Germany - Third Reich: An interesting pair of awards and certificates to Unteroffizier Oskar Helmreich, Dulag 130, who serving as part of Prisoner of War Transit Camp under the command of 221st Security Division of Army Group Centre would have bee...

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Germany - Third Reich: An interesting pair of awards and certificates to Unteroffizier Oskar Helmreich, Dulag 130, who serving as part of Prisoner of War Transit Camp under the command of 221st Security Division of Army Group Centre would have been in charge of processing a large number of Prisoners captured at Bryansk and Vyazma during Operation Typhoon, many of whom failed to survive even the first few months of their capture.

A typical small but at the same time unusual pair of decorations and award certificates to a former member of a small security unit, who were in charge of a Prisoner of War Transit Camp near Roslavl near Smolensk, this being under the command of 221st Security Division of Army Group Centre.

Decorations:

  • 1) Ostmedaille, non-maker marked
  • 2) War Merit Cross 2nd Class with swords, maker marked ‘16’ on the ring

    Award Certificates:
  • 1) Ostmedaille, awarded on 1st August 1942 as an Unteroffizier, Dulag 130. Signed for correctness by an Oberstleutnant and Camp Commandant.
  • 2) The War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords awarded on 1st September 1943 by HQ Army Group Centre as an Unteroffizier, Dulag 130. Facsimile signature of von Kluge as Generalfeldmarschall and Commander-in-Chief Army Group Centre.

    Dulag 130 was created in October 1941 and initially catered for the large number of Red Army prisoners that were captured at the dual pockets of Bryansk and Vyazma in the first few weeks of October 1941. Dulag 130 was built with the idea of 30,000 prisoners being held there, but rapidly held many more, most of whom quickly succumbed to the lack of food and terrible open air conditions at the camp.

    Other parts of the 221st Security Division were involved in the round-up and execution of Jews and Partisans in the rear areas of Army Group Centre, and was known to have been involved in the committing of various War Crimes in the anti-partisan operations it carried out behind the lines.