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 Hemer POW Camp

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Stephen Lock
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Hemer POW Camp   15/12/2009, 04:52

Reading the bits re Wolfburg reminded me of reading about a POW (mainly Russian and Poles, as I recall) located somewhere in the hills surrounding Hemer.

While living in the area of Hemer, I heard nothing about this, not a peep.

I am not sure exactly where it was located but it apparently also overlooked the town, so it couldn't have been very far from the town or the PMQs.

I have heard something about it being in the hills in a 'suburb' of Hemer, enroute to Iserlohn, called Buchenwaldchen. This was across from Fort Beausejour, later Winkelmann Kaserne under the German army and Corunna (?) under you guys. But while I know Buchenwaldchen fairly well, having explored it a bit on my moped, I don't recall every coming across anything that resembled a POW camp....but I suspect I must have as I distinctly remember asking my parents if Buchenwald, the concentration camp, was there -- the names being so similar and I keep getting flashes of some sort of signage pointing the way up a obscure little forestry road which was blocked off about half way up. my mom said no and dad didn't say anything, which only served to heighten my suspicions!

I'm thinking now that while I was totally off on the concentration camp thing, I wasn't that far off the actual track, just went down the wrong road, so to speak.

However, if the stalag was located here, it'd have to have been up and over the other side of the hill to even remotely "over look Hemer". So, I don't know....plus, 30+ years is obscuring my geographical touchstones and recall.
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Hardrations
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   15/12/2009, 18:16

Stephen Winkelmann Kaserne was Fort Qu'Apple. Fort Beausejour was a former German Barracks, but defintetly not Winkelman Kaserne which was named after a German soldeir of WW 1 who destroyed quite a number of tanks on the western front. I remember some tanker types from Fort Beausejour tell me of a Russian POW cemetary near the fort that they would some times whack the fence around it with their tanks and get complaints from SOXMIS who kept an eye in it I guess. There were forced labour people from Russia, Poland, etc in Berg Altona. There is a display in the castle there on that subject. Fort Qu'Apple was taken over by the Cdn's in 68. First unit in there was 1 SSM Bty (my old unit) in the fall of 68. Now mostly gone as I looked at it in 2003. Just the Gym. as far as I could see.
It had some German Parachute outfits in it after the Canadians left.

If you Google Winklemann Kasserne you'll get the history
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   15/12/2009, 19:20

Thanks...my confusion over which forts were which Kasernes and became which British barracks is ongoing, I'm afraid :-)

At any rate, Fort Beausejour was in the area between Hemer and Iserlohn called Buchenwaldchen, just south of where BMH was. I thought it was formerly known as Winkelmann and then became that again under the Bundeswehr, but I could very easily be wrong on that.

In fact, about a year ago -- on this site I believe -- I went around and around with everyone about what became which and got myself so bloody confused. Clearly, the confusion is still there!

As for the Russian POW cemetery -- yes, that is the remnant of the Hemer stalag I was referring to.

I was also aware of forced labour at Altena (Altona being a different location -- Altena was reasonably close to Iserlohn and was the world's first youth hostel. My family and I visited Burg Altena quite often).

I also recall reading somewhere, not here, that Fort Qu'Appelle did have a Bundeswehr parachute unit move in, but I think that was after the British...both Beausejour and Qu'Appelle were transferred to the British in '71. My dad worked out of Qu'Appelle, which was closer in to Iserlohn proper than Beausejour which, technically as I recall, was east (?) of Iserlohn and in the municipal region of Hemer...but again, don't quote me on that as this stretch was heavily urbanized and it was difficult to see where Hemer ended and Iserlohn began...much like on the other side of Iserlohn where it blended into Letmathe.

Re the Hemer POW camp. I did stumble across some info, and pics of the cemetery, in a google search about a year and a half ago but could not tell from the photos exactly where the camp/cemetery were located, even though one could see what I assume was part of Hemer off in the background. As I recall, there were also a few older photos, contemporary ones I suppose, and those were really difficult to decipher re actual location.

