Friederichsfeld prisoner of war camp, 13 december 1917

Heiss, Clement

Number 78.G.S.G.G.G. Barak 8a


An old letter sent from the POW camp Friederichsfeld near Wessel (Rhineland). The nurse Clement Heiss, writes to his nephew J. Ch. Rousc in Paris in “unoccupied” France. The Nurse is tired of the war and hopes that the year 1918 will be better. He has partly been proved right as the war in 1918 was over. Just a part from a  letter. A letter like so many from this terrible war. From Friederichfeld, Friederichsfeld near Wessel in the Rhineland (later French territory until Hitler occupied the Rhineland again)

The camp Friederichsfeld was a prisoner of war camp for soldiers, of various nationalities. A camp that was built around 1870 for French prisoners (Prussian war). At that time ther were about 10.000 French soldiers imprisoned of which 248 died. During the First World War around 620 prisoners died there. In 1916 the prisoners erected a monument in the camp, with the help of the military administration. This monument (war) stood in the middle of the cemetery. Years later most of the dead were reburied in their country of origin. The camp was disbanded after the First World War and bought by a “settlement” company to make it a civil residence. During the Second World War part of the troops depot was used to house mainly forced labourers from the Ukraine. During this time ther are about 352 people buried including 99 babies, who were born in captivity. The prisoners died under poor conditions of infection and malnutrition.