anti-German, especially of the N-S time. He doesn't try very hard to hide it. I wonder if he is typical of some of the people there and if he remembers anything about this camp.  I think I'll email this link to him.

Much appreciated, Phil.

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