How to research German WWII prisoners of war in British captivity?

How do I get German POW records?

Contact the German Federal Archives (for German PoWs) and Ministero della Difesa (for Italian PoWs). Try searching for details of British PoW camps in local archives around the UK. You may also find it useful to contact a local history group.

How were German prisoners of war treated in the UK?

The experiences of these prisoners differed in certain important respects from those of captured German servicemen held by other nations. The treatment of the captives, though strict, was generally humane, and fewer prisoners died in British captivity than in other countries.

Where can I find ww2 POW records?

The National Archives has an online searchable database. This series, part of Record Group 389, has information about U.S. military officers and soldiers and U.S. civilians and some Allied civilians who were prisoners of war and internees.

Where were German prisoners of war kept?

From 1942 through 1945, more than 400,000 Axis prisoners were shipped to the United States and detained in camps in rural areas across the country. Some 500 POW facilities were built, mainly in the South and Southwest but also in the Great Plains and Midwest.

How many German POWs were held in the UK?

POWs in post-war Britain

In 1946, the year after the end of World War Two, more than 400,000 German prisoners of war (POWs) were still being held in Britain, with POW camps on the outskirts of most towns.

What happened to German POWs after World war 2?

After World War II, German prisoners were taken back to Europe as part of a reparations agreement. They were forced into harsh labor camps. Many prisoners did make it home in 18 to 24 months, Lazarus said. But Russian camps were among the most brutal, and some of their German POWs didn’t return home until 1953.

Where were the German POW camps in the UK?

The camps where the PoWs were imprisoned have largely (but not all) disappeared. At one time hundreds of them were spread across the UK. The best known was Island Farm in Wales – scene of a ‘great escape’ in 1945, with some German POWs getting as far as Birmingham and Southampton.

When were the last German POWs released?


By 1950 almost all surviving POWs had been released, with the last prisoner returning from the USSR in 1956. According to Soviet records 381,067 German Wehrmacht POWs died in NKVD camps (356,700 German nationals and 24,367 from other nations).

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