Labor camps… general info help

Living History

Hello everyone,

If this is the wrong area to ask, please move this post.

I’m doing research on my grandfather.

Briefly, his name was Jan Pałeczka. He was part of the Polish 2nd Fusilier Division. According to “Polacy internowani w Szwajcarii (1940-1945)” and the Centralne Archiwum Wojskowe, he was a shooter/rifleman, and served in the 6th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Fusilier Division. The division (numbering 15,830 soldiers) was commanded by Brigadier-General Bronisław Prugar-Ketling, and was based from late December 1939 to May 1940 at Parthenay in Eastern France. Under Prugar-Ketling the division was charged with holding the defences around Belfort, Alsace. Engaged in heavy fighting from June 17 to 19 near the Doubs and Saône rivers, it stopped a German attack on the Clos-du-Doubs hills, but due to the retreat of the nearby French forces it was surrounded by the Germans; nonetheless it managed to break through to Switzerland over 20–21 June 1940, where its soldiers were interned for the rest of the war, though many escaped. According to the card index of the Eidgenössisches Kommissariat für Internierung und Hospitalisierung: Zentrale Ablage (Signature: E5791 1988/6), he was at the internment camps of Meiheick and Buren a.A, Switzerland. He escaped on the 27 July 1941.

On the 25 March 1945, Jan Pałeczka joined the 65 Pomorski Infantry Battalion, 2 Warszawska Armored Division, 2nd Polish Corps, 8 British Army. He was recruited in Lille, France. This division was transferred to Italy. He served until the 28 August 1945.

I have just received some information that on the 3 August 1943 he was “insured with the company health insurance fund of the “Dortmund-Hoerder-Hüttenverein”, residence: “Lager am Loh”. “

I was under the impression this was a labour camp. If so, why would he be “insured”? Are there any other records of people at this place?

Also, I have another document that says he was taken from Appilly (Oise) with the Service de Travail Obligatorie, and they transported him to Germany on the 28 February 1943.

Would this indicate that he was captured and transported to the German camp?

Also, my grandmother somehow travelled from France to Germany… Ludwigshafen. Her new boyfriend (she had met him in France in 1942), was working in IG Farbenindustrie AG. I know the company was charged with war crimes. Was this also a labor camp, or did it fall under another title? Also, would their transport to Ludwigshafen have been voluntary, or involuntary?

Thank you for any help,

Yvette

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