Tuesday, July 13, 2010

East End German PoW Camp at Olympic Village

 East End journalist and blogger (and fellow North Walian Gog) Ted Jeory has posted here on some fascinating new historical research on German Prison of War camps in Stratford and Victoria Park.  There were 400,000 German PoWs in Britain in 1946.  1500 were held "just a few hundred yards from where competitors will bed down in the Athletes’ Village in two years’ time". 

Hard core Nazi and SS were held in Victoria (Vicki) Park which is being used in 2012 as a Olympic training ground.

About 300m from me on Wanstead flats there was also another large PoW camp - near where the Easter and May Day Fun Fairs, Bonfire night and the annual Circus events takes place.  This is being considered as a temporary Police base during the 2012 Olympics as well.

What I found pretty heartening was the finding that "The documents show that despite being held in the heart of the Blitz-ravaged East End, the prisoners were warmly welcomed by local civilians. Their orchestra was invited to play in nearby Leyton public gardens, they played football against local club sides and were welcomed at council meetings in nearby Chingford".


Dave said...

Can you think of any Germans you would like to see interned there, John ;-)

Ted Jeory said...

Thanks John....the documents were fascinating. They show how the PoWs were generally well received by the East End community.

I also love the fact that the PoWs took an interest in local politics in Chingford and Leyton.

Tower Hamlets Tory councillor Peter Golds tells me that the PoWs actually built some of the houses that still exist on the Isle of Dogs...after they bombed them.

Clive Power said...
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