prisoners

Dec

10

1942

New work – in the Auschwitz gas chambers

10th December 1942: New work – in the Auschwitz gas chambers

We were lined up in front of the house. Moll arrived and told us we would work here at burning old and lousy people, that we would be given something something to eat and in the evening we would be taken back to the camp. He added that those who did not accept the work would be beaten and have the dogs set on them. The SS who escorted us were accompanied by dogs. Then he split us into a number of groups. I myself and eleven others were detailed, as we learnt later, to remove the bodies from this cottage.

Dec

8

1942

Hunger in a PoW labour camp in Thailand

8th December 1942: Hunger in a PoW labour camp in Thailand

I had had this tick fever for 2 days and didn’t go sick for I was sweating on the holiday allowing me to recover but the Nips held a big check roll-call at 10 a.m. and I am afraid, for the first time in my army career I fainted and had to be carried off. Of course their food for the last few days has been bad even for this place and I suppose that had something to do with it also.

Nov

28

1942

Romanian prisoners are escorted off the battlefield

28th November 1942: Romanian prisoners are escorted off the battlefield

On the roads lie helmets decorated with the Romanian royal coat of arms, thousands of cartridges, grenades, rifles. A Romanian strongpoint. A mountain of empty, sooty cartridges by the machine-gun nest. White sheets of writing paper are lying in the communication trench. The brown winter steppe has turned brick red from blood. There are rifles with butts splintered by Russian bullets. And crowds of prisoners are moving towards us all the time.

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.