Transcript from copy held at US National Archives.
Source Document: US National Archives Washington (NARA) ; RG 84 Records of Foreign Service Posts ; Diplomatic Posts – Great Britain – Volume 0763
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We have the honor to submit the following report of a visit (not previously announced) made by Dr. Karl Ohnesorg Mr. Eilis Loring Dresel to the officers’ detention camp and the hospital at Neisse, Silesia, on May 25, 1916.
Previous reports: This camp was previously visited on August 20, 1915 and on January 19, 1916, and reports of these visits, dated respectively August 23, 1915, and January 20, 1916, have been duly forwarded.
Number of prisoners: 831 officer prisoners of various nationalities are detained in the camp, of whom 8 are British. These last are the same as those specified in the list annexed to the report of August 23 1915. There are in all 195 orderlies, of whom one is British.
Description of camp: The camp has been fully described in previous reports. There is, however, a noticeable Improvement in the general appearance of the camp, and the grounds are better kept.
Barracks: The accommodations are the same as those previously described. The large room still occupied by the officers is comfortable and well ventilated.
Post and parcels. – Parcels were stated to be received promptly. Some delay in the receipt of letters was reported, not however due, as was believed, to local conditions
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Food: The messing arrangements have been previously described. The food for the French and British is now however prepared by a highly competent French cook under the supervision of a committee made up of French officers, at an expense of Mks.1.50 day for each officer. It is said to be very fairly satisfactory. Meat is served four times a week. A translation of a week’s bill of fare is hereto annexed.
Until recently the officers have been taken for walks two or three times a week, not under parole, but with, a single officer or guard in charge. These have temporarily been stopped by orders from the higher authorities on account of an attempted escape by an officer not of British nationality, but the Kommandant told us that he expected to be able to resume them in another week. He is also making arrangements by which the British officers will he enabled to hire a tennis court outside the camp. Their requests also to be allowed to obtain the use of a football field, and to swim in the river will, as was stated, be given favourable consideration, if possible.
Visits to the town for the purpose of making purchases in company of a single guard are frequently allowed.
There is a general committee of four members of whom one is British which consults on occasion as to matters affecting the welfare of the camp, such as recreation, library, etc. Besides this, there is a special food committee referred to above, and also two Russian food committees
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Medical Attendance and Hospital. Light and temporary cases of illness are
attended to at an infirmary in the camp. Patients severely ill or in need of surgical treatment are removed to a large hospital in the town. This mas visited on the present occasion, and Major Charley and Capt. Sutherland, previously at Gnadenfrei, were found to have been quartered there for the last six weeks for further treatment of their wounds. Both officers were doing well. Capt. Sutherland being convalescent.
Major Charley was occupying a comfortable room alone. Both spoke appreciatively of their treatment, and had no complaints.
The riding hall mentioned in previous reports has now been fitted up as a theatre.
The British prisoners have a grand piano in their room. A number of the British officers are studying Russian or some other language.
Complaints: No complaints of any kind were made to us by the officers. The one British orderly expressed himself, on account of want of companionship, to be anxious to be transferred back to the camp from which he came, and it was promised that this would be arranged.
General observations and Remarks: The British prisoners, without exception, are in excellent health, and vigorous and alert in appearance. Conditions in this camp have steadily improved and the general impression is favourable. the new Kommandant, who has only been in charge for a few weeks, is greatly liked, and
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appears to be making sincere efforts to increase the privileges and comforts of the prisoners.
We have the honor to be,Sir,
Your obedient servants,