Paul Priem

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Paul Priem
Born 11 March 1893
Posen, Imperial Germany
Died 2 August 1943(1943-08-02) (aged 50)
Leipzig, Nazi Germany
Allegiance  German Empire
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Freikorps
Years of service ?1914–1919
Rank Captain
Commands held Security Officer, Oflag IV-C (1939–1943)
Battles/wars World War I
Greater Polish Uprising
World War II
Other work Teaching

Paul Priem (born 11 March 1893 in Posen, Imperial Germany; died 2 August 1943 in Leipzig, Nazi Germany) was a German officer in the Wehrmacht during World War II and a noted member of the German staff at the Colditz Castle POW camp.

During the Greater Poland Uprising of 1918–1919, he fought against the Polish insurrection as a second-lieutenant in the Freikorps. During the 1930s, he was a school headmaster in Leipzig until called up for active service in 1939.

He was subsequently given the post as the Security Officer at Colditz Castle and was known to the prisoners as being one of the more jovial of the Germans; Pat Reid, a successful POW escapee, said he "possessed a rare quality among Germans - a sense of humour".[1] Priem's heavy drinking, however, meant he was called before a medical board and found to be unfit for active service. He returned to teaching, and died from the effects of his drinking in August 1943.


  1. ^ P.R. Reid, MBE, MC, Colditz: The Colditz Story & The Latter Days of Colditz, Coronet, 1985, p. 74