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Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.

Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby sirjahn on 21 Jan 2011 20:22

I am interested in finding the records of Stalag 221 (Rennes Military Hospital) in Rennes France. So does anyone know what German Agency operated this Stalag and assuming they kept rosters of the allied POWs if and where those rosters might exist?
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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby Larry D. on 21 Jan 2011 21:34

Frontstalag 221
*Formed 17.07.40 in Wehrkreis XIII.
Located in Bordeaux/Gironde to April 1941, moved to St-Medard/Gironde in May 1941 and then back to Bordeaux in 1943. In January 1944 its designation was changed to Frontstalag 221 S.
POWs: French.
Feldpost Nr.: 17427 A. FpN deleted 30.01.45.

Frontstalag 221 W
*Formed January 1944 in Rennes as a Zweiglager (ZL) of Frontstalag 221.
POWs: French.
Feldpost Nr.: 20275 A. FpN deleted 30.01.45.

Primary Sources:
BA-MA Freiburg, Signatur RH 49/1 thru RH 49/22, RW 6/450, 6/451, 6/452, 6/482, 6/483 and 6/484.

The existence of an actual published or manuscript history of the Stalag is unknown to me and I doubt if there is one. But if there is, it would have been authored by the French government and would be located in the French archives.

The Stalag was operated by the German Army and P/W rosters would have been maintained. Copies of those rosters may be with the original records at BA-MA Freiburg and almost certainly at the International Red Cross Tracing Service in Arolsen, Germany. You can access the Arolsen records through your local Red Cross chapter and through the Red Cross in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby sirjahn on 21 Jan 2011 22:07

Larry,

Thanks for that information. I guess that the Rennes Military Hospital was just using Front-Stalag 221 as its mail point. I have one letter from my Father from when he was captive and it shows Front-Stalag 221 in Rennes France. The NARA POW database is wrong about where he was held and I am trying to correct that. The NARA POW database does have Rennes Military Hospital but not Front-Stalag 221.

I will get a hold of the Red Cross and see what I can find out.

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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby Larry D. on 22 Jan 2011 01:08

I guess that the Rennes Military Hospital was just using Front-Stalag 221 as its mail point. I have one letter from my Father from when he was captive and it shows Front-Stalag 221 in Rennes France. The NARA POW database is wrong about where he was held and I am trying to correct that. The NARA POW database does have Rennes Military Hospital but not Front-Stalag 221.

I will get a hold of the Red Cross and see what I can find out.


Arolsen should have a box full of data on Zweiglager (Branch Camp) 221 W at Rennes and the connection between it and the German military hospital at Rennes. In what appears to be a coincidence, there was a German Feldlazarett 221 located in Lons-le-Saulnier during 1943-44. That's a small spa or resort town in eastern France 68 km NW of Geneva, Switzerland.

If I had to make an educated guess about the relationship between Frontstalag 221 W Rennes and the German military hospital in Rennes, it would be that wounded Allied POWs were in the hospital for treatment but assigned to the Frontstalag. As soon as they were well enough to travel, American POWs were transported to Germany and interned in one of the Stalags that housed Americans and other English-speaking P/Ws.

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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby sirjahn on 22 Jan 2011 16:02

In looking at the Arolsen site it appears they only deal with concentration and labor camps and not POW camps. There was a camp for French Internees nearby Rennes so maybe that is that connection.

I found an International Red Cross site that has some research capability specifically for POWs. Here's that link.
http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/icrc- ... /index.jsp
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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby Larry D. on 22 Jan 2011 17:06

Although the ICRC archives and the Arolsen archives are geographically separated, they are two peas in the same pod. They support each other and my experience has always been that a request to the Tracing Service is the place to start. If they do not have exactly what you are looking for, they will direct you to the right repository. Germany complied with the Geneva Convention when it concerned Allied POWs from Western countries and cooperated with the IRC in providing the names of internees, care, treatment and periodic inspections.

Yes, Frontstalag 221 W in Rennes was a branch camp for French POWs, but it appears likely that non-French Allied POWs being treated in the Rennes military hospital were assigned to it for administrative purposes until they could be transferred to Germany.

