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.
history1
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by history1 » 06 Dec 2019 20:12

IlonaG wrote:
05 Dec 2019 14:36
[...] My Grandmother [...] states that she was "in prison for 2 years". Although maybe you are correct and she was transferred at some point. [...]
Hi Ilona,
did you try already to find informations about her/them in the Arolsen Archives?
https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/search/
It´s always worth a try.

Regards,
Roman

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IlonaG
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 10 Dec 2019 16:13

gebhk wrote:
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!
Interesting. Considering her crime, I suppose this is a possibility.
Ilona

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IlonaG
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 10 Dec 2019 16:14

history1 wrote:
06 Dec 2019 20:12
IlonaG wrote:
05 Dec 2019 14:36
[...] My Grandmother [...] states that she was "in prison for 2 years". Although maybe you are correct and she was transferred at some point. [...]
Hi Ilona,
did you try already to find informations about her/them in the Arolsen Archives?
https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/search/
It´s always worth a try.

Regards,
Roman
Ironically, I was able to find an astounding amount of documents from this website. However, most have to do with my family receiving Refugee status and aid from the US allowing them to move here in 1952.
Ilona

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IlonaG
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 10 Dec 2019 16:17

OK...I'm going to try attaching the letter.
My grandmother was Ernestine (Erna) Zörner at the time. But she may have been imprisoned by her 3rd husband's last name Erna LATTISCH
Still looking for marriage certificates.
Let me know what you all think. I really appreciate the help.
Ilona

Stephan
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Stephan » 12 Dec 2019 20:00

gebhk wrote:
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!
Tx for the "fire support"!

I think we can now combine our ideas with Ilonas findings.
It was quite common nazis used german inmates, especially with criminal charges, as labor or as help guards in political camps.

This grandma could easily be such half prisoner, half help guard, in a Wehrmach Pow camp for female pow's...

And thus grandmas version of her being a prisoner in a wehrmaht pow camp nearby O during two full years, becomes suddenly true.

I suppose hiding a deserter could be labelled as a criminal charge, not necessarily political. And she counted apparently as german, or at least of german ancestry. Otherwise her son wouldnt be in SS and beheaded for deserting. There were also non german SS divisions but I dint think desrtion from them was this so harshly punished by german authorities...

gebhk
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by gebhk » 13 Dec 2019 15:48

Hi Stephan - Sorry, I don't think your theory that Ilona's gran was a part-time guard in a female POW camp will fly, because AFAIK the Oberlangen camp Stalag VI-C was the only one of its kind. What happened to female POWs before the contingent from the Warsaw Uprising arrived - there must have been some - is something I have never thought about until now or come across.

My thoughts were rather that the good lady was a worker in some sort of institute which worked for the WH - the Wehrmacht Boot Hobnail Study Institute, for all I know. Hence my question whether any such bodies were located in the area.

The militaries tend to deal with desertion in similar manner regardless of army or status of the deserter. Desertion carried a mandatory death sentence in the 3rd Reich. As did 'subversion of military strength' in all but minor cases so Grandma may well have escaped death by the skin of her teeth. Perhaps it is my ignorance, but what gives me pause, is the manner of execution. Military men were usually executed by firing squad, so execution by a civilian method (beheading) may indicate some other factors we are not aware of.

history1
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by history1 » 13 Dec 2019 18:29

Stephan wrote:
12 Dec 2019 20:00
[...] There were also non german SS divisions but I dint think desrtion from them was this so harshly punished by german authorities...
You mean that German authorities didn´t punish members of foreign SS-units as they did Germans?
Rather the contrary is true. A forced laborer (a Polish teenager) who did work on a farm only 10 km away from my home threatened the farmer´s wife verbally while holding a knife in his hands. Result: Beheaded weeks later.
And this is only an example to show you that Nazi authorities had zero sympathy with others.

history1
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by history1 » 13 Dec 2019 18:38

gebhk wrote:
13 Dec 2019 15:48
[...] Perhaps it is my ignorance, but what gives me pause, is the manner of execution. Military men were usually executed by firing squad, so execution by a civilian method (beheading) may indicate some other factors we are not aware of.
I assume that he was active in other subversiv/anti-Nazi activities. I had a case the last week were a soldier (Austrian) in the Wehrmacht did bring wounded men to a military hospital in Vienna (while stationed in the Czech Republic) and got on the border caught on his way back smuggling Jews. I don´t know the Jews fate but he had to stand trial in Vienna and got beheaded. Soldiers were often sent back to their home/replacement unit and arrested there for trial before handed over to police forces and to the courts. When there was a hint that they were active in the underground.

history1
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by history1 » 13 Dec 2019 18:40

IlonaG wrote:
10 Dec 2019 16:17
OK...I'm going to try attaching the letter.
[...]
Let me know what you all think. I really appreciate the help.
Sadly there is no letter attached. Did you try to upload it or did you forget about?

gebhk
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by gebhk » 16 Dec 2019 15:39

Soldiers were often sent back to their home/replacement unit and arrested there for trial before handed over to police forces and to the courts.
To be clear, am I correct in taking that a soldier would be shot for a military crime (such as desertion) but beheaded for a 'civilian crime' (such as smuggling Jews). Or would the place where the crime took place (ie at the front vs back home in Germany or Austria) have some bearing on this?

