MILAG UND MARLAG NORD

Milag und Marlag Nord, Westertimke.

 

The camp, Milag und Marlag Nord in Westertimke was constructed in the autumn of 1942, built by the very prisoners of war, who would remain there.  The Marlag part was built on an existing German Air Force base.

 

Milag und Marlag Nord consisted of 7 lagers [camps] as follows:

Lager I, Dulag which was used as an interrogation and transit compound.

Lager II, Marlag housing personnel of the Royal Navy.

Lager III, Milag for the confinement of Merchant Marine personnel of the various nationalities.

Lager IV, Milag (Inder), accommodating Indian seamen of the Merchant Navy.

Lager V, Wache for the camp guard.

Lager VI, Kommandatur the administrative officer for the entire establishment.

Lager VII, Stabslager living quarters for the administrative personnel of the entire establishment.

 

The Marlag Lager for the Navy PW and the Milag Lager for Merchant Marine PW each had compounds designated as Marlag O and Marlag M and Milag O and Milag M for officers and enlisted men respectively.

 

The barracks were one-storied wooden buildings which were well-lit, with small wood burning stoves in each room. There were 29 barracks in Marlag and 36 in Milag. The majority of them were used as barracks for the prisoners of war, while the others were kitchens and dining rooms, wash barracks, guard barracks, storehouses, postal section and other administrative buildings. The prisoner of war barracks had rooms accommodating 14 to 16 officers or 18 men of other rank. In each room there were two and three-tiered bunks with material covered straw mattresses.  Each man was issued two blankets.

 

The entire camp of Milag und Marlag Nord was surrounded by barbed wire fencing and the two lagers of Milag and Marlag were also separated from each other by a barbed wire fence.  Inside this outer fencing, there was a role of barbed wire cattle fencing and beyond that a trip wire.  Within the lagers themselves, officer’s barracks were separated from their men by wire fences.  Placed at the corner of each camp were watchtowers with machine guns and searchlights.  Initially the camp was guarded by German Naval troops. They were later replaced by German Army reservists.

 

Under normal conditions the combined lagers of Milag und Marlag Nord had a capacity of 5,300.

In Milag alone, there were between 2,700 and 4,200 prisoners of war from 29 nations.  The largest number of these from Great Britain.  In January 1943, thirty-two Irish born British Merchant Navy prisoners of war were removed from Milag and eventually ended up in the Bremen Farge Arbeitserziehungslager.  Twenty-seven of them were returned to Milag in April 1945, for liberation.

 

Following the liberation of Milag und Marlag Nord in April 1945, the camp was used by the Allies as a holding camp for German prisoners awaiting trial for suspected war crimes.

 

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