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Sunday 7th March 2021  

Card from Quorn Prisoner of War Camp to Germany, 17th April 1947

Quorn POW camp was based in the grounds of Quorn House, with the entrance on Wood Lane, where Northage Close is today. This site had been occupied earlier in the war by the American 82nd Airborne Division, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

The card below was sent by Heinz Schütt who was a German prisoner of war in the camp. He sent the card in April 1947 to his mother Mrs Gertrud Schütt in Hamburg. After an appeal on Facebook the card was translated. It reads:

My dear Mum and Marga,
In theory, today would sadly be my repatriation day, that means that today the comrades with whom I experienced and suffered my time with as a pseudo war prisoner go home. Although it is a funny emotion, but with some teeth grinding, one will get over it. I hope to all the good gods, that you can do something for me. Furthermore, on the 17th May, it is the second anniversary of the day we voluntarily went towards England to deliver our boats and in spite of opposite promises we still sit here today as a mockery to all international agreements. So, full stop.

The following goods I have sent to you:
- 30 pieces of flint stone, [the small flints used in cigarette lighters and other lighters.]
- 2 pieces of tartar, [probably toothpaste or tooth powder]
- 3 pairs of shoelaces,
- 5 packets of shampoo,
- 2 combs,
- 10 envelopes,
- Some used elastic strap
- 2 big white hand towels.
I would gladly have sent more but the boys also have to look after themselves. I hope everything arrives all right. Flints are highly valued. Last mail from you dates 28/3. These goods can’t be with you before the middle or end of May.
Kind greetings,
Your Heinz


Also after the Facebook appeal, Shawn Sanders wrote:

This card was written by Oberleutnant zur See Heinz Schütt, commander of U-Boat U-294.
U-294 was intercepted by the 9th Escort Group of the Royal Canadian Navy on 15th May 1945, whilst in transit between Skjomenfjord and Trondheim, and officially capitulated at that time. She was then ordered to Loch Eriboll, Scotland, arriving on 19th May 1945, and thence to Loch Alsh on the 20th May. The crew would have been taken into captivity there. This is consistent with the statement that 17th May will be the second anniversary of the day they “voluntarily moved towards England (sic) to deliver our boats”.
Heinz was born on the 24th November 1915 at Harburg in Hamburg and died on 12th November 1969.

The message gives small but poignant insight into how Heinz, and therefore probably other POWs were feeling. It is interesting to also note:
- It was two years after the war and Germany had simply not been in a position to repatriate all of its POWs. It sounds as if Heinz expected to get repatriated sooner, but it had been delayed. The last POWs didn't leave Quorn until 1948.
- The reference to 'pseudo war prisoner' is thought to mean that although they were technically POWs the war had ended, or it could mean that they were not actually taken prisoner until after the war had ended.
- Even during the war many POWs had no appetite to escape and were allowed some freedom. It sounds as if by this stage, ie after the war, Heinz was earning money and therefore able to send the goods he mentions over to his mother.


   
 missing information Missing information: Can anyone possibly translate this into English?
Please email us at: team2021@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2021-02-21
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman, thanks also to Jennie Gürth, Wolfgang Gürth, Medea Bindewald and Shawn Sanders.
 Artefact ID: 2436

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