Leaving for Belgium

“Most Latvian soldiers in Germany were at first kept in British prisoner-of-war camps in Germany. In the fall of 1945 most of them were transferred to a POW camp 2227 at Zedelghem in Belgium. They had naively expected the Western Allies to understand the reasons why they had fought on the side of the Germans. Instead of understanding, they at first received beatings, and occasionally they were used for live target practice by the guards. They were released during 1946 when the Western Allies concurred that the Latvians were not Nazis despite their SS uniforms.”

Visvaldis Mangulis in Latvia in the Wars of the 20th Century


POW camps in and around Zedelgem

Camp 2227, which was generally used for Baltic soldiers, was not the only camp in the area. Camp 2226 was used for Germans; other Zedelgem camps were used for other nationalities or for segregating POW’s by military rank. The following is a page from an inventory of POW camps which includes Zedelgem—the POW population across all camps totalled 63,459, including more than 16,000 in Camp 2227.

21 Army Group was under Field. Marshall Montgomery commanding.