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Prisoners of War

IV: Civilians in Europe

IV: Civilians in Europe

The German military occupation of Vichy France did not involve the internment of any more New Zealand civilians. In France there remained two men at St. Denis and one young woman and a married couple at Vittel. In accordance with a move by the International Red Cross Committee to have married couples and families reunited in internment, one hotel in Vittel had been set aside for families, elderly couples, and 150 men from St. Denis whose wives were at Vittel. Although the ration scale for an interned civilian was the same as that for any other and therefore less than the German page 256 civilian ration, those at Vittel were after strong representations placed on the same footing as internees in Germany.

There were in this period six New Zealanders in Ilag VIII at Tost in Silesia and six New Zealand women at Ilag Liebenau, the latter being exchanged at Istanbul in November 1942. Liebenau had the misfortune to become involved in the reprisal campaign, 80 women being locked up in one small damp room as a retaliation for internment conditions in Jamaica. In September 1942 the German authorities moved 2000 men, women, and children from the Channel Islands to internment camps in Germany. They comprised all non-permanent residents and those not born there who were between the ages of 16 and 70 years and were ‘English people’. Another 350 were sent in March of the following year. The only New Zealanders affected were a married couple and an elderly woman, who were interned at Ilag Biberach, and two men who went to Ilag VII at Laufen, both camps in Bavaria.