1943 POW Camp Christmas Menu

Contributed by Bubar

1943 POW Camp Christmas Menu

This is a Christmas menu from the Rotenburg POW camp (Oflag IX/AZ) in Germany, where my father was held prisoner. It covers the days from Christmas Eve 1943 to New Year's Day 1944, and is beautifully produced in bright colours.

In case the image is too small for the menu to be read, on Christmas Day, the meals consisted of porridge and eggs for breakfast, cold corned beef for lunch, and steak and onions and Christmas pudding for dinner.

Of course, this was far from the normal diet. When my father returned to the UK, he was skin and bone. He never really recovered, and died in 1948.

There are many humorous cartoon characters around the edge of the menu. For example, fresh vegetables are represented by a lecherous old onion dancing suggestively with a slim young female leek, and stewed fruit shows a couple of pears that are slightly the worse for wear and propping each other up, and so on.

The menu appears to be printed and, whilst I am not surprised that the skills were available, I am surprised that there was access to a printing press, which might have enabled prisoners to produce forged papers. No doubt the whole process was very strictly controlled.

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Rotenburg, Germany


1943, on 20th December


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