1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 18, 2021 8:22 AM by Rachael Salyer

    Seeking lists of Belgian SS-soldiers captured by the Americans

    Karel Cassiman Newbie

      I'm working on a study of my Belgian family history. An uncle of mine, Belgian citizen, collaborated with the Germans and fought as soldier with the '27th volunteers SS-Division Langemarck' in the battle of Frankfurt am Oder, against the Russian Army, between 16 and 19 April 1945. Their division had to retreat to the West. He reached Schwerin where he surrendered to the American Army on 2 May. The Americans held him POW in a former Women's prisoner camp. After some time, he was delivered to the British Army, and then wad delivered to the Belgian authorities. He arrived in Belgium on 19 July 1945 and was imprisoned at Beverlo.


      Can anyone help me to find the name of the American division that stayed at Schwerin in May 1945? Are there any records of POWs taken in Schwerin by the American Amy between 2 & 8 May 1945? Where were those POW's imprisoned in Schwerin or neighborhood? Was there some agreement with the British Army for the delivery of Belgian SS-soldiers to the British Army and/or the Belgian authorities? If so, where can I find these agreements? Thanks

        • Re: Seeking lists of Belgian SS-soldiers captured by the Americans
          Rachael Salyer Pioneer

          Dear Karel Cassiman,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Various Schutzstaffel (SS) Records, Einwandererzentralstelle, Waffen-SS, and SS-Oberabschnitte (Microfilm Publication T354) in the National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242) that includes some information related to the 27th SS Freiwilligen-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Langemarck," as well as other SS units. Several guides to the microfilmed records are available online via the National Archives Microfilm Catalog. In the “Microfilm” tab, enter publication number T354 and press “search” to see a list of available guides. The microfilm itself has not been digitized. For access to and information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Next, we located the series Classified Decimal Correspondence Files with Related Index, 1942-1945 in the Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General (Record Group 389) that includes detention lists of POWs, especially members of Waffen-SS units, for potential use in war crimes trials, and it also contains information about the identification and repatriation of individuals of French, Russian, Belgian, and Polish nationality among German POWs. The series Subject Files, 1942-1946 in Record Group 389 contains so-called "Albino Files," which identify German POWs claiming other nationality status, including Czechs, Belgians, French, Poles, Russians, and Austrians. These records have not been digitized. You may contact RDT2 for assistance with these and similar records.


          According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History’s online Order of Battle of the United States Army - WWII, the 8th Infantry Division was in Schwerin in May 1945. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Unit Histories, 1943-1967 in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338) that includes 27 files for the 8th Infantry Division in the 1940s. We also  located the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1985 (Record Group 407) that includes records of the 8th Infantry Division during WWII. For more information about these non-digitized records, please contact RDT2.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          Additionally, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) provides some information online about The 8th Infantry Division during World War II that includes a reference to Schwerin in May 1945.


          We suggest that you contact the US Army Center of Military History or the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center for further assistance.


          Finally, for the information you seek, we suggest you contact The National Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU, United Kingdom.


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!