Some stated that the guards would leave and abandon them in place. His departure from the camp was greeted with loud cheers and scenes of jubilation from his fellow prisoners. After a two-day wait, Wally’s group of repatriated prisoners were trucked in convoy to Baghurst near Rheine, Belgium. On April 25th, 1945 the last of Luftwaffe guards left for more active duty. It was ideal for our purposes. The work was tiring for men unaccustomed to physical labour but the prisoners were keen to get out of the compound and enjoy the countryside in spring time. It was a wonderful feeling to be alone in the woods again, and the war seemed unreal and far away. Are you still sending parcels I haven’t had any for ages now, don’t suppose I shall get any more. Two prisoners were shot in the leg when acquiring straw for bedding. Initially, prisoners from the Merchant and Royal Navy were confined in several camps in Northern Germany. How is David, I am longing to see him, give him a good hiding for me. Initially the camp was guarded by Naval troops. Reports were coming in of Allied forces had reached Bremen and Frankfurt-am-Main and of the Rhine having been crossed. There were no restrictions on the number of letters a POW could receive. ", Between 1952 and 1961 Milag was used as accommodation centre for female refugees from East Germany. Hope to home very shortly. With the approach of better weather in March the contents of the huts are brought outside. “The British had occupied Luneburg,” “The Russians were assaulting Berlin.” Allied air activity was seen striking ground targets with no opposition from the Luftwaffe. It was announced that the allied officers in Marlag were going to be moved to Lübeck, so many of them fled into the nearby woods or concealed themselves in the Milag camp. We have bugs here, I don’t go much on them and the hotter the weather the worse they will get.
The prisoner’s morale would rise and fall. We are having very nice weather just now I hope it keeps on. After a 5-hour march, Trenthorst was reached and the prisoners 120-mile journey was at an end. Wally was assigned to Block 22 “Room 3. POWs were allowed to send two letters and four postcards each month. The Kommandatur contained the headquarters and administration buildings, while the Stabslager and the Wache contained accommodation for the administrative personnel and the camp guards. On April 15th, 1945 they reached the River Elbe at Cranz just south of Hamburg and preparations were made for a night”s stay on the waterfront of the town. Carr, Gilly; Sanders, Paul; Willmot Louise: Protest, Defiance and Resistance in the Channel Islands: German Occupation, 1940-1945, Bloomsbury Academic, London & New York, 2014. Dear I & W. I hope you are well I am quite fit, I’ve been doing quite a lot of travelling since I wrote you last, including a lot of hiking but we seem more or less settled here now for better or worse.
Finally the Senior British Naval Officer offered the Germans the POWs parole, in return for being allowed to rest during the day and march at night. Please contact Archive staff for further information about access to these records.  They finally left the site in 1993, since when it has been redeveloped as a business park.
The remaining prisoners responded to the threat of a pitched battle on their doorstep by digging slit trenches. For pages directly related to Marlag-Milag see PDF below. Of more than 5,000 Allied merchant seamen captured by the Germans during the war, most were held at Marlag-Milag. The Senior British Officer informed the Kommandant that he would be held responsible for their safety and departed to make arrangements. Twelve prisoners escaped, though all were recaptured within two weeks.
In addition, another tunnel was dug to store contraband. There was a small lake in the center of the grounds and the buildings we occupied were on its edge. , Just outside the gates of Milag was the Kommandantur ("Headquarters") and accommodation for the guards. Marlag-Milag had previously been declared as unfit and unsanitary by representatives of the Red Cross. Milag und Marlag Nord, Westertimke. The crossing of the mile wide river to Blankenese was made the following day in two ferry boats, the Mozart and the Frank Schubert. The hospital for the collected camps was also located in Milag. Seven Channel Islanders are known to have been incarcerated in Marlag & Milag Nord Camp (Marlag und Milag Nord) located outside of the village of Westertimke in the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. This time the invading army was British and the evacuation was eastward. The next day, at around at 10.00 a.m., the column was strafed by RAF aircraft, and several POWs were killed. Initially the camp was guarded by German Naval troops. As there were no beds the prisoners had to make do with sleeping on the floor on wet wood shavings.
Date made: 1941-1947: Another tunnel built by Norwegian prisoners was discovered before its completion. I hope you are well, I expect you have received my other notes saying I was liberated. In Milag und Marlag Nord were POW: No 700 Samuel Hickman No 701 Nicolas Madison No 702 Antonio Barcia No 703 Herman Torgersen No 704 … An improvement to the primitive sanitation systems was made, a high priority due to the number of men with diarrhea and other ailments.
Phil. The occupants of the vehicle were mobbed by the freed prisoners who hastily rounded up the remaining guards. Milag held up to 4,200 internees, most of whom came from Great Britain. Marlag "O" was designated Civil Internment Camp No. Our guards disappeared at the first sign of the British, but now they came back to the camp, having nowhere else to go, and we took them prisoner. Fuel for the stoves became such a problem that eventually the Germans permitted wood-gathering parties to leave the compound under escort. I am very fit and well and have nothing wrong with myself at all. It was good to hear the Lieutenant call up his unit on the radio and tell them we were all safe. Four pages that list of prisoner of war from Marlag und Milag Nord Camp including their date of birth last ship they served, next of Kin and their address and their POW number. As the allies approached, more and more prisoners arrived from other locations in Germany. Regards. After the weather cleared I explored the estate and found it a lovely little place. Naturally all incoming and outgoing mail was censored. Only 200 of the Marlag officers were left when the forced march to Lübeck started the next day.
They carried very little equipment and certainly were not in any kind of an organized retreat. In lovely weather, the column of shirt-sleeved prisoners trudged slowly in a north-easterly direction with little or no control by their dejected captors.
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