Elfriede was an office worker at Stalag VIIIB/344 Lamsdorf from 1942 until her evacuation in January 1945.
She wrote about her experiences in her book ‘Erlebnisbericht von Elfriede Hannak’ (Experience report by Elfriede Hannak).
CLICK HERE to see a pdf of her book, in English.
CLICK HERE to see a pdf of her book, in German.
Many thanks to Guy Dirkin for supplying these.
The translated excerpt below is from page 61 and describes the arrival at Lamsdorf of POWs who were captured at Dieppe:
Summer 1942! A goods train full of prisoners had arrived from the channel coast. The battle for Dieppe had been fought to our advantage and many allied prisoners were being brought here. Now they were standing on the small railway station waiting to move off into the POW camp. All our available personnel, soldiers, had been summoned to ensure a speedy and trouble free processing through searching and registration. Our barracks was half empty with only the civilian employees, female typists and translators, remaining at their posts. The prisoners were brought in wagon convoys and deposited at the side of the camp on Lamsdorf Heath. It was a glorious day, warm sunshine and a clear blue sky. The more prisoners that arrived the more bleak the heath seemed to become. The first squad marched in, then the second and the third…They marched past the guardhouse up to the barrier which, for the only time, would be raised for them.
I thought I was not seeing properly, but it was true. The majority of them were marching into the camp wearing only their shirts, white undershirts with nothing else on top. On their heads they had flat steel helmets, many were limping and some were being supported. It was a really desolate sight that met my eyes. Somehow I felt ashamed to witness this spectacle, the arrival of the almost naked Dieppers in German captivity. Some comfort usually remains in every day, at least that was the case in our office, but there was no sense of euphoria.
After the war Elfriede exchanged letters with Arthur Weston. See these ‘Letters between Arthur Weston and Elfriede‘.