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IlonaG
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by IlonaG » 25 Dec 2019 22:23

Hi all.
Thanks for some interesting food for thought. I have been away over the the past few weeks. Also I'm not sure how to upload the letter. Apparently the file is too large.
I will get back to my research next week and will keep you apprised. Plus I just found out that my cousin has some more documents for me to go through.
Ilona
Ilona

history1
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by history1 » 27 Dec 2019 10:25

gebhk wrote:
16 Dec 2019 15:39
Soldiers were often sent back to their home/replacement unit and arrested there for trial before handed over to police forces and to the courts.
To be clear, am I correct in taking that a soldier would be shot for a military crime (such as desertion) but beheaded for a 'civilian crime' (such as smuggling Jews). Or would the place where the crime took place (ie at the front vs back home in Germany or Austria) have some bearing on this?
Soldiers were also brought back and shot, eg. in Vienna on the military shooting range in Kagran (a district in Vienna) where numerous men (also fire guard) where shot for various reasons eg. desertion, self- mutilation [to avoid further participation in war activities on the front],etc.
This young man for mayhem:
https://www.doew.at/erinnern/fotos-und- ... -1924-1945
And this one for being a member of the resistance within the Viennese Professional Fire Brigade, all his collegues from Vienna were as deterrence requested to be a witness of his execution:
https://www.doew.at/erinnern/biographie ... -1904-1944
To keep up the discipline..

Courts of the German Wehrmacht pronounced a bit more than 30.000 death sentences again members of the Wehrmacht of which 20-23.000 got executed. In overal they rendered 50.000 verdits [...]
About 2 000 Austrian soldiers got convicted do death and executed by the NS- military justice for refusing military service, as deserters, for mayhem, cowardice before the enemy, etc..Thousands were sent in prisons or penitentiary. many of them found death in punishment camps of the Wehrmacht or concentration camps, in special units used for the most dangerous tasks at the front
Source (and more dertails): https://www.doew.at/erinnern/fotos-und- ... anneszucht
Further links:
https://www.doew.at/erforschen/publikat ... atz-kagran
And now back to the original matter, please.

history1
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by history1 » 27 Dec 2019 10:32

IlonaG wrote:
25 Dec 2019 22:23
Hi all.
Thanks for some interesting food for thought. I have been away over the the past few weeks. Also I'm not sure how to upload the letter. Apparently the file is too large.
I will get back to my research next week and will keep you apprised. Plus I just found out that my cousin has some more documents for me to go through.
Ilona
Hi Ilona,

you can contact me via E-Mail by clicking on my nick and further on "Contact per E-mail" or similary. Then I can help you and upload the resized file or send the edited letter/file back to you so that you can upload it.
Regards,
Roman

Stephan
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Stephan » 27 Dec 2019 22:52

Aha, so beheading was a civilian sentence? So whatever he did, he didnt got sentenced as soldier, but got a civilian judgement, a criminal case. Ok, so Ilonas Grandma, being involved, did a civilian = criminal law crime, she didnt got senteced for the political crime of hiding a deserter.
And thus, was accessible to such a kapo position: a german criminal prisoner, whom is sent as a help guard, leading the daily work of the foreign or political prisoners... Exact what and when, may be unsure. But as she herself, and Ilona, mentions POW camp, so she must have been there at least in some period. And or something very alike.

I know the polish partisan group NSZ Brygada Swietokrzyska, whom managed to get out from russian threats and come to Czech, did liberated a camp of women prisoners. (mentioned in the German Girl thread). Im not sure if there were any POW, half of them were jewish... So really a small concentration camp, but possibly used for POW too. But its probable this camp were in action longer than autumn 1944... I mean, such camps existed, whether they were called for Pow lager or not...

Stephan
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Re: POW Women Camps

Post by Stephan » 27 Dec 2019 22:59

Aha, so beheading was a civilian sentence? So whatever he did, he didnt got sentenced as soldier, but got a civilian judgement, a criminal case. Ok, so Ilonas Grandma, being involved, did a civilian = criminal law crime, she didnt got senteced for the political crime of hiding a deserter.
And thus, was accessible to such a kapo position: a german criminal prisoner, whom is sent as a help guard, leading the daily work of the foreign or political prisoners... Exact what and when, may be unsure. But as she herself, and Ilona, mentions POW camp, so she must have been there at least in some period. And or something very alike.

I know the polish partisan group NSZ Brygada Swietokrzyska, whom managed to get out from russian threats and come to Czech, did liberated a camp of women prisoners. (mentioned in the German Girl thread). Im not sure if there were any POW, half of them were jewish... So really a small concentration camp, but possibly used for POW too. But its probable this camp were in action longer than autumn 1944... I mean, such camps existed, whether they were called for Pow lager or not...

Ps. This camp was near the little town of Holisov? Near Pilsen / Pilsno.

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