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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby murx on 27 Feb 2011 14:22

There is a lack of source materials which can be found cc. POW camps in Grmany and occupied territories. The most detailed and comprehensive docmentation which is known to myself is a German master thesis from 1998: Stefan Geck (author): Das Deutsche Kriegsgefangenenwesen 1939 - 1945 (The German POW logistics 1939 - 1945), master thesis from the faculty of history of the University of Mainz, 1998. I attach it after having had to separate the text into 5 consecutive parts in order not to exceed size limits of attachments. However facing the non availability of information on the topic the paper shouuld be known. It has also a nice list of sources for further research.
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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby murx on 27 Feb 2011 14:24

Two more parts
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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby Larry D. on 27 Feb 2011 14:58

The dissertation certainly appears to be an excellent study of the evolution of German policy on the subject, but the majority of those seeking information are interested in individual camps because they are tracing the wartime fate of a family member. The title cited below is a quick reference guide to all of the camps and is the only one I know of. It does not provide much information for each camp, but at least it's a starting point.

Mattiello, G[ianfranco] u. W[olfgang] Vogt: Deutsche Kriegsgefangenen- und Internierteneinrichtungen
1939-1945. Handbuch und Katalog
. Lagergeschichte und Lagerzensurstempel. 2. Bde.
Bd. 1: Stammlager (Stalag); Bd. 2: Oflag, BAB, Dulag etc. Koblenz 1986-1987.

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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby sirjahn on 27 Feb 2011 16:05

Thanks for this information guys. As LarryD said I am looking for specifics on the operations in Rennes of Rennes Military Hospital and its relationship with Frontstalag 221/Lazarett 133. Particularly useful would be the units that staffed them, their commanders and any anecdotes about the camps from an Allied or Axis point of view.
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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby sirjahn on 28 Mar 2013 13:48

Well I got a response back from Red Cross and they say they have nothing on the Rennes Hospital or Frontstalag 221. They said I should check with the French Red Cross in Paris. I have sent several emails over the last 4 months and gotten no responses.

Does anyone have a French Red Cross POC?
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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby Penn44 on 24 Apr 2013 10:53

To answer your question, who controlled Front Stalag 221, it was Militärbefehlshaber Frankreich.

Source: http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... stalag.htm

A Front Stalag was a temporary POW collection point in the forward area for POWs on their way to Germany. In the East, I have encountered Front Stalags that also housed POW labor details working in the nearby area in addition to their POW collection point missions.

The Front Stalag 221 probably did not have an adequate medical facility to properly treat your father's wounds so it probably had the nearby Rennes Military Hospital treat him. I have encountered instances of wounded Allied POWs who were treated in German military hospitals and some who were treated in hospitals that catered to POWs only (POW Lazarette).

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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby sirjahn on 20 Sep 2013 14:09

Continuing to follow up on this topic. I recently received from the Deutsche Dienstelle some information on the German Medical Officer in charge Oberstabsarzt Ernst Enzinger that he was assigned to Frontstalag 221 in Bordeaux in 1943. So it would appear that Frontstalags perhaps had a medical organization/section within the overall organization. Does anyone know of a KtSN from a Frontstalag or in particular Frontstalag 221?
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Re: Who operated the Stalags outside of Germany?

Postby sirjahn on 11 Dec 2013 15:29

Well I found a generic KStN 7805 for Kriegsstaerkennachweisung (Heer) which is for 30,000 PWs. The medical section looks like this.


Image

I suppose that KStN would be a model to use for the Frontstalags operating in France. The KStN doesn't give any ranks for the officers but I assume a Major equivalent (Oberstabsarzt) would be in charge of the Captain and Lieutenant equivalents (Stabsarzt, Feldarzt). Any detachment (Aussenstelle) from the main location would be under one of these officers. So it would make sense that a Stabsarzt would be there in Rennes when the volume of PWs was low and stable. Then when the influx of PWs from the Invasion happened the Stabarzt would be over his head and then the Oberstabsarzt would come in to straighten things out.
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