In the Spring of 1945, the men of the U.S. 106th Infantry Division liberated a German prison camp that sat adjacent to the little town of Orb, Germany. The camp, Stalag IXB, housed 6,500 Allied prisoners of war, almost half of them were American. The manner in which the prisoners were housed and fed was appalling:
"The Americans got tiny rations of watery soup, sometimes made of grass, ersatz bread, cheese and a sickening coffee substitute. Medical officers said that the daily diet provided less than 1,400 calories [far less than the necessary 2,800 calories for semi-active males]... What justice is there in feeding German prisoners in the United States butter, meat and potatoes 'while we over here got so weak we couldn't get out of our bunks on the liter a day of watery soup we received?'"
More 1940s articles about POW camps can be read here...
- a memoir of Stalag IXB