POW Women Camps

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
User avatar
IlonaG
Member
Posts: 10
Joined: 16 Aug 2011 19:21
Location: Queens, NY USA

POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 07 Dec 2015 18:46

Hi,
I hope I'm posting in the correct forum. I'm trying to write my memoirs (if only for myself). My grandmother, grandfather and 2 Aunts were sent to Prison/Concentration camps in 1942. My mom and uncle being only 5 and 6 years old were sent to a foster home. I wish I had listened better while my Oma was still alive as I'm sure she mentioned the name of the camp she was in. For some reason I'm thinking it was Dachau but not 100% sure. Is there any way to find out? I can't seem to find records listing prisoners. They were sent to camps for hiding my Grandmother's first born son who defected from the SS (and was subsequently beheaded by the Nazi's).
Any help and advise you can give would be appreciated.
Thanks much :)
Ilona

User avatar
John G.
Host - Militaria sections
Posts: 5750
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 18:56
Location: USA

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by John G. » 07 Dec 2015 22:40

It's not going to be "easy" with the very little (and "sketchey" at best) information you possess. First place and thing would be geneological search of your Grandmother/family from whatever services available to you (Don't know where you're located)... if she was a refugee, immigrant, or processed Inmate/releasee.... there would probably be records. (Holocaust Musem, Red Cross, Displaced Persons, Immigration documents, etc.

Not questioning, just saying.... if there's any truth to the "defected from SS/Beheaded" story there should be documentation, news paper accounts... etc., beheading were much publicized in most cases. As a detention Camp- Dachau was normally for German/Austrian Prisioners...(Political & Civilian Criminal elements- some Jewish/others)... didn't say if Oma was German national (or).

ONE THING- Be aware, you may uncover information that you won't want to know.... it sometimes happens... so think it over seriously.

Unfortunately won't be easy. Good luck.
John G.

Stephan
Member
Posts: 700
Joined: 09 Feb 2003 20:34
Location: Sweden

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Stephan » 11 Dec 2015 19:23

I must add, the headline POW women camps is incorrect, as they seems not to have been pows, but etnical germans whom got inprison by other, more or less political, reasons. Right?

So sooner detention camps for germans, alike mentioned in the post above.

Stephan
Member
Posts: 700
Joined: 09 Feb 2003 20:34
Location: Sweden

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Stephan » 11 Dec 2015 19:33

Stephan wrote:I must add, the headline POW women camps is incorrect, as they seems not to have been pows, but etnical germans whom got inprison by other, more or less political, reasons. Right?

So sooner detention camps for germans, alike mentioned in the post above.
Its what I read into your letter. But of course, there were more or less voluntary participants to the SS from other countries as well, and the tendency to abandon ranks was probably bigger there.
If so, yes, the prison / camp probably wouldnt be the same as for ethnical german women. And MAY even be the same as a pow camp.

Although, as I know, germans werent liking to have women pows - ie denied them the right to be POW. If russian women, they were either executed or send to some other fate when the death could come soon enough.
Although later on, the woman participants from the Warszawa raising whom were in that overall capitulation agreement, were treated more or less honourably. These whom didnt get the POW status, were simply send to labor and most survived.

This is a little OT, as your family werent typical POWs, but punishment prisoners.

User avatar
IlonaG
Member
Posts: 10
Joined: 16 Aug 2011 19:21
Location: Queens, NY USA

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 29 Dec 2015 19:11

Thanks for all the interesting information.
My grandmother was born in Prague, CZ in 1900. She had five children with her first husband. After her husband passed away she married my mother's father who was German born (Munich). I'm not quite sure how they wound up in Germany as my mother was born in Sudetenland in 1936. This is the way it was always told to me: My grandmother's first born son (with her first husband) joined the SS (we have the armband). But supposedly he later defected and I'm not sure why...but my family hid him. He was turned in to the Nazi's by his girlfriend. My grandmother often told me how he was beheaded and shown a photo of his beheading. I had no reason not to believe this and it was recently confirmed to me by a cousin. At any rate, I'm almost positive that she was sent to Dachau and she described many stories of life in the camp. But she always called it a Prison Camp.
Finally-she WAS a "Displaced Person" and that is what is noted on the Ship's manifest when they came to NYC in 1952, which I was able to locate through Ancestry.com.
Right now, I'm just trying to fill in some of the blanks. I just wish I could locate actual records. I realize that it may be an impossible feat. Thank you anyway for listening.
Ilona

history1
Member
Posts: 3640
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 09:12
Location: Austria

