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Report einer Niederländischen Lager Inspektion, Februar 1918 (engl.)

Berlin, February 20, 1918


I visited this camp on February 5, 1918, my visit havin be announced a day previously. The Commandant, Oberst von matheson and Capt. v. Kletzing received me courteously and gave me evry opportunity to coverve freely with the prisoners. None wish to speak to me without eye-witness. Capt. v. Kletzing conducted me over the camp.


The last visit was made by me on June 12, 1917, to which report I beg to refer fo details and description of the camp. to which no alterations have taken place.


The camp is situated about 5 Km from Guestrow and about 1 Km from the neighbouring railway station of Priemerbourg.


The total number of prisoners supervised by the camp amounts to about 50,000, of whom approximately 3000 are British. Thge majority of these 3000 British are dispersed over varoius working commandos, and only 185 British were quartered in the camp itselfon the day of my visit. The spokesman on behalf of the British was Sergeant-Major Sweeney, Queens Royal West Surrey Regt. who is also the president of the Relief Committee. I discussedthe general matters in connection with the camp. with him and with his probable successor, Quertermaster Sergeant William Boon, 2nd Royal Dublin Fisiliers, No. 10484, as Sergeant- Major Sweeney expects to be exchanged within the next few days.


The British have all volunteered to work, and in addition to the usual camp work, they assist in the post and parcel office, in the food storehouse, and in the transport of the packages, of which about 10.000 are dealt with monthly.


The barracks were in perfect condition, clean and well kept, and with no appearance overcrowding. The heating of the barracks could be better, to which the Commandant agreed, but regretted that he could not remedy this.


The British appeared to be well supplied with clothing, etc.


There were no very serious complaints regarding packages and letters. The men stated that the contents of parcels were sometimes pilfered, and were rather curious to learn the reason why their parcels should be longer en route than is the case with parcels for other parent camps. Parcels are stored away or handed out immidiatly, if required , in the presence of the members of the Relief Committee. Pte. David Pride, London Scottish, No. 2201, and Sergt. Frederick Checkitts, 1st. Royal Berkshire Regt. No.9363, assist in the parcel room.


the latrines were in s'perfectly well kept and clean condition; they are regulary disinfected with lime.


There were no complaints in regard to the bathing and washing accomodation.


The British do not find the food served at the kitchen palatable and practically subsist upon their private supplies; facilities for cooking the latter are provided by stoves, the fuel for this pupose being gratuitously supplied. A diet sheet is attached to this report.


The canteen contains the usual articles for sale.


Alle manner of exercise and recreation is permitted and encouraged. A kino has recently been installed. A band-evening is organised twice weekly and theatrical performances tke place regularly.


No protestant clergyman has visited the camp since my last visit. The roman-catholics go to mass which is said in the camp-chapel.


The medical attention and the sanitary arragements are under the supervision of Oberstabsarzt Sanitätsrat Dr. Schulz, who resides in the camp. In the well equipped infirmary two British were under treatment at the time of my visit,-

Pte. B. Grisham, 16th London Regt. No.550259

Pte. Leonard Fell, 8th Lincolns, No.18326

They are very light cases and are not compelled to keep to their beds. They appeared in good spirits, very contented, and had no complaints whatsover to make. The infirmary is under the supervision of Red Cros attendent.


Accompanied by the lazaret-inspector, lt. Maschke, I visited the lazaret where 16 British were under treatment. None of them had any complaints od requests to submit to my notice. The lazaret was in a perfect condition.


No British were in prison or undergoing punishment. As a matter of fact the Commendant very highly commended the conduct of the British prisoners.


My general impression of the camp at Guestrow is that ist is a very good one in every respect, and the relations existing between the cam authorities are most satisfactory. Not only is the camp commandant available every morning to the non-commissioned officers, but any British prisoner who desires to speak to him may do so.

I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,


Quelle: Bundesarchiv R901/84313