HC Deb 13 February 1945 vol 408 cc51-2W
Sir A. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for War if he has yet been able to ascertain from the Soviet Government whether any British prisoners of war confined in German camps in Poland and Eastern Germany have been liberated during the advance of the Red Army.

Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) how many British prisoners of war camps were situated in liberated Poland, East Prussia, Silesia, Brandenburg and Saxony, respectively; and whether he can impart any information as to the numbers of British prisoners of war kept in the main camps there;

(2) what steps have been taken to secure the well-being of liberated British prisoners of war and their return to this country; whether British commissions are working with the staffs of the advancing Red Armies in Germany; and, if so, what is the size and authority of these commissions.

Sir J. Grigg

Twelve camps, whose numbers are given below, have either been overrun by the Soviet Forces or are in their direct path. There were about 60,000 prisoners from the British Commonwealth in these camps. It is clear that the Germans intended to move the prisoners from these camps to Central Germany and considerable transfers have taken place. The men are apparently moved on foot by daily stages of between 12 and 18 miles. It is likely, however, that many have been overtaken by the Soviet Forces. The arrangements made with the Soviet authorities were outlined in a reply given by my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward) on 6th February, and my hon. Friends will no doubt have seen the text of the comprehensive agreement about the repatriation of prisoners of war now in German hands which is published in this morning's papers. Some scores of names of British ex-prisoners have so far been picked up from the Lublin radio. Next-of-kin are being informed.

Following are the camps:

  • Stalag IIB.
  • Stalag IID.
  • Stalag IIIB.
  • Stalag IIIC.
  • Stalag 344.
  • Stalag VIIIB.
  • Stalag VIIIC.
  • Stalag XXA.
  • Stalag XXB.
  • Stalag Luft III.
  • Stalag Luft IV.
  • Stalag Luft VII.