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 Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD

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Judy Weinstein
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PostSubject: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   9/9/2009, 04:25

A registration slip from the World Jewish Relief Archive provides the only information I have about a relative's military service:

BERNHARD KLUGMANN was at Bergen-Belsen, Camp 5, MB 37/15, Military Government 618, B.A.O.R. in 1945.

Since I do not know Bernhard's regiment or corps, I have not been able to obtain his military records. Does the above information hold any clues about Bernhard's service? Does anyone know about the 618 MGD at Bergen-Belsen?

BERNHARD KLUGMANN was born in 1898 in Sniatyn, which was in Poland during World War II. Thus he was a Polish Jewish refugee when he registered in London in 1942. He had lived in Graz, Austria in the 1920s and 1930s. He was a button and fabric merchant. He was arrested by the Russians in Poland in 1940 and put in a forced labor camp. He was released in an amnesty in 1941. His wife and daughter were killed in Poland in 1942.

What's more, I think that Bernhard might have changed his name, as did many Jewish refugees serving in the British forces. I have no idea what his new name might have been.

Bernhard would have been close to 50 years old when he was in the B.A.O.R. Perhaps he served as an interpreter or as a liaison to displaced persons.

If any of these details sound familiar, or if you have knowledge of the 618 MGD at Bergen-Belsen/Hohne in 1945-1946, or if you have ideas as to how I can learn more about BERNHARD KLUGMANN, I would be most appreciative.
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alan8376
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   9/9/2009, 16:02

Judy,

I have sent you a PM.
Regards
Alan
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   9/9/2009, 16:45

Alan, Can you share your information on the forum as well please?

MGD stode for 'Military Govenment Detachments' which was part of the Control Commission Germany which indeed employed interpreters.

As to what Regiment or Corps he was in I have no idea, but most probably the 'Civilian Mixed Service Organisation' (CMSO) for administrative purposes which was formed in 1946 from mainly displaced persons.

The CMSO wore Dark Blue [Civil Defence] 'Battle Dress' Uniforms to comply with the Geneva Convention and served the British Army in BAOR to the mid 1980's (They were re-named MSO in 1949)

The parts of the uniformed MSO most remember from the 1950's onwards are Transport Companies and MSO Guard Service. The Civil Labour Group (Mojo's) wore no uniform.
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alan8376
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Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   9/9/2009, 17:31

Hi Judy,

Sorry, I can't help you with the person's name. However, I have during the last year been searching for Jews who made their escape in to Uk from Burgdorf, Germany. I am not a researcher, I was helping family and friends.

Here are two sources of information which have references and or searches notices for people who worked as Interpretors at Belson or worked under cover for the British Government. One member worked for the 'Special Operations Executive' and has his details still 'Secret' under 'Closed Document.'

1. This web site http://www.ajr.org.uk/searchnotices lists in the 'Search Notices' section, AtoZ, some searches for people who worked at Belsen Camp for the British Army.

2. These two books (listed below) are available at your local library (they will bring them in if they aren't on site). Both books were written within a short time after another. Strangely, both books have very similar titles. The books list not only the epic tasks that people took on for the British, but actually cross references of many persons original birth names and the ones they changed to on coming to UK or on taking on under cover work. (see lists at rear of books).

1. 'The King's Most Loyal Aliens' Author - Helen Fry.
2. 'The King's Own Loyal Aliens' Author - Peter Leighton - Langer.

I do hope my info sets you on at least one avenue of information?
Please PM me if you need any further information.

You might be interested to know that I found wives or children/decendants of some of the names I took on to search for and still live in UK.

One happy meeting was with a member of my wife's family who got out of Germany to the USA at the age of two. It was a lovely get together last year.

Regards
Alan

PS. Since posting the first part of my reply (above). I have now found some more information about Unit 618 MGD.

618 Det. Relief Detachment MILITARY GOVERNMENT Military Government Detachments War Office: Allied Expeditionary Force, North West Europe (British Element): War Diaries, Second World War Date: 1945.

On the 30th April, 102 Control Section took over the control of Belsen Camp, this unit consisted of 618 MGD and over 25 other military units and voluntary organisations. ( Info from Soldier Magazine, 1945).

