New London Olympic site was once a POW camp for Germans

June 20th, 2010 - 7:00 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 20 (ANI): Britain’s new Olympic site was once a prisoner of war camp for captured Germans including members of the SS and Nazi U-Boat crews.

A Sunday Express report revealed that hundreds of German PoWs were held at the east London site during and after the Second World War.

It quotes National Archive documents as saying that they were detained in huts in Carpenters Road, Stratford, just a few hundred yards from where competitors will bed down in the Athletes’ Village in two years’ time.

It was known as Camp 30 and was operational until 1948, when most German prisoners were deemed safe to return home.

The file details a series of inspection reports carried out by Foreign Office officials from 1945-48.

The inspectors had been ordered to assess the mood, morale and the “re-education” of the Nazi captives before deciding whether they could be repatriated back to their homeland.

The documents show that despite being held in the heart of the Blitz-ravaged East End, the prisoners were warmly welcomed by local civilians.

Their orchestra was invited to play in nearby Leyton public gardens, they played football against local club sides and were welcomed at council meetings in nearby Chingford.

During December 1947, many were even drafted in to work at local post offices to help with the Christmas rush.

The camp was one of more than 600 in Britain. (ANI)

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