prisoners

Nov

18

1942

British insight into the German military machine

18th November 1942: British insight into the German military machine

Recently 80 new Italian tanks had been left standing near the port of unloading for want of fuel. The tragedy was not as great as it seemed, inasmuch as the tanks were badly designed and constructed and practically worthless for modern war. He had told the Italians that 80 tins of sardines would have suited him better. Were it not for the fuel and supplies obtained in Tobruk, the position of the German and Italian armies in the desert would have become acute some months ago.

Nov

5

1942

El Alamein – collecting up the prisoners

German and italian PoWs

5th November 1942: El Alamein – collecting up the prisoners …

I gave them an hour to find a lorry each and bring it to me and they ran off in the best of spirits. Almost immediately however there were despairing cries and I found that they were all being arrested by English patrols. I spent my time rushing round freeing them, but got my 15 lorries in the end and drove them back to the prisoner-of-war camp.

Oct

29

1942

The hell of a Japanese prison ship

29th October 1942: The hell of a Japanese prison ship

With his backside on a latrine bucket he was vomiting from his other end into a container, and quite often missing it. With the next roll of the ship he pitched forward, spilling the contents of both containers, and went crashing down on the deck. I put down my rice, wiped up the spillage as best as I could, helped him back onto the bucket and returned to my meal. My sensibilities had been brought to a point of complete numbness.

Oct

20

1942

Work begins on the Burma-Siam railway

20th October 1942: Work begins on the Burma-Siam railway

I spend a great amount of time trying to get medical supplies out of the japanese – as difficult as wringing blood from stones. Nobusawa professes to have almost no supplies for us and we have practically no dressings for our skin cases. A tin or two of quinine tablets, half a bottle of spirit, one or two bandages, three washing bowls, a couple of buckets and a bar of soap constitute the ‘hospital equipment’ in a camp of nearly a thousand men.

Oct

12

1942

Brutal treatment in Japanese PoW camp

12th October 1942: Brutal treatment in Japanese PoW camp

When he was on the warpath he was very frightening. I have seen five or six hundred British sailors including myself standing stiff at attention, not daring to move an eyelid. A flood of Japanese would pour forth from his tongue; and the sound of this shouting was always the prelude to a scene. At night it was quite eerie and not unlike a mad dog. I doubt that anyone who lived in that camp could ever forget it.

Oct

10

1942

Auschwitz – Dr Kremer indulges his medical curiosity

10th October 1942: Auschwitz – Dr Kremer indulges his medical curiosity

The patient was laid down still alive on the dissection table. I would go up to the table and ask the patient to give me some details essential for my research. For example, for his weight before his detention, how much weight he had lost since his detention, whether he had taken any medication recently, etc. After I had been given this information a medical orderly would come and kill the patient with an injection in the heart area. To my knowledge all these patients were killed with phenol injections,.

Oct

7

1942

Selected to live – in Treblinka

7th October 1942: Selected to live – in Treblinka

From the suitcases we remove lotions, cosmetics, soaps, matches, medicines. It seems that there is nothing that we do not remove here in quantities – all sorts, from the most expensive tins to the few potatoes that the poor Jews brought with them. The sorted articles are brought non-stop to the edge of the yard, where they are piled up and up. The suitcases with valuables have a special place; into them are put things made of gold, watches, rings, diamond’s. Wedding rings make up the greatest quantity of valuable articles.

Sep

23

1942

Japanese treatment of attempted escapees

23rd September 1942: Japanese treatment of attempted escapees

The amazing thing was the ability of the three men to stay alive, if indeed they were still alive at the end of the second day of this treatment — they were battered beyond recognition, with the ear of one prisoner hanging down to his shoulder. I think we all prayed for the men during this ordeal. I know I did. And I am sure all of us said a prayer of relief when the Japanese finally cut the men down and took them away for execution. Two of the men were shot. The third was beheaded.

Sep

21

1942

A work party leaves Auschwitz for Buna

21st September 1942: A work party leaves Auschwitz for Buna

The summer sun scorched the back of my neck. The alsatian trotting beside me was panting. A man reeled from the ranks, fell and had the top of his head blown off by an S.S. man who did not even bother to stop as he fired. Farther up the line a man ran wildly into the road and was bowled over by a burst of machine gun fire. The S.S. were kicking the kapos now and all the time they were shouting: “Faster, you bastards! We’re late! We’re late!”

Sep

12

1942

U-156 torpedoes the RMS Laconia

12th September 1942: U-156 torpedoes the RMS Laconia

06.00
Transmitted radio message twice on 25 meters:
If any ship will assist the ship-wrecked LACONIA crew, I will not attack her, providing I am not attacked by ship or air force. I picked up 193 men. 4 52 S 11 26 W.
German submarine.