What was shown as forested hillls with what I assume was the town of Hemer off in the distance in the old photos were, even by my time in Hemer, developed and built upon with the town having expanded considerably over previously forested land or open fields.

It is interesting that such history (i.e. POW camps, labour camps, etc.) was essentially unknown to us when we all lived over there. I don't know if it was consciously kept from us (certainly from us kids) or more a case of 'foreign' (i.e. us...non-Germans) families just going about our lives and not that tapped into local history.

Certainly some of us, my family especially, were keenly interested in history, but much of that was old history, not recent.

Those Germans we were friendly with weren't terribly forthcoming on different aspects of "recent" history (i.e. 3rd Reich stuff), understandably. Plus, of course, there was bit of a language barrier in many instances.

Given the large concentration of first Canadian then British troops in the region, and the heavy industrialization of Iserlohn (famous for ironworks and -- I suspect --munitions) Menden, etc, I'm half thinking we were specifically stationed there because the region was previously so heavily Nazified. Of course, again, getting that suspicion verified or clarified was something of a challenge!

It was even difficult to get much information on Klustenstein, that intriguing manor house perched 60metres up over the Hoennetal and accessible only from the road going in front of the camps at Deilinghofen and down into the Hoennetal. What info I have now I managed to glean several decades later off the Net -- and even that was a challenge and I still don't have much on it.
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   15/12/2009, 21:07

Just found this link as I was looking through other stuff to do with Hemer on the Net....

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stammlager_VI_A

This is the Hemer POW camp I've mentioned.
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   15/12/2009, 21:10

Might also be interested in this link

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bl%C3%BCcher-Kaserne_(Hemer)

so, Hardrations was correct (of course!!) -- it wasn't Winkelmann I was thinking of, but Bluecher. The pics on the Wikipedia site are very clearly that of what i knew to be Fort Beausejour.
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Number of posts : 45
Age : 73
Localisation : Stamford, Lincs
Cap Badge : RA
Places Served : Munsterlager, Dortmund, Bergen-Hohne, Larkhill, Celle, as well as NI (x4), Canada, Paris and Catterick
Registration date : 2008-08-15

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   16/12/2009, 07:38

The following link might also be of interest to those who wish to explore the subject of KZ and POW Camps generally.

http://www.ns-gedenkstaetten.de/portal/index.php
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Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   17/12/2009, 03:06

Quote from Stephen, "It is interesting that such history (i.e. POW camps, labour camps, etc.) was essentially unknown to us when we all lived over there. I don't know if it was consciously kept from us (certainly from us kids) or more a case of 'foreign' (i.e. us...non-Germans) families just going about our lives and not that tapped into local history." end quote.

In my last visit to Iserlohn in 2007 I noticed a few plaques down town in reference to the Jews and Nazi past. But as Steph mentions they weren't too forthcoming in the 60's when I was there. I attempted to date a young lady who worked in the Mens Kitichen in Fort P of W's. She explained to me that her dad was not a happy loser about WW 2 and I think there was some Nazi thinking in the old mans head. So we never got out for a coffee. Incidentaly she didn't work long in our kitchen as I imagine the old man felt that was giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   17/12/2009, 03:41

In recent years, several cities including Soest (which, I believe, had a Jewish District in around Osthofentorstrasse...there was certainly a Schule there and, if memory serves, a building that was once a synagogue) have placed bronze 'cobblestones' memorializing various local Jews who were "deported" (an euphemism for being sent to a concentration camp) in various parts of the town.

Given that Soest was an important mercantile centre, and a Hanseatic City, during the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, it would not be surprising there would be a significant Jewish population residing in Soest.

A few people I have corresponded with via a photosharing site who still live in Soest when I mentioned the possibility that Osthofentor may have been the "Jewish Ghetto" were quite surprised there were ever any Jews in Soest! Not after 1932 there wouldn't have been.....

