Sunday, January 02, 2011

Part 5: Sentries at the Latchen POW camp, Latvia

There are many many examples of cruel treatment of prisoners described in the reports that I have seen.

The sentries for example, often had access to full winter clothing while the British and presumably French and Russian prisoners were made to work with only light clothing and  rags tied round their feet. The POWs were also kept under close observation with the  punishments for any attempted escape being the shooting of fellow POWs.

"Sentries here pure savages, continually butting and striking prisoners; very severely treated. The German officer in charge came nearly every day and ordered sentries, if we did not work to shoot us."

Private Joseph Driscoll

National Archives WO 161/100/361

One of the German Officers whose name crops up in various places in POW reports  is the camp Commandant  and head of reprisal at Latchen who was named as a Lieutenant Prael ( Prahl) from the  Reserve of Artillary and who is described as being  "extremely cruel"