Two Manuscript Maps of a World War II Prisoner of War Camp Drawn by a German Captive in Egypt.
Two very neatly hand-drawn and -colored maps of the British-run P.O.W. camp Fayid, Egypt, which housed Germans and Austrians during and after World War II. The larger of the two maps was completed on October 15, 1947, and sports detailed German-language labeling of all of the buildings in the camp. The smaller map is dated March 12, 1948, and shows how the camp had transformed in just under six months. Both maps are signed "Schültz", though we have been unable to identify the mapmaker beyond that.
After the Allied victories of the North Africa Campaign in 1943, the British needed to house tens of thousands of German, Austrian, and Italian P.O.W.s. To fulfill this task, they built 10 camps within the Canal Zone, many in the Bitter Lake area from Suez to Ismailia.
Several camps were built in the Fayid region, including 306 Fayid / Bitter Lake, 308 Fayid / Bitter Lake, 309 Fayid / Bitter Lake, and 368 Fayid / Bitter Lake.
In 1946, repatriation began with the first group of 6,000 P.O.W.s being shipped home. The pace of repatriation was remarkably slow, and in a March 1947 speech on the subject, the MP for Ipswich, R.R. Stokes, stated that the local British authorities held the manpower of the P.O.W.s to be so indispensable that they would delay repatriation as long as possible. On September 30, 1947, the British government further reduced repatriation due to a shortage of ships. Most prisoner repatriation was accomplished by the end of 1948.
As one can see from the map, there was plenty of opportunity for recreation and entertainment in the camp, as well as full medical facilities.
Translation of the First Map's Key:
Steinbauten - Ward | Stone Buildings - Ward
Zeltbauten - Ward | Tent Structures - Ward
Bedürfnisanstalten | Urinals
Bäder U: Waschräume | Baths and Washrooms
Personalunterkünfte | Staff Accommodations
Werkstätten - Handwerker | Workshops - Craftsmen
Strassen | Streets
Ärzte - Unterkunfte | Doctors - Accommodations
Personalrevier | Personal Area
Zeichenerklärung | Explanations