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Sketch of a cell door at the Ruhleben Concentration Camp, Germany
Title : Sketch of a cell door at the Ruhleben Concentration Camp, Germany Sketch of a cell door at the Ruhleben Concentration Camp, Germany
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Creator : Swift, Harry Houghton, artist
Source : Swift, Harry Houghton, PRG 982/1/3
Date of creation : ca. 1918
Format : Artwork
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

A sketch of a cell door done by Harry Swift during his internment in Ruhleben Concentration Camp in Germany during World War I.

The camp for civilian prisoners of war was built in haste in 1914 at the Ruhleben racecourse near Berlin, and the majority of prisoners taken in stayed there until the end of the war. Life there was easier than in many other concentration camps. The Germans adhered to the Geneva Convention, and the prisoners were able to run internal matters themselves. Within a year the camp featured its own casino, tailor, bookshop, barbershop. Theatrical and sporting events were a popular outlet for the energies of the confined men.

Period : 1914-1918
Place : Ruhleben, Germany
Further reading :

Black bread and barbed wire: prisoners in the First World War, edited by Michael Moynihan, London: Cooper, 1978

Carlyon, Les The great war, Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2006

Ketchum, John Davidson Ruhleben, a prison camp society, Toronto: Toronto U.P., 1965

Powell, Joseph The history of Ruhleben: a record of British organisation in a prison camp in Germany, by Joseph Powell and Francis Gribble, London: Collins, 1919

Internet links :

Anzac Day Commemoration Committee (Queensland) See: History: World War I

Australian War Memorial: Australians at war. First World War 1914-1918

Prisoners of War 1914-1918 See: Section 4: Camp magazines and exchanged POW's for information about the civilian camp at Ruhleben

Ruhleben: A digital exhibit [Harvard Law School Library Historical & Special Collections]

Ruhleben Story : Search the alphabetical listing for further information of Harry Houghton Swift

World War One Art and Artists



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