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by history1 » 01 Jan 2016 21:12

You need to mention names, Ilona. No one can help or only try to help with such general informations. It´s also very, very unlikely that there should exist a actual photo of the beheading of this man. Are you sure they ended in Germany? Because to be born there does not implicitly mean that your grandfather did live in Germany afterwards. And ethnical Germans spoke normally fluently German and someone living in the Sudetes doesn´t have any problems to talk/understand other German speaking persons. If you are possessing documents about this matter feel free to post them so that we can do a transcribtion when necessary. Also a photo of the alleged SS-armband would be appreciated.
Regards, Roman

User avatar
Annelie
Member
Posts: 4892
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 02:45
Location: North America

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Annelie » 02 Jan 2016 23:20

Ilona,

This may not be of any help but it can't hurt....

https://www.facebook.com/BalticDisplace ... s/?fref=ts

someone may know a link, contact or way for more information..

User avatar
IlonaG
Member
Posts: 10
Joined: 16 Aug 2011 19:21
Location: Queens, NY USA

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 04 Dec 2019 20:46

Hi all. Some time ago I posted regarding women who were prisoners of war. I have since come across some information regarding my uncle who was beheaded in Pankrác Prison. I now have the letter he wrote my Grandmother 2 weeks before his execution as a Resister. My Grandmother was then imprisoned for hiding him. At any rate, I also have the letter that my Grandmother wrote to my Aunt from prison in 1943. In it she says that she is in the "Wehrmachtanstelt in Olmütz". I cannot seem to find any prisons under this name. I know she was there until 1945, during liberation of the camps. Does anyone happen to know anything about the Wehrmacht prisons? I'm trying to piece together my family history.
Thanks again.
Ilona
Ilona

Sejanus
Member
Posts: 192
Joined: 12 Mar 2016 10:55
Location: The Continent

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Sejanus » 05 Dec 2019 07:06

IlonaG wrote:
04 Dec 2019 20:46
Hi all. Some time ago I posted regarding women who were prisoners of war. I have since come across some information regarding my uncle who was beheaded in Pankrác Prison. I now have the letter he wrote my Grandmother 2 weeks before his execution as a Resister. My Grandmother was then imprisoned for hiding him. At any rate, I also have the letter that my Grandmother wrote to my Aunt from prison in 1943. In it she says that she is in the "Wehrmachtanstelt in Olmütz". I cannot seem to find any prisons under this name. I know she was there until 1945, during liberation of the camps. Does anyone happen to know anything about the Wehrmacht prisons? I'm trying to piece together my family history.
Thanks again.
Ilona
I think the spelling of the camp you are referring to was "Wehrmachtanstalt in Olmütz" which translates to Armed Forces Institution in Olmütz, a city in the Czech Republic (its name is Olomouc in Czech).

However, it is doubtful that a civilian would generally have been kept in a Wehrmacht prison (if that is what this institution was) as an inmate or detainee for long, instead they would have been transferred to penal institutions for civilians. How do you know for certain that she was confined as an inmate in that institution from 1943 to 1945? Could she have perhaps worked there (and even been housed there as a worker) instead? Such work could be voluntary or involuntary depending on the circumstances and the individuals involved.

There was a transit camp (also referred to as a detention center) in Olmütz during the war and the unfortunates sent there were generally shipped off to other camps in the system, among them Theresienstadt. From the references to this camp that I have come across so far I do not believe that the Wehrmacht was involved in its operation. However, maybe your relative was associated with this transit/detention camp somehow? Since it was for civilians.

