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Theatre Productions. Page 37

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Theatre productions in camp were a big boost to prisoner morale and stand as testament to the fortitude and spirit of men in captivity.   The prisoners had a ready stock of talent to choose from,  amateur and semi professional actors,  building trades joiners and electricians,  tailors, furniture makers and the list goes on.   The shows were attended  not only by the prisoners in camp  themselves but allied medical staff from outside the camps,  often German Officers would also attend.  The production value of the shows was so high that comparison was often made with shows being presented in the London theatres.    One such comment was by Capt. Dr John Borrie,  New Zealand Medical Corp. POW 23912.   He wrote a book after the war  'Despite Captivity'  he mentions in the book that he attended the production 'Pirates of Penzance'  at BAB21 and that it equalled any theatre production he had seen in London's West End.
Below, are two programmes for the production of  '…

List of POWs at BAB21. Page 36

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The following list contains approx 600 names of men captured during May and June 1940, and admitted to Bau und Arbeits Battalion 21.
After capture,  the men were marched and entrained into captivity being admitted for registration at       camps in Poland.  Stalag XX1B.   XX1D.  XX1C.  XX1C/H. 
Interestingly,  apart from a few exceptions the majority of the prisoners admitted to BAB21 all had low POW numbers.  The higher numbers could have been admitted at a later date.

The list below is still being worked on and not yet fully complete.






Dangers of a Bombing Run. Page 35

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BAB21 sited to the north of of the I.G. Farben factory complex and BAB20 sited to the south, were both subjected to heavy bombing during 1944 as the Allies tried to halt production at the plant.   The photographs below show bombing runs over the factory which was an important contributor to the German war effort.  The whole area was heavily defended by anti aircraft guns.

All photographs courtesy USAAF  and   USAF


















































































The following set of photographs illustrate the dangers of a bomb run and what the aircrews had to endure.     The photograph are of other targets and not Blechhammer.
















First Camps Photos. Page 34

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When prisoners reached the first prison camps for induction after capture they were in a sorry state.  Boots and uniforms were worn and dirty after a long,  sometimes up to a 300 mile march,  to the trains that would then take them into the camps.   Soon after induction they would be photographed and allowed to send the photo back home,   The photograph would show they were still alive after capture and they were being treated correctly according to the Geneva Convention on prisoners.

For the photograph, the men were given clean uniforms from a motley collection, some Polish, some French and other nations.  The uniforms were taken back after the photograph and given to the next group waiting.  The men would sit on a bench with a second row standing behind,   up to eighteen men could be photographed in each group.  The bench was permanent,  placed in front of a small tree which in turn was in front of a hut.  many hundreds of men were photographed on that bench.

The photographs below w…