Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Medical Services in New Zealand and The Pacific

II: Work of Captured Medical Personnel

II: Work of Captured Medical Personnel

In captivity those recognised as medical personnel from the start (and that usually because they were carrying a Red Cross identification slip at the time of capture) were given medical duties in the camp medical inspection rooms, camp hospitals or hospitals, and with working parties.

Camp Hospital Staffs

Some were usefully employed as staff of the camp hospitals, of which the Revier, Stalag VIIIB, Lamsdorf, can be taken as an example.

It was a camp hospital of some 200 beds with provision for medical, skin, venereal and minor surgical cases. It also looked after, in a compound of camp barrack rooms, some thousands of chronic sick or injured who had passed the Repatriation Commission and who collected in Stalag VIIIB from 1940 until the first repatriation in October 1943. Orderlies were therefore needed for the wards, the barracks, the laboratories, dispensary and theatre, besides staffing a large out-patient section which dealt with sick referred from the block Medical Inspection rooms.

Other orderlies, excluded by lack of positions offering for medical work, found tasks as sanitation orderlies, attending to the cleanliness of latrines, staffing the camp delouser or organising the bath houses. Many medical personnel, too, whilst living in the main camp, worked on a daily fatigue party of cleaners and gardeners. They visited the Revier or Lazarett, thus fulfilling the task of ‘daily help’ so important in the running of a modern hospital. They worked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Privileges for medical personnel were belatedly granted, and apart from the opportunity of doing medical and not general work, consisted largely in having the right of a walk outside the camp once a week and the issue of a double ration of letter cards a month, as provided by the Geneva Convention.