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Holzminden POW Camp


RDG01
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My grandfather was a prisoner in Holzminden. I have read Durnford's book 'The Tunnellers of Holzminden' in which he suggests that the camp buildings, which were substantial, were purpose built.

Does anyone know if the buildings still stand? If so, what are they used for now and where in the town of Holzminden are they located. If they no longer exist, does anyone know when they were removed - were they pulled down or bombed or whatever?

I have used Google Earth to try to locate the camp but just can't find where it might have been. Any help appreciated.

Ron

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Ron,

Mrs P-H gives no clue as to where the camp was located or whether the Officer's camp was at the same location as the reprisals camp. The photographs I have are of the camp which housed civilians etc and indicate that the camp was of timber, very much like many other camps erected specifically for the purpose. It is unlikely that this camp survived but unless it has been built over then there may be remains of brick chimneys, ovens etc. However the Officer's camp could be different.

Doug

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Doug

The photos in the original Penguin edition of the book (of which I have a copy) show the officers camp to have been a substantial multistory brick or stone building

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The buildings which I was looking for were the substantial buildings for the officers camp.

There are photos in Durnford's book which suggest that the place was something else before it became a POW camp but Durnford does state that it was built specifically to house POWs. It almost looks like it could have gone on to be used as

a school or possibly even a hospital.

Durnford hints at its location, near the Wesser River and a small map of the complex in the book shows a road which is identified as the road to Holzminden town.

Ron

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  • 1 year later...

I came across this topic a few weeks ago as I had just read The tunnelers of Holzminden just

as Ron who started this topic.

I myself was also curious of the whereabouts of the camp and if it still exists. The last post is from Oct 2007 and an answer was not given.

Therefore I started on the Internet a search if any article could be found in the German language.

There was not a mention on the site of Holzminden itself but I found the e-mail address of the Kulturamt.

I decided to send a mail with questions in the hope they could give me more information.

A week passed and I had already given up hope when I received a reply this morning.

The mail was sent from the Kulturamt to the Stadtarchiv Holzminden.

There a Dr. Seeliger took up the request and I will translate his reply in English;

Dear Sir,

The camp is still there today and it is in use of the Bundeswehr (German Army). It can be found between

the Bodenstrasse, Grimmenstein, Liebigstrassee and the railway.

It was then a camp with 2 big buildings. They were built prior to the beginning of the war.

When you like to have more information I can recommend a small book that was published a few years ago

titled "Garnisonstadt Holzminden; Die Geschichte der Kaserne seit 1913 Holzminden 2001""

Friendly greetings.

Just as Ron I had already searched on Google earth to see if I could find the 2 Kasernes but this proved too difficult and then I did not know if they were still in existence.

With the information I received I first searched on the Internet a plan of the city where the names of the streets could be found. Succeeding this I have just found the exact location of the camp on Google earth.

I attach two downloads from Google earth with the location pinpointed.

I have sent a mail to the Stadtarchiv to ask if the book can be ordered through them and I just received the

reply it is possible and the cost are 11 Euro. So I will order it.

In a next post more information

Best regards,

Sir Cliff

post-3829-1228829979.jpg

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Sir Cliff

A brilliant piece of detective work. Thankyou for your efforts. It would be good if we were able to get a current photograph to compare it with the photos that were taken during the war. One of the photos that I have seems to have the buildings in the open but looking at your google earth image it seems that the buildings are now just in the midst of an ordinary suburban area with buildings all around. Well done and thanks again.

John g

My grandfather was William Henry Dean Gardner - Navigating Officer from the Q-Ship HMS Warner.

His ship was sunk by a German U-Boat and he was one of the six survivors who were taken aboard the submarine by the U-Boat Captain. He was taken to Heligoland and then to Cuxhaven. He was then taken to Holzminden where he served out the war.

I have some photos of the inmates and of the Holzminden prison if you are interested. PM me for details.

Ron

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Hello Ron,

Thanks for the compliment.

As you remark the Kaserne is no longer outside Holzminden as it was in the war. It is now at the eastern end of it.

Perhaps you have noticed that between Kaserne A en B is now another building which must have been built later.

When I have received my copy of the book Geschichte der Kaserne ( History of the camp since 1913) I can give more

information.

As you say it would be good if some nowadays photo' s could be posted in this topic.

Therefore I like to ask any German member who lives in the neighbourhood of Holzminden to take up the

challenge and visit the camp to take photo' s and post them here.

Ron, can you post some wartime photo's for a perhaps later comparison?

Apart from the book The tunnelers of Holzminden there is another book which I have for already 30 years.

The title is "Beyond the tumult" by Barry Winchester .

It tells the story of 3 prisoners with the digging of the tunnel and consequently their adventures in their journey

to Holland.

Yours sincerely,

Sir Cliff

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  • 2 years later...

Greetings Sir Cliff,

I am the instigator of the Great War movie, Beneath Hill 60 (www.beneathhill60movie.com.au) and with a syndicate working on another movie Dear Miss Chomley about the Australian Red Cross and Australian POWs of the Great War.

The developing script references the famous Escape from Holzminden POW camp.

Am chasing up as much information on the camp and escape.

Any idea on how to acquire your referenced book "Garnisonstadt Holzminden; Die Geschichte der Kaserne seit 1913 Holzminden 2001" ?

