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Wednesday 12th May 2021  

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Card from Quorn Prisoner of War Camp to Germany, 18th May 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 in 1944 by the American 82nd Airborne Division, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

The card below was sent by Klaus Never, a Lieutenant in the German army, on 18th May 1947, to his friend Gerhard Hauschild at 12 The Market, Marburg / Lahn (a small city in Hessen) in the American zone of Germany (later West Germany). It was acquired by Sue Templeman, but despite trying, it took several years to find anyone to translate it, as the writing is so incredibly small! In February 2021 this task was undertaken by Jennie and Wolfgang Gürth, Jennie originally came from Quorn. The message reads:

My dear Gerd!
Thank you warmly for your card with the Whitsun greetings. Also thank you from Schorsch and Willy who are both looking at their last days as prisoners of war. Schorsch is leaving here on the 28th May and Willy on the 3rd June to go to the repatriation camp. You can imagine how immensely happy both of them are. Knab, Sittenfeld, Kindler, Neuffer, Migeot, Link and others also go. Rossacha went some days ago as ‘A’ to Germany. Captain Hesselbarth has arranged to go six months later. Things like that still happen. Gehrcke, Koch and Kessebaum are still ‘C+’ despite being interrogated again. Knöringer was ‘B’ at the follow-up interrogation in camp 165 - so was Captain Krätschmar. If Marc Thielmann has made it, I don’t know. But I reckon he did. We haven’t heard for a long time from Major Zinsmeister. He wrote once that he expects to be repatriated soon (probably ‘A’). Neubacher wrote also. He is working again in his old sawmill. Not as the operations manager but as a plank stacker. But he is feeling well despite everything and never loses his humour. Krause hasn’t been in touch. There isn’t any more news.

We are playing fistball [similar to volleyball] again a lot. Otherwise we can have a lot of walks in this really beautiful area. A relatively high percentage are befriended/offered hospitality by the civilians here. Very often these are very warm relationships. Knab has been going to different families for weeks and is very successful in getting stuff from them. A while ago he came back with a massive hangover. That happens when you are not used to having alcohol. The three of us naturally didn’t have any luck so far.

I have asked to volunteer as a lumberjack and tractor driver at the British zone and so I have a little hope to get home this year. But will that happen? My group’s turn will be after Christmas. By the way, I am learning Russian at the moment. What do you say to that? It gives me a lot of fun. Obviously it’s even harder than Greek.

In your last letter you asked how my father was. My mother got to know through somebody who came back from the Concentration camp that he is now a prisoner of war and is sitting at a desk writing in the infirmary. After what this person told her too, there is the prospect of him getting released in May. Hope for the best.

I already wrote to you that my mother is back living in our house. My brother is holding his outpatient clinic there with a waiting room. Three quarters of the house is taken over with that. If it happens that I go home there will surely be some conflict because of that. But until then, many things can change. With Schorsch and Inge there is something wrong too. He will write back to you from Rosenheim and extensively explain after he has cleared this situation. We also have to wait and see what will happen to Willy and his wife. When he gets back home this will all become clear. Have you visited Schreier’s wife at your border crossing? As well as that the brother of one of the officers who are imprisoned here wrote a letter from Wismar saying that it is expected that men between the ages of 18 and 40 will have to join the army. Have you heard about that? I’m still not so sure whether I should go over or not. Now dear Gerd, Schorsch, Willy and I wish you for your study and the clearing of your circumstances, all the best. You will soon hear from Schorsch and Willy, from their homeland.

Schorsch, Willy and Helmuth Knab who will soon turn up near to you, also send their warm greetings.
Take the warmest wishes and greetings from me.
Your Klaus.


The message contains a lot of detail and gives a very personal insight into how Klaus, and therefore probably other POWs, were feeling. It is interesting to also note:
- Klaus has two close friends; Schorsch (George) and Willy and they were to be released shortly. It was 1948 before all Quorn POWs were repatriated.
- Klaus makes reference to the grades or categories of German prisoners. German POWs in England were graded: ‘A’ - anti-Nazi, ‘B’ - had less clear feelings and were considered not as reliable as ‘A’, ‘C’ - had probable Nazi leanings and ‘C+’ - ardent Nazis. These categories seem to have been determined at a ‘base camp’ before prisoners were moved. Quorn was classed as a ‘Standard Camp’, designed to hold low risk prisoners.
- The two sectors of Germany, ie West and East, came into force very quickly after the war and were firmly established by 1947. Klaus seems to have connections on both sides and is trying to decide whether to go to the West or East. The letter he refers to is from Wismar, which was in East Germany, but fairly near the border, and less than 80 miles from Hamburg (in the West).


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 Submitted on: 2021-02-26
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman, translated by Jennie and Wolfgang Gürth
 Artefact ID: 2438
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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