PPS. I have since noticed Judy is based in the USA, so I think my comment about the local library may not stand! However, Amazon.co which covers the USA has both the books I mention, albeit at a rather high price!
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   9/9/2009, 20:08

Thank you Alan.

Document at Public Records Office:

618 MGD War Diary


http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=5462661&CATLN=6&accessmethod=5

Other referances:

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/BF898E7C-7371-4AB3-BB50-DBE3FD0F7777/0/ww2_deathcamps.pdf

http://nd.durham.gov.uk/recordoffice/usp.nsf/pws/Durham+Record+Office+-+The+Learning+Zone+-+Surviving+Belsen+-+The+Story+of+Belsen+-+Transcript

My interest in Bergan-Belsen stems from RAOC units based thier directly after it was liberated till closed down.
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alan8376
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   9/9/2009, 20:13

I have also just found the National Archives War Diaries section.

Are they available on line? Or is it a trip to Kew?
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   9/9/2009, 20:34

Its a trip to Kew where it is free to view, or pay to have it copied and sent by post. Links are on the page.

If visiting, best to pre book file to view.
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 393
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Localisation : Norfolk, UK
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Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   27/9/2009, 13:55

Judy,

I have a 'Ship's Passenger List' from 1948 which lists a B. Klugmann departing UK to USA. The only thing which doesn't match up is his age, which is listed as 67 yrs old! I have sent you a PM listing some further details.

Regards
Alan
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   27/9/2009, 20:59

Not to take this off-topic but somewhat related....

Just outside Hemer, along the Hoennetal road towards Balve, in an area called Helle-Balve, about a kilometer or so from the Balvehohle (the large cave Balve is famous for) was a "DP camp"...or it was in the early 60's.

While the site was still there in the 70's when we returned, I don't believe it was a "DP camp" any longer. Not sure what it had become by then.

I remember it wasn't particularly extensive/large, always tidy, rows of white-washed barrack like buildings with bright red roofs. Who the "DPs" would have been back then, I'm not sure.

Certainly some would have been those who escaped from East Germany--in fact, a family we got quite close to when we lived in Helle-Balve in 1960-61 and maintained a correspondence with for years following and stayed with in their home in Balve when we returned in 1969, had escaped from Erfurt in East Germany with whatever they were able to carry in a couple of suitcases and were housed here for a while. I think in later years the camp may have housed Yugoslavs. I vaguely recall hearing the residents of the camp referred to as "Zigeuner" when we lived there ("Gypsy"), but that was also often a term used for Yugoslavs, Turks, Romanians etc. anyway....not a particularly 'nice' term, btw....

It was the only such camp I was aware of.

I understand the old Canadian, later British, camps in Deilinghofen are now "DP camps" for Ethiopians and such....
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   10/5/2011, 04:34

UH? I don't really understand what L/Cpl Rong is talking about above, (workout packages) what has it do do with Belsen? Is he a 'hacker' or a 'Troll? affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   10/5/2011, 06:52

He`s back.Bit of a pest,Some one will get rid of him i`m sure
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Teabag
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   10/5/2011, 14:40

Seems I have missed something today. L/Cpl Mong! Who is he?

Anyway, why do people come on website forums, ask a question and when people try to help they never come back? The O/P has posted once. Bad form old chap(ess).
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   10/5/2011, 14:49

There was a couple of spammers on earlier..Probably the same as last time with different names.I think Steve gave him his marching orders
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   10/5/2011, 17:18

Mike did not seem to be around so tackled the problem (first time) and deleted the posts and banned them...not able to be online all the time but do enjoy looking in every day or so...we are an open forum without moderation to join in so this is bound to happen from time to time
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woody
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   10/5/2011, 19:46

whats happening ? I detect some animosity in here, but i cant see what ! Ive just been on Google Earth looking at the Helle-Balve area that Stephen Lock mentioned, it seems the place has been levelled, i cant make out any military style buildings . Time marches on i suppose.
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   10/5/2011, 20:45

woody wrote:
whats happening ? I detect some animosity in here, but i cant see what ! Ive just been on Google Earth looking at the Helle-Balve area that Stephen Lock mentioned, it seems the place has been levelled, i cant make out any military style buildings . Time marches on i suppose.

