Holzminden internment camp

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Holzminden internment camp was a large World War I detention camp (Internierungslager) located on the outskirts of Holzminden, Lower Saxony, Germany, which existed from 1914 to 1918. It held up to 10,000 civilian internees from allied nations.

It is not to be confused with Holzminden prisoner-of-war camp, a much smaller camp for British and British Empire officers, which occupied a former cavalry barracks nearer the centre of the town, and which existed from September 1917 to December 1918.

The camp[edit]

The camp contained approximately 120 huts, and was surrounded by a perimeter fence dominated by watchtowers. It was made up of two compounds, one for men, and one for about 500 women and children. During the day, the women and children were allowed to enter the main compound.[1]

The inmates mainly comprised Polish, Russian, Belgian and French nationals, many of the French being from Alsace-Lorraine; and later Serbians and Romanians. Among them was the Belgian historian, Henri Pirenne; and the Belgian courtier, Count Charles John d'Oultremont.[2] A small number of British internees were also held, including five stewardesses from the Great Eastern Railway ferry SS Brussels.[3]

Although conditions in the camp were harsh, inmates were able to receive mail and food parcels. They developed their own communal facilities, including a "university", chapels, a school for the children, a café, and a photographic studio. Theatrical performances and concerts were held.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steuer 2009.
  2. ^ Le Vingtième Siècle, 21 December 1917.
  3. ^ Stanley, Jo (July 2012). "Captured by Germans: WWI women seafarers". 


External links[edit]