For sale is a Large rare 22nd January 1918 Dated WW1 German Prisoner Of War Poster. The poster is for the Holzminden prisoner-of-war Camp which was under the control of Armeekorps X, and under the command of general v Hanisch in 1917 9th may in Hannover and then was taken over by Kommander Thiemig in 22.01.1918. There were two camps side by side the Holzminden internment camp and the Holzminden Prisoner of war camp which held brits, french, Russians, polish and Belgium’s. The camp held between 500 and 600 officer prisoners. There were also approximately 100–160 other ranks prisoners, designated orderlies: these men acted as servants to the officers and performed other menial tasks around the camp. The camps of X Corps came under the authority of General Karl von Hänisch, who encouraged a harsh regime. From the outset, numerous officer prisoners attempted to escape from the camp. Techniques included cutting through the perimeter fence, and walking through the gates disguised as German guards, civilian workers, or (on at least one occasion) a woman. Many of these escapes were successful in the first instance, but virtually all escapers were recaptured within a matter of days.
The largest and most celebrated escape was that made through a tunnel, on the night of 23/24 July 1918. The tunnel had been under excavation for some nine months. Its entrance was concealed under a staircase in the orderlies' quarters in Kaserne B. As officers were forbidden to enter the orderlies' quarters, in the early months the excavators had to reach it by disguising themselves in orderlies' uniforms. At a later stage, a secret access door between the officers' and orderlies' quarters was created in the attic. Eighty-six officers were on the list of those waiting to escape but, on the night, the tunnel partially collapsed on the thirtieth man, leading to the abandonment of the enterprise. Of the twenty-nine who did escape, ten succeeded in making their way to the neutral Netherlands and eventually back to Britain. Among them was Colonel Charles Rathborne, the Senior British Officer in the camp, who – on account of his good German – was able to travel by rail without arousing suspicion, and managed to cross the Dutch border after only five days. The other escapers travelled on foot, and most took at least 14 days.
The poster measures 64cm Height x 46cm width. History of the pow camp can be seen underneath the translation.
A rough translation of the poster can be seen below:
Poster title: “service”
Left top corner: “Deputy General Command X Army Corps Dept .: Abwehr B. No. 5936.”
Right top corner: “Hanover, May 9, 1917”
Subtitle: “I hereby open all prisoners of war assigned to my corps division, as the wars of war apply to all prisoners of war until the end of the war. “
Under subtitle: “The commanding general. signed V. Hänisch General of the Infantry. Soltau, January 22, 1918.”
Centre title and paragraph:
“Affirmation. The laws of war apply to all prisoners of war until the end of the war. 1. To refrain from any harm in terms of what is clearly good and clearly economic. Jusbejondere is forbidden to them; lmntu economic, industrial or fifty borrowings, ore casts, majchins, fruits on the field, fruit yams of every kind, cattle, or anything that was determined or suitable for the consumption of the German war economy and for the nourishment of the dentjchen Bolfes or to destroy. 2 Address an incoming request for damage to agricultural, industrial or voluntary operations to report jojort and uuauf- gciorbert to the nearest available German borrower or Bachtmann, auxiliary guard or employer. Qic iluct to hand over materials and tools of all kinds handled by any side, for example, immediately and unsolicited to the perjoneu specified under 2. 3 very borrowings and any borrowing from agricultural, industrial or fusty farms. Signed the commander Thiemig. “
The next four bits have been done in French, British, Russian and polish all meaning the same for each of the nationalities taken as a prisoner of war:
Protection order no.5936 9./5. 1917
“Order of Service. I hereby announce to all Prisoners of War under my Command that for all Prisoners of War the Law Of War is in force until the End of the War. Soltau, 22d. of January 1918. Command. The law of war is in force for all prisoners of war until the end of the war. Ward Order N. 5936 9.5. 1917. Command.
Command. Prisoners of War are hereby commanded: 1. To leave alone any damaging of German goods and German economy. Especially they are forbidden to damage or to destroy: Agricultural, industrial or any other Provisions, Produces, Engines, Fruits on the field, Fruit Seeds of any kind, Cattle or any other things used or suitable for the use of the German War Management and for the support of the German population. To announce any order to damage any agricultural, industrial or any other works at once and without being asked to do so to the nearest German commander or watchman, assistant-watchman or employee that can be reached. To deliver at once and without being asked to do so to the persons named under 2 all materials and tools of any kind that have been handed to them by anybody for doing damage. To announce at once and without being asked to do so to the persons named under 2 and to those persons who are in danger through the crime any preparation to damage agricultural, industrial or any other works by other ones as soon as they get knowledge of it. 1. 2. The Commandant signed thiemig.”
Holzminden prisoner-of-war camp was a World War I prisoner-of-war camp for British and British Empire officers (Offizier Gefangenenlager) located in Holzminden, Lower Saxony, Germany. It opened in September 1917, and closed with the final repatriation of prisoners in December 1918. It is remembered as the location of the largest PoW escape of the war, in July 1918: 29 officers escaped through a tunnel, of whom ten evaded subsequent recapture and managed to make their way back to Britain.
There are some very noteable/ famous people that were held captive here including a number of ww1 Victoria cross winners these men include:
Edward Donald Bellew, VC (1882–1961), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, awarded the Victoria cross for: During the Second Battle of Ypres, a mass attack on the Canadian line developed on the morning of Saturday 24 April 1915 near Kerselaere, Belgium. The Canadians were suffering heavy casualties. The advance of the enemy was temporarily stayed by Lieutenant Bellew, the battalion machine-gun officer, who had two guns in action on high ground when the enemy's attack broke in full force. The reinforcements sent forward having been destroyed, and with the enemy less than 100 yards (91 m) away and no further assistance in sight, Bellew and a Sergeant Peerless decided to fight it out. The sergeant was killed and Bellew wounded. Nevertheless, he maintained his fire until his ammunition failed, when he seized a rifle, smashed his machine-gun and, fighting to the last, was taken prisoner.
On 31 May 1916, during the Battle of Jutland off Denmark, Commander Bingham was in command of a destroyer division. He led his division in their attack, first on enemy destroyers and then on the battle cruisers of the German High Seas Fleet. Once the enemy was sighted Bingham ordered his own destroyer, HMS Nestor, and the one remaining destroyer of his division, HMS Nicator, to close to within 2,750 meters of the opposing battle fleet so that he could bring his torpedoes to bear. While making this attack Nestor and Nicator were under concentrated fire of the secondary batteries of the German fleet and Nestor was subsequently sunk. For his actions, Bingham earned the Victoria Cross, one of relatively few awarded for naval bravery during World War I. Bingham was picked up by the Germans at Jutland, and remained a prisoner of war (latterly at Holzminden) until the Armistice. After the war, he remained with the Royal Navy and retired as a Rear Admiral in 1932. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Bingham died in 1939 and is buried in the Golders Green cemetery in northwest London.
This is a excellent piece of history, with such an impressive record! Tons of research to be done and it really is one of the most interesting and rarest pieces I’ve had! This is in good condition for its age, several odd small rips around the sides, but otherwise in great condition for its age! Some of the information from 1917 have been covered over with white alterations for 1918 (but if you shine a light through the back you can still see what they say! This really is a true collectors piece and very very little posters still exist today if not any! Guaranteed original or money back guaranteed. This will be sent 1st class signed for and dispatched within two to three working day’s.
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