Kindest regards,

Ross

Ross Thomas

rossjthomas@bigpond.comnow

Hello Ron,

Thanks for the compliment.

As you remark the Kaserne is no longer outside Holzminden as it was in the war. It is now at the eastern end of it.

Perhaps you have noticed that between Kaserne A en B is now another building which must have been built later.

When I have received my copy of the book Geschichte der Kaserne ( History of the camp since 1913) I can give more

information.

As you say it would be good if some nowadays photo' s could be posted in this topic.

Therefore I like to ask any German member who lives in the neighbourhood of Holzminden to take up the

challenge and visit the camp to take photo' s and post them here.

Ron, can you post some wartime photo's for a perhaps later comparison?

Apart from the book The tunnelers of Holzminden there is another book which I have for already 30 years.

The title is "Beyond the tumult" by Barry Winchester .

It tells the story of 3 prisoners with the digging of the tunnel and consequently their adventures in their journey

to Holland.

Yours sincerely,

Sir Cliff

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  • 3 months later...

Hi All,

I have just come across this post and thought that some of you would find this article that I wrote in 2009 interesting.

The Tunnellers of Holzminden

Best Regards

Ian

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Ian - thanks for your link. A very easy to read and succinct account of the tunnellers escape. WW1 Escapers do seem to suffer a lack of acknowledgement when compared to those of WW2.

A week or so ago I asked about the fate of Niemeyer and I was directed to a site that suggested he committed suicide after the war. Since writing your article have you found anything more definite about his fate?

Regards,

Jonathan S

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Can anyone enlighten me as to how Holzminden relates (if at all) to the Minderheide Barracks where I was stationed in 1957?

Hello Phill B

Minderheide Barracks are in Minden which also is on the river Wesser,I also was stationed in Minden 1964-1968 I was at Elizabeth Barracks which is over the Wesser.

Holzminden is some distance from Minden, does any member on site know where and how far from Minden??.

I am interested in the POW Camp at Minderheide,I hope to go out to Minden in July and would look up the camp area,I believe there is a brass plate on the wall at the barracks.

Joe

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jonathan,

The article was written for Intrepidus, the Prisoner of War Association Journal and I have not really followed it up with any more research. I did however take two brothers on tour two weeks ago whose father was capture on 21st March 1918 and was later sent to Holzminden. He was there when the war ended and they had a fantastic memento, the ‘Victory Menu’ for his block. This was drawn by their father and was the menu for their ‘victory’ meal.

Best Regards

Ian

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Thanks for the reply.

Not part of my collection, but I have seen a menu for the Holzminden Reunion Dinner of 1927, held at the Cecil Hotel in London. Chariman was Group Captain C.E.H. Rathbone D.S.O. The menu had a P.O.W. theme in the name of the dishes to be offered.

Regards,

Jonathan S

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Jonathan,

I have jpegs of the menu and if you send me a pm on ian@inthefootsteps.com I will send you the two files.

Regards

Ian

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I will send them shortly.

Regards

Ian

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Not without the permission of the family as this was drawn by hand by their father at Holzminden and used by Room 54, B House for their "Celebratory Dinner Menu" 16th November 1918.

Regards

Ian

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Guest Michael Gough

Hi,

There have been a number of questions about the present state of Holzminden Camp. I have been researching my Grandfather's time there and have found an excellent German website. I use Google translation for the words but the photographs are very clear and fascinating.

http://holzminden-camp.com/kaserne-heute.html

Hope this helps.

Michael

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Hi All,

For anyone with an interest in Holzminden this menu is a terrific find. It is reproduced here by kind permission of Richard Davenhill, the son of Lieutenant Richard Eric Davenhill who drew it. It was used by the inmates of Room 52 B Block for their 'Celebration Dinner' 16th November 1918 and is an excellent illustration of the sense of humour that these officers maintained.

Menu Outer

Davenhill-HolzmindenMenuOuter.jpg

Menu Inner.

Davenhill-HolzmindenMenuInner.jpg

Best Regards

Ian

In memory of Lieutenant Richard Eric Davenhill, who served with the Worcestershire Regiment and the Machine Gun Corps, and all who were POWs in the 1914-18 Great War.

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Hi,

There have been a number of questions about the present state of Holzminden Camp. I have been researching my Grandfather's time there and have found an excellent German website. I use Google translation for the words but the photographs are very clear and fascinating.

http://holzminden-ca...erne-heute.html

Hope this helps.

Michael

Thanks for the link. Interesting to see the "now" photos.

Regards,

Jonathan S

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Hi All,

For anyone with an interest in Holzminden this menu is a terrific find. It is reproduced here by kind permission of Richard Davenhill, the son of Lieutenant Richard Eric Davenhill who drew it. It was used by the inmates of Room 52 B Block for their 'Celebration Dinner' 16th November 1918 and is an excellent illustration of the sense of humour that these officers maintained.

Menu Outer

Davenhill-HolzmindenMenuOuter.jpg

Menu Inner.

Davenhill-HolzmindenMenuInner.jpg

Best Regards

Ian

In memory of Lieutenant Richard Eric Davenhill, who served with the Worcestershire Regiment and the Machine Gun Corps, and all who were POWs in the 1914-18 Great War.

Many Thanks to Richard Davenhill for permission and Ian for posting the Menu, very interesting, I see that there is a Black Watch Lt Angus G Mc P ????

Joe

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