Conditions at Stalag 13D, where POWs stayed for 2 months, were deplorable. The barracks originally built to house delegates to the Nazi party gatherings at the shrine city. There was no room to exercise, no supplies, nothing to eat out of and practically nothing to eat inasmuch as no Red Cross food parcels were available upon the Americans' arrival. The German ration consisted of 300 grams of bread, 250 grams of potatoes, some dehydrated vegetables and a little margarine. After the first week, sugar was not to be had and soon the margarine supply was exhausted. After 3 weeks, and in answer to an urgent request, 4,000 Red Cross food parcels arrived from Dulag Luft, Wetzlar.
Shortly thereafter, the Swiss came to make arrangements for sending parcels in American convoy, and soon Red Cross parcels began to arrive in GI (Red Cross) trucks. Throughout this period, large numbers of American POWs were pouring into camp - 1,700 from Stalag Luft 4, 150 a day from Dulag Luft and finally some men from Oflag 64. Sanitation was lamentable. The camp was infested with lice, fleas and bedbugs. 3,000 men each with only 2 filthy German blankets, slept on the bare floors. Toilet facilities during the day were satisfactory, but the only night latrine was a can in each sleeping room. Since many men were afflicted with diarrhea, the can had an insufficient capacity. Showers were available once every 2 weeks. Barracks were not heated. Only 200 kilograms of coal were provided for cooking.
With the exception of about 500 prisoners, who were too sick or wounded to move (along with a medical personnel, clergy and medical orderlies), the camp was emptied by the following evening. This final contingent departed for Nuremburg on February 6 (Durand: Stalag Luft 3, the Secret Story). Between February 2nd and February 10th, each compound in its turn, came by boxcar to Nuremburg 13D or Mooseburg (J.F. Jones: Wartime story of Francis Joseph Morrisey).
T/Sgt. Clarence Guider (376BG, a prisoner since July 1943) was a savvy Kriegie put in charge of the men from B compound of Stalag Luft 4. On February 9, they joined the cadre of Luft 3 as the struggle began to organize the camp and make it functional. Officers and enlisted were housed in separate quarters and parallel leadership was enforced. (Greg Hatton @ B24.net)
Excerpts from documents in "Kriegies on the March" by T/sgt. Henry Showalter
Nurnburg (Langwasser) Germany
Camp # 5
Subject: Arrival, Organization and Camp Control of Camp #5, Stalag Luft 5
To who it may concern:
Note: this report, submitted in the form of a diary, is an account of the actual functioning of camp #5; details are thoroughly gone into, but reference is given to the various departments where a detailed and itemized account can be secured.
January 31, 1945: at 0800 orders were given to a contingent of 1481 enlisted men and one American medical officer (ed. note Capt. Kingston) to prepare to evacuate Lager B, Stalag Luft 4, by rail. The American Man of Confidence of Stalag Luft 4, T/sgt. Frank Paules, appointed T/sgt. Clarence Guider, POW # 80196 to act as man of confidence of said contingent. T/sgt. Guider appointed T/sgt. Joseph Pacolt, as interpreter.
During the course of the entire trip, the men suffered extremely from deprivation and especially from the lack of water. No one was allowed to leave the train during the trip under any circumstances with the exception of the medical officer (ed. note: Capt. Kingston) and T/sgt. Guider, who made periodical checks of the men, Major complaints were stomach disorders.
February 4, 1945: At approximately 14:00 Sgt. Ignatius Catania, ASN unknown, POW # 2956, expired. The deceased was attended by the American Medical officer, but due to the conditions that prevailed, the exact cause of death could not be ascertained. Internment of the deceased was taken entirely out of the hands of T/sgt. Guider by the German railway authorities of the city of Stettin, Provence of Pommern, who promised a full military funeral with chaplain and attendants.
February 9, 1945: Arrived at Stalag 13d, report made immediately to Senior American officer. All details immediately forwarded to Geneva, received 89 new men, camp strength 1569. Complete organization of camp staffs and departments set into action. Blankets received by Germans.
February 10, 1945: Met with German Lager staff
February 14, 1945: Meeting with Senior American Officer, Col. Darr H. Alkire, Col. Jenkins appointed commanding Officer Camp #5 with Major Haltom as adjutant. Received 2 new men. Strength 1645 American 79 British. Shortages in salt and coffee.
(Entries continue until March 29, 1945)
S/Sgt. Henry M. Showalter POW 80537
NCO's Forced March from Stalag Luft 3 (13D) Nurnberg to Stalag 7A Mooseburg
T/Sgt. Clarence Guider as written by Sgt. Henry Showalter
(Courtesy of George Lilja 305 BG PW# 1054)
The following is a detailed account of incidents occurring during a forced march from Luft 3 to Stalag 7A Mooseburg.
April 4, 1945: left Nurnberg at 12:45; total strength 1702 men (ed. note: NCO's) marched 26 KM; slept in barns at Polling. (ed. note: column strafed by P-47s possibly 3 casualties)
April 5,1945: Marched form Polling to Neumarkt; received ration of bread and soup; marched 10 KM for day; slept in forest.
April 6, 1945: Started marching at 3:00 a.m. Berching, next town received ½ English parcel and issue of bread; marched to Pauleshofen, slept in barns for the night..... marched 28.5 KM for the day.
April 7, 1945: Rest at Pauleshofen; bread and soup issued.
April 8, 1945: Marched from Pauleshofen to Mindelstettin, count on march 1557, marched 23 KM.
April 9, 1945: Bread issue at Mindelstettin; left 65 men behind to be picked up by Red Cross trucks. Marched to Siegensburg; received ½ Belgian RC parcel; marched to Neiderummersdorf (sp?); slept in barns; 50men taken by RC trucks to Mooseburg.
April 10, 1945: received 1/7 Red Cross parcel extra issue. Marched 19 KM to Holzenhausen; slept in barns; left 6 men behind due to illness.
April 11-12, 1945: days of rest, strength 1416.
April 13, 1945: marched from Holzenhausen to Gammelsdorf, 12 KM for a day; stood taps for President Roosevelt; received bread and ½ French parcel. T/sgt. C.H. guider resigned as Camp Leader; S.Sgt. Henry Showalter assumed duties.
April 14-15, 1945: marched 10.5 KM from Gammelsdorf to Mooseburg; arrived at Stalag 7A at 1pm; strength 1410.
April 17, 1945: T/sgt. Guider resigned as Lager Leader. S/sgt. Henry Showalter assumed duties as lagar leader; Camp registration and finger printing. Barracks leaders meeting results: approval of S/sgt. Henry Showalter as Camp Leader (ed. note NCO's). 1/6 English parcel per man....
April 18, 1945: 43 new men added to strength, also received 597 men from camp 4 Luft 3, arrived at 17:45. Total strength 2050.