Food Supplies Forwarded to German Prison Camp - 1918

Arrival of Food Parcels in Prison Camp, Münster.

Arrival of Food Parcels in Prison Camp, Münster. In The Prison Camps of Germany, 1920. GGA Image ID # 196caf2f47

Captured American soldiers arrived in German prison camps, and American Red Cross emergency food parcels were awaiting them if arrangements already in operation were entirely carried out.

At the prison camp at Tuchel, in West Prussia, permission has been obtained to store emergency supplies, and 300 ten-pound food parcels have been shipped there from the Red Cross prisoner relief headquarters at Berne, Switzerland, for distribution to newly arrived prisoners. There are about twenty-five Americans in the Tuchel camp at present.

It is hoped that arrangements can be made soon whereby all or nearly all of the German prison camps will be stocked with similar emergency supplies, anticipating the wants of those unfortunate enough to fall Into the hands of the enemy.

There are approximately 200 main prison camps in Germany, and some 10,000 prison groups, counting the small detachments of prisoners sent out to do farm labor.

The American Red Cross plans to contemplate supplying all these work camps and the others where American prisoners are held with regulated food parcels.

In the ordinary course of affairs, it would be necessary for the bureau at Berne to be advised regarding American prisoners' arrival in a German camp before sending food parcels.

Ten days or more would elapse before the prisoners could benefit from the rations. At the camp at Tuchel, according to advice received by cable from Berne, Sergeant Halyburton, and Corporal Upton, American prisoners have been delegated custodians of the emergency food supplies. A storeroom has been assigned to them In which to keep the parcels that have been forwarded.

Of these twenty-seven prison camps in which Americans now are held, Tuchel, near Danzig, is the chief prison camp for captured Americans in uniform, according to advisories reaching the Bureau of Prisoners' Relief and the American Red Cross.

In each camp, shown by a black square on the map, and in a tiny camp that can not be located, there are captured soldiers or American seamen taken from submarined merchantmen.

The Red Cross had direct reports from 231 men in these camps at the beginning of June. Each sends through its prisoners' relief warehouses at Berne twenty pounds of food a week and supplies clothing, comforts, tobacco, and everything the men need.

In supplying captured soldiers and sailors, the Red Cross is the transmitting agency for the Army or the Navy, which furnishes these supplies.

In addition to the prisoners, on its records, the Red Cross believes that some two hundred additional American prisoners in Germany have not yet reached the prison camps where they are to be located permanently.

However, the Red Cross is prepared to care for these as soon as reported. It has been stored in Berne or is in transit and supplies enough to maintain 22,000 prisoners. If necessary, for six months.

Awaiting American prisoners sent to Tuchel is a stock of Red Cross packages of food and clothing; in charge of three of our captured boys appointed the Red Cross Relief Committee for that prison camp.

Similar reserve stocks will be placed in other prisons as it becomes evident that they will be used as centers for imprisoned Americans who thus will be fed and clothed immediately.

"Food Supplies Forwarded to German Prison Camp for Prospective American Prisoners," in The Red Cross Bulletin, Washington, DC: American Red Cross, Volume II, No. 19, 6 May 1918, p. 2.

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