Work Camp Edling-Spittal

Date of visit: 29 August 1941

Location: Edling-Spittal

Man of Confidence: Sergeant Major G Jory

Number of men: 72

This camp is situated close to Stalag XVIIIB. The prisoners work on a new automobile road. They work from 7.00 am to 12.00 noon and from 1.00 pm to 6.00 pm, in all ten hours a day. Saturday afternoon and Sunday are free. The work is stated not to be too hard or dangerous.

The prisoners are lodged in former 'Arbeitsdienst' barracks situated close to the work place. They are living about 20 in each room furnished with double tier steel beds, cupboards, tables and chairs. Each man had two blankets. They use the dormitories also as sitting rooms as there is no dining room or recreation room.

There is a special wash and shower room and warm showers are provided twice a week. The latrine of the pit type was kept in good order.

The kitchen is also used for preparing food for the civilian workers employed in the same work. The food for the prisoners is, however, prepared separately. The food was stated by the prisoners to be 'not too bad'. It was stated by the German camp leader that the prisoners receive the additional food ration given to 'heavy workers', and that they usually could have two portions of every meal if they wanted it. The meat ration was stated to be about 600 grams per man per week and the bread ration 500 grams per day.

A man belonging to the British sanitary personnel is situated in this camp. The health conditions were said to be good.

The prisoners had as yet received only one uniform, one pair of underwear and one pair of shoes. For washing the prisoners had been able to buy some soap in the canteen. It was, however, stated that the monthly soap ration which is issued free of charge, has been ordered.

Working pay of RM 4.20 is paid regularly once a week.

The canteen used by the civilian workers as well as by the prisoners was rather well stocked with toilet articles, pipes, etc. Beer is seldom provided but lemonade is for sale. Each man can buy up to 150 French cigarettes per month at a price of 2.5 Rpf a piece.

The free space inside the fences is rather small for real exercise. A court for volley tennis had however been arranged. The Embassy representatives suggested that it ought to be possible for the prisoners to be taken for a walk on Sundays outside the camp and the accompanying officers promised to try to arrange this. There were no books, playing cards or games. It was promised that some playing cards would be provided in the canteen. Wishes for musical instruments were expressed. There is no religious activity.

So far the prisoners have been allowed to send four post cards or letters a month. One Red Cross parcel for each man has already arrived from the base camp.

The small camp unit is not bad, and when mail, parcels, books etc. start to arrive, these prisoners will probably be quite satisfied with the conditions in the camp.