- Contributed by
- Location of story:
- Bad Nenndorf CSDIC Centre, Germany
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 25 August 2005
I saw your programme on Bad Nenndorf a few days ago - and frankly did not recognise this as the place in which I worked from July 1945 to August 1946.
A Jewish refugee from Germany whom his parents sent to the UK in time to escape the Holocaust I "graduated" from being a "friendly enemy alien" who was nevertheless interned for some 3 months in 1940 to volunteering for the Forces and being naturalised after serving for 6 years.
I switched from the Pioneer Corps to Intelligence in 1943. With the rank of WO II I was one of a team of about 20 sent out by CSDIC Beaconsfield to continue to obtain information from senior German military personnel (incl generals of various grades). Our initial interest in army and air force developments especially prior to D-Day switched to such matters as Peenemünde and rocket development, as well as nuclear research. This work was done largely in Beaconsfield, but also at a smaller station in North London for at least two years to my own knowledge. It probably went back longer, because I only joined in 1943.
In Bad Nenndorf we included interrogation on possible German resistance groups (Werwolf) and once the Soviet Union had been declared a "spy target" in autumn 1945, any information relevant in that sense. As in the UK this was done mainly by listening to prisoners' conversations and recording any of military/intelligence interest, though there was some direct interrogation
Our prisoners were kept in relative comfort, their meals were on a level with ours, though alcohol and, I believe, tobacco were not allowed. None was ever sent to a punishment cell of the kind shown in your programme nor tortured.
Whilst I recognised the corridor in the main building, shown in your transmission, as being the one along which I had occasionally walked to an interrogation room, the remaining pictures of a punishment camp were not at all familiar. It is true that BAOR took over the whole of the village and that this was surrounded by barbed wire. On the other hand I visited the place a few weeks ago and the village/small town has grown beyond recognition. Our group was basically only aware of and lived close to the main spa building (Kurhaus) which I recognised when I saw it again. I cannot, of course, say anything about conditions in other restricted areas nor about what happened in the units under Col. Stevens command, since we were practically autonomous. But I do think the programme needed to be less one sided.
Perhaps this contribution is more of a letter to the editor than a story as such. If you are interested in my more general wartime experiences, please let me know.
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