- Stalag 1A during the Second World War -
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Those known to have been held in or employed at
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Cote Joseph Alfred. Pfc.
- Rutherford John James Stuart. Fus. This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.
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Pfc. Joseph Alfred "Joe Pro" Cote Parachute Infantry 82nd AirbornePfc. Joseph Alfred Cote was captured in Italy , by the Germans on September 15, 1943, shortly after his first jump. From there he and many others were taken by train to Germany. The train ride was not pleasant they were all stuffed in cars like cattle. If you had to use the bathroom you went on the floor and then threw out a window if you could.
An initial intake was done at Stalag IA from there he was sent to Stalag IIB where he would spend the next 19 months for the most part assigned to a work detail. Typical work would be growing crops for the German Army. After a while the Salvation Army notified Joe's parents that he was a German prisoner of war, at first he was reported as missing in action. His parents said at least he's alive and better to be a German POW than a Japanese POW.
Joe, like most, was malnourished and very thin. He had trench foot and at some point had intestinal worms. One time he did not move quickly enough and took a bayonet to the rear end. The guards would yell in German "move quickly swine hound move!" While Joe was a POW his brother Leon Cote was severely injured at The Battle of the Bulge and lost a leg. He later died in a hospital in England.
By 1945 Joe and other prisoners that he had contact with were pretty sure that the war was coming to an end. At this time they got the word: everybody out line up and march. So march they did for some time. On April 13, 1945, which happened to be a Friday, Joe and one other prisoner rolled off the side of the road they were walking on and kept quiet and still. The group passed by without incident. Joe and his fellow escapee spent the next few days in the woods until they were able to make allied contact. Joe always said that his lucky day was Friday the 13th.
Eventually he made it home to Ayer, MA arriving via train at Fort Devens with his father waiting there when he got off. This story was featured by the Lowell Sun newspaper at the time.Philip Craven
Fus. John James Stuart Rutherford Northumberland FusiliersJack Rutherford of the Northumberland Fusiliers, was a pow at Hohenstein Hesse Stalag 1vA.John Scott Edge
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