Prisoners of war as victims of Nazi persecution at Zeithain 1941-1945
Description: In preparation of the attack on the Soviet Union the POW (prisoner of war) camp Zeithain was established in 1941 by the Nazi regime, to accommodate up to 30.000 Soviet POW’s. Due to malnutrition, disease, insufficient medical treatment and terrible hygienic conditions about 30.000 Soviet POWs died. Their living conditions did not comply with the rules of the Geneva Convention. It was one of the biggest war crimes committed by the German armed Forces. From 1943 there were also prisoners from other countries like Italy, Poland, Yugoslavia and the UK. Since 2003 Workcamps, under supervision of an archaeologist, have uncovered the former camp area. Although the area was used until 1990 as a tank driving range, it was possible to find foundations of buildings and remains of a main camp road.
Type of Work: The work this year is part of the necessary measures for the permanent establishment of a “history trail” on the former campsite. It will entail aspects of landscaping and gardening in the open areas of the former campsite and hopefully also some construction. Depending on the weather conditions conservation and documentation work concerning objects which had been found on the former campsite could be done.
Study Theme: The study part is carried out by memorial staff, the camp coordinators and an archaeologist. It deals with the persecution of prisoners of war in Germany during the Second World War and their fates, the development and preservation of historical sites of National Socialist crimes, as well as with the topics of remembrance and commemoration in Germany today. For further information about the history of the camp please visit this website: https://www.stsg.de/cms/zeithain/startseite
Accommodation: The accommodation is in a house next to the kindergarten of Kreinitz, a village in the municipality of Zeithain. The house has a total of seven dormitories with simple beds on two floors, a kitchen for self-catering, rooms for freetime and simple bathrooms. There is internet via a mobile router available and bicycles are provided. Good recreational facilities right next to the accommodation can be used after consultation of the local sports club: a sports hall, an outdoor volleyball court and a football pitch.
Language: Knowledge of English is required.
Requirements: Interest in history and archeology.
Approximate Location: Zeithain is a small municipality in Saxony, near the city of Riesa, which lies between Dresden and Leipzig. Zeithain has about 6,000 inhabitants in 11 villages and is known for the history of the prisoner-of-war camp of the same name and for the meeting of the Red Army and the US Army in April 1945. Kreinitz is a village of the municipality of Zeithain, located on the northern border of Saxony, directly at the river Elbe and the Elbe cycle path.
Notes: On both weekends, excursions to various cities are possible: Prague, Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin are easily accessible by train, as well as pretty smaller towns in Saxony such as Meissen and Moritzburg. Here you can get impressions what the camp is like. It is about a dreadful part of German history - but it is also fun. https://www.rolfschwarz.com/SCI/index.html Videos are from the long-standing campleader Rolf Schwarz. INCOMING FEE for volunteers applying via partner organisations and contacts of SCI: https://sci-d.de/incomingfee.