While I have not found the name the transit camp went by (if any), it is described as having been located in an "elementary school in Hálek Street (Hálkova), where Jews from Olomouc were rounded up... "[1] and "The persecution of the Jewish population reached its peak in Olmütz in 1942, after a detention center had been established in the school on Halkova Street. From June / July of the year to March 1945, the occupiers transported 3,498 Jews in four waves to Theresienstadt, from where they were usually deported to extermination camps." [2]

Confusing matters is a camp (or camps) established in the Olmütz area that housed ethnic Germans after the war ended in 1945, this period marked the widespread persecution of that population in retaliation for the excesses of the Germans and their state during the Nazi time. Because some refer to these as "concentration camps" they can be confused with the camps run by the Nazis but they were not the same thing, something to keep in mind for those seeking to research camps in that area.

If you have not already done so, it would be helpful to have someone that knows the German language and WWII Nazi history review the relatives letters in question for additional clues. Another potential resource is the History Museum in Olomouc and they can be contacted via their web site: https://www.vmo.cz/en.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your search.

[1] https://kehila-olomouc.cz/rs_english/history-2/history/
[2] https://translate.google.com/translate? ... rev=search

User avatar
IlonaG
Member
Posts: 10
Joined: 16 Aug 2011 19:21
Location: Queens, NY USA

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 05 Dec 2019 14:36

Thank you for this information.
My Grandmother always spoke to me of her time in "prison". Unfortunately I had forgotten the name of the place she was imprisoned. I am able to read German. My misspelling of "anstalt" was a typo.
At any rate, as previously stated, she was arrested because she hid my Uncle who defected from the SS.
I was happy to find many of her letters and writings as she clearly states that she was "in prison for 2 years". Although maybe you are correct and she was transferred at some point. My cousin had all these documents and there may be more pieces of the puzzle for me to find.
I am going to contact the History Museum in Olomouc to see what information they can provide.
Thanks again.
Ilona

User avatar
Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
Member
Posts: 4143
Joined: 27 Jul 2004 01:30
Location: Cleveland ,tennessee

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 06 Dec 2019 00:51

lthough this link shows poast war camps, start a detailed search via internet I use BING, which is more selective, and remember to type in different exact search needs http://munkataborok.hu/en/other_countri ... akiatitles,

User avatar
Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
Member
Posts: 4143
Joined: 27 Jul 2004 01:30
Location: Cleveland ,tennessee

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 06 Dec 2019 01:06

I think if you were somehow post those letters whic mentions this camp- someone wsomewhere can pinpoint it ,even a postmark helps, If there was such a camp-work camop-etc it can be found..

User avatar
IlonaG
Member
Posts: 10
Joined: 16 Aug 2011 19:21
Location: Queens, NY USA

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 06 Dec 2019 06:33

Mark in Cleveland, Tn. wrote:
06 Dec 2019 01:06
I think if you were somehow post those letters whic mentions this camp- someone wsomewhere can pinpoint it ,even a postmark helps, If there was such a camp-work camop-etc it can be found..
I will do that tomorrow
Ilona

gebhk
Member
Posts: 497
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by gebhk » 06 Dec 2019 17:37

Also, I think the comment by Stephan is worth heeding. There was a POW camp for women (Stalag VI-C at Oberlangen*) but this was for POWs ie captured enemy combatants. Your grandmother clearly was not one.

*The camp had been built for German political prisoners but in Sept 1939, was taken over by the military for housing POWs. After the Warsaw Uprising it was reserved for female soldiers of the AK and was finally liberated, by a strange twist of fate, by the Polish 1st Armoured Division. A very good friend of mine is the result of the many marriages that ensued from the happy euphoria engendered by this occasion!

gebhk
Member
Posts: 497
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: POW Women Camps

Post by gebhk » 06 Dec 2019 18:13

The reference to WH Anstalt is curious. Was there any such thing in Olmutz? The thought occurs that your Grandmother may have been a forced labourer in one of the camps who worked in the Institute? This was a fairly common 'arrangement'. Prisoners with skills needed by such units had a much better chance of survival.

Return to “Women in the Reich”