Probably the camp, for lack of a better word, is gone by now. As I said, it wasn't large....maybe 50-odd buildings, if that. As for them being "military-style" buildings....well, I'd describe them as such as, in memory, they were not dissimilar to the barracks at Deilinghofen....that same low single storey white-wash but more like row housing than dorm style barracks. The location was just down the road from the Balvehoehle as you headed towards the Hoennetal. Hmmmm....off hand, I'd say maybe a couple of klicks up the road from the large cave of Balvehoehle. On your right as you drove towards the Hoennetal. Across the road on the left was a large stone farmhouse....also probably gone now too.

Even in the time I spent living in Helle-Balve (first round....1959-1961-ish then back in 1969 and stayed with friends in Balve itself until dad finally found accommodation in Mellen for us) there were changes. Back in 1960, the area was pretty open....all farmers' fields with the 4 3-storey blocks of flats used to house workers and their families from the local lamp factory and two of the blocks were leased to Canadian families just up the road (dirt road) on the other side of the Little Red Devil tracks.

When we went back in 1969, what had been fields across the dirt road from the blocks of flats were all now filled in with factories! And the 'suburbs' of the town of Balve had started to appear over the crest of the hill to the south (?)....by now I'm guessing what wasn't taken up with factories is taken up with houses.

Oh....and just as you turned off Hoennestrasse (I think it was) into Helle-Balve and pass under the overpass for the Little Red Devil train, directly across from the Balvehoehle, there was, if memory serves, and Opel dealership there. On the Hoennestrasse side was an old building that during my time was an icecream shop but reputedly had been part of a monastery/convent/hermitage....it was never very clear what it had been but it was OLD. As far as I know, there was never any larger monastic structure attached, just this one little sandy coloured stone building. It may have been a chapel, but as I recall it was never referred to as a "Kappelle"....so I'm half thinking it was a hermitage back a few hundred years ago as that area would have been some distance outside of Balve and relatively isolated.
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   15/5/2011, 13:16

Apologies...... this seems to be in the wrong thread. It's meant to be WW2 related.

I had an acquaintance who was a POW in Germany from 1942. It's a fairly long story, but he always remembered it when the subject of female companionship came up in the pub. He truly believed women had always been the source of his troubles.

In the war, when he was in Crete, he was tasked daily with picking up rations for his detached unit. His journey took him through a village where he made contact with a lady who, as he said, would do anything for a tin of corned beef. Whilst laying back one morning after making the usual exchange, he got up to investigate the noise outside the bedroom window. To his horror, a FallschirmJager unit had occupied the village, his activities were put on hold.

"For a bit!", he said. " The Italians were swine to prisoners, but when we were sent on to Germany things improved". Both he and a close mate had been foundry workers, they were bored out of their minds & agreed to take up an offer to labour for the Fatherland. Better food, clean sheets and other privileges were promised. Their acceptance didn't go down too well with others, but there were quite a few in the camp in the Ruhr who were similarly motivated. "Almost like the work we did at home", he told. " The huts were warm & clean, we fed well and for entertainment we associated with German lasses who were working in the factory. With their men away at the front, they were as lonely as we were, it was good".

Strong friendships grew up, the POWs began to hate the RAF bombs as much as the locals. Several ladies were made homeless, some were killed , there was always the chance that the camp would be hit. When telling this tale, he grows sad & introspective at this point, a distant look comes in his eyes as he gazes at the floor. "Poor old Fred" he says, "Poor old Fred".

The first time we heard it we asked about Fred, queried if he had been hurt in the bombing. "No, no!" he replied, irritated at an apparent lack of sympathy. "Fred was my best mate. He was shot by a guard who saw him getting under the barbed wire". We moderated our tone but observed that Fred must have been crazy to want to escape from such an easy camp. "Escaping?", he shot back, "...... he wasn't escaping, he was coming back in !"
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PostSubject: Re: Bergen-Belsen/Hohne 1945-1946 618 MGD   17/5/2011, 17:37

Did have to chuckle over the story about Fred....of course, the reality of poor old Fred being shot isn't funny at all, but there is a certain dark humour to the story...in a twisted sort of way.....
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