A good friend of my Dad's, who had been a pilot during WWII and was at the time we knew him a member of the Hemer gliding club, had in his front room a large oak Reichadler (Nazi Eagle), complete with swastika, even though the swastika was -- and is -- illegal. The eagle was prominently displayed on the top of his Schranke and anybody who visited couldn't have missed it.

When I returned to work in Soest, which was Erich's hometown, I was experiencing difficulty in obtaining my work visa, without which I couldn't obtain a residence permit and without a residence permit, I couldn't obtain a work visa....German bureaucracy at it's finest!!!

Part of this was my own fault as I had grown impatient waiting for the German Consulate in Edmonton to process the paperwork and just headed off to Germany anyway...

Erich "pulled some strings" with some senior bureaucrats in Kreis Soest he had served with and -- wouldn't ya know it!! -- all the paperwork suddenly fell into place. Hmmmm....

Erich, of course, always maintained he was a simple airman and not part of the Nazi machine at all, although of course he would have had to have been a party member. I don't know if he was "a Nazi"....maybe he was and maybe he wasn't, I have no idea. The Reichsadler was merely a memento, he said. A huge one....damn thing must have stood 4 feet high!!!
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Paul
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Number of posts : 817
Age : 65
Localisation : Limavady, N.I.
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E.
Places Served : Arborfield (Basic training), S.E.M.E. Bordon (Trade training), Barnard Castle, Hemer, Belfast (Emergency Tour), Londonderry, Munster, Brunei, Hong Kong
Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   17/12/2009, 13:04

Stephen Lock wrote:
.....Erich "pulled some strings" with some senior bureaucrats in Kreis Soest he had served with and -- wouldn't ya know it!! -- all the paperwork suddenly fell into place. Hmmmm....

Stephen,

It exists everywhere. There, I would say that it was "das Netz der alten Jungen" Very Happy

Paul.
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   18/12/2009, 00:58

Hmmmm...my German is a tad rusty after 30-odd years of not using it except in conversations with myself (in my head!!! I haven't quite reached the point of having them out loud...yet....) and occasionally dream auf Deutsch but as far as I can figure "das Netz der alten Jungen" translates as the old boy's network (paraphrasing, of course).

Whatever the connections, and the history of them, might have been I was more than willing by then to take advantage of them!
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   19/12/2009, 22:40

You're not the only one Stephen. My buddy in Deilinghofen got schooling for Dental Tech. It was a restricted thing in those days to Nationals of German Citizen Ship. His father-in-law had the pull and used it.
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   21/12/2009, 18:58

See? Sometimes corruption in local politics can work in one's favour!! LOL And it didn't cost me a pfennig, either!!
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PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   22/12/2009, 10:21

Hardrations wrote:
You're not the only one Stephen. My buddy in Deilinghofen got schooling for Dental Tech. It was a restricted thing in those days to Nationals of German Citizen Ship. His father-in-law had the pull and used it.

His father had THE PULL. Ho ho its the way I tell em cheers
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 64
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   25/12/2009, 03:42

Chemist wrote:
Hardrations wrote:
You're not the only one Stephen. My buddy in Deilinghofen got schooling for Dental Tech. It was a restricted thing in those days to Nationals of German Citizen Ship. His father-in-law had the pull and used it.

His father had THE PULL. Ho ho its the way I tell em cheers

Rolling Eyes

Chemist, that is terrible!!! LOL

But I do appreciate good puns...."good puns"...hmmm...isn't that an oxymoron? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   25/12/2009, 11:18

Whose a moron Very Happy Smile Smile Very Happy
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ciphers
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Number of posts : 966
Age : 84
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   25/12/2009, 17:27

Oxy is ... didn't you read the 'e' mail ..

Len (Ciphers)
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PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   25/12/2009, 17:47

Can't find Oxy on the members list Wink Rolling Eyes Wink
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ciphers
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Number of posts : 966
Age : 84
Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   26/12/2009, 17:05

Moron !!!!

Len (Ciphers)
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PostSubject: Re: Hemer POW Camp   27/12/2009, 10:36

Touche mon ami rendeer cherry albino
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