The POW Lazarette at Cosel, Upper Silesia
My father, Lt-Colonel Dr Bogdan Stojić (Yugoslav Army), captured at Doboj in Bosnia on 15 April 1941, sent first to Opola, Lamsdorf, then to Teschen, Stalag VIIID, then to Hammersdorf, near Sagan, a Russian POW Hospital, as punishment for being an open enemy of “Grossdeutschland” , and finally back to Lamsdorf in March 1943, where the Germans appointed him chief surgeon at Cosel Hospital due to his knowledge of several languages. On the Long March to Nuremberg I know he was in the group with Captain Dr R. Kaye-Webster and Captain Dr Norman Rose. He sent us this card from Cosel, written in German, in November 1943.
“First two windows – our room; next three windows close together – washrooms for German soldiers; next two windows – operating theatre, always adequately heated, and with warm water to wash our hands at all times.
Fragrant flowers bloom throughout summer and early autumn.”
Note: He says “our room” because he shared it with Captain Dr Norman Rose, often his assistant.
The hospital was run by Captain Dr Roland Kaye-Webster. Marion Farmer, his niece, says “The gardens were my uncle Roland’s pride and joy. In his letters He talks about the eight foot sunflowers and beautiful dahlias etc. he also describes constructing the silver birch fencing and painting the edging stones. It’s great to see the photos.”
Here he is standing proudly, surrounded by all sorts of flowers. I wonder whether on his right in the background are the kennels for their two fox terriers, Whiskey and Soda. My dad promised to bring one home to me.
Capt A.N. Slater is holding the white dog and Capt H.M. Foreman is behind him. Standing in high boots is my father Lt-Colonel Bogdan Stojic, next to him is S-Sgt Stewart and the third is Capt R. Kaye-Webster. Captain Tattersall is in shorts in front row left.
My father says in his notes: “This was a hospital for show to impress the International Red Cross in Geneva whose representatives visited us every three months. A Russian prisoner who was a living skeleton put on 30 kg in two months. We were even allowed to play soccer twice a week.”