Channel Islanders imprisoned in Nuremberg Prison:
By Roderick Miller
The records of the International Tracing Service (ITS) indicate that Channel Islands residents Evelina Garland and Emma Marshall were in a Gefängnis (prison) in Nuremberg, but it’s uncertain if the ITS had documentation specifying if they was in an actual prison. Garland, however, wrote in her compensation claim testimony that, ‘after leaving France I was taken to various prison camps including big prisons in … Nuremburg …‘ The dates that Garland was in Nuremberg are unknown. What is known for certain is that after a long foray through French and German prisons, Marshall arrived in Nuremberg from a forced labour camp in Hof sometime in early 1944 and only stayed a few days in Nuremberg as a transit prisoner. In Marshall’s compensation claim testimony, she states that she was ‘put into a basement, pitch dark, no lights, stayed there a couple of days, only one meal a day.’ She was then sent on to a prison in Dresden. Marshall herself made no reference to the place as an actual prison, but only as a place of imprisonment.
According to Bernau Prison records, Frederick Short was transferred on 26 June 1943 to Nuremberg Zellengefängnis (‘Cell Prison’). Short’s own compensation claim testimonial states that he was taken from Amberg Prison to Nuremberg, where he spent a few days in transit: ‘I was again removed, taken to the railway line and again, the prison train treatment, after a few hours I was again put off and find myself in Nuremberg Prison, where I stayed two days, then once again the prison train treatment‘.
Assuming the ITS records and Garland’s testimonial are correct as to having been placed in an actual prison in Nuremberg, there were three active prisons there in 1944: the aforementioned Cell Prison, the Strafvollzugsgefängnis (‘Penitentiary’), and the Untersuchungsgefängnis (‘Remand Prison’), all located on the same site. The Cell Prison was opened in 1868 for male prisoners, and was further expanded in 1888 to include a section for women. From 1889 to 1901, the prison was expanded to include a wing for remand prisoners awaiting trial. The grounds for the three prisons occupy 860,000 square feet (about 20 acres) and are directly adjacent to the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. Like most prisons in Nazi Germany the prisons were used to incarcerate political prisoners and victims of Nazi racist policies. It’s most likely that prisoners in Nuremberg were also, like most prisoners in Germany in the Second World War, forced to perform labour in the manufacture of armaments and war-related materials.
Short’s prison documentation and his testimonial show that Nuremberg Cell Prison was used by the Nazis to incarcerate short-term transit foreign (ie non-German) prisoners, and added to that the fact that it had a wing for women prisoners, it can safely be assumed that Evelina Garland and Emma Marshall were most likely held in the Cell Prison, rather than the nearby Penitentiary or Remand Prison.
Nuremberg was considered a major symbol of the Nazi Regime due to the yearly Nazi Party rallies held there, and was heavily bombed by allied forces during the war, which resulted the deaths of over 4,000 people, mostly civilians. Of the 135,000 flats in the city prior to the war, only 14,500 were undamaged by war’s end. US Army forces battled for four days to take Nuremberg, and on 20 April 1945—ironically, Hitler’s birthday—the city was completely under allied control.
The Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals took place in the Palace of Justice adjacent to Nuremberg Prison. The Nazi prisoners were incarcerated in the east wing of the Cell Prison next to the Palace. Those who were declared guilty and sentenced to be executed were hanged on 16 October 1945 in the prison gymnasium, with the exception of Hermann Göring, who committed suicide on the night before the sentencing could be carried out. The east, northeast, and northwest wings of the prison, as well as the gymnasium, were torn down between 1980 and 1986. By 1995, with the construction of many new cell buildings, the remaining west wing of the prison was no longer used to incarcerate prisoners. The prison remains active today, with the Penitentiary also serving as a juvenile detention centre and the Remand Prison still in operation.
Frederick Short went from Nuremberg on to Diez Prison, where he was liberated by the allies in March 1945. Evelina Garland was transported to three further prisons in the Reich and was liberated on 19 April 1945 by US troops in Leipzig-Kleinmeusdorf Women’s Prison. Emma Marshall went on to five further prisons in Germany and was liberated on 2 April 1945 from Schönebeck Prison. Like many of those imprisoned by the Nazis, they may have suffered from a variety of chronic physical disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorders for the rest of their lives.
International Tracing Service Arolsen: Catalogue of Camps and Prisons in Germany and German-occupied Territories, Bad Arolsen, 1949-1951, p. 218.
Mittenhuber, Schmidt, Windsheimer: Der Nürnberger Weg 1945–1995. Eine Stadtgeschichte in Bildern un Texten (in German). Sandberg Verlag, Nuremberg, 1995.
The National Archives (TNA), Foreign Office (FO):
TNA FO 950/1162, Evelina Garland
TNA FO 950/1185, Emma Marshall
W. Tümmels Verlag (publisher): Einwohnerbuch Nürnberg, Nuremberg, 1928.
Wiener Library, London (International Tracing Service), Reference numbers:
91227362, 91227363, 91227374, (Evelina Garland)
108631299, 40121234, 53846850 (Emma Marshall)
11538731 (Frederick Short)