Puneet Varma

Camp Ashcan

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Camp Ashcan

Central Continental Prisoner of War Enclosure No. 32, code-named Ashcan, was an Allied prisoner-of-war camp in the Palace Hotel of Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg during World War II. Operating from May to August 1945, it served as a processing station and interrogation center for the 86 most prominent surviving Nazi leaders prior to their trial in Nuremberg, including Hermann Göring and Karl Dönitz.


A British counterpart of Ashcan, Camp Dustbin in Castle Kransberg near Frankfurt am Main, housed prisoners of a more technical inclination including Albert Speer and Wernher von Braun.


The camp was established by order of Allied Command. It was commanded by U.S. Army Col. Burton C. Andrus, and staffed by men of the U.S. 391st Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Allied intelligence services and 42 German prisoners of war selected for their skills, including a barber, dentist, doctor and even a hotel manager.

The place selected for the camp was the Palace Hotel, a four-story luxury hotel dominating the small spa town, which had earlier in 1945 been used as a billet for U.S. troops. The hotel was transformed into a high-security area with a fifteen-foot high electrified barbed wire fence, guard towers with machine guns and klieg lights. Security was so tight that even the MPs guarding the perimeter knew not what went on inside; they quipped that getting in required "a pass signed by God, and then somebody has to verify the signature". Conditions in the prison were Spartan. The hotel furniture was replaced by Army cots and collapsible tables.

On 10 August 1945, the prisoners were transferred to Nuremberg to stand trial, and the camp was disbanded shortly afterwards. The building continued to serve as a hotel until 1988, when it was demolished to make way for a more modern spa.


Prisoners at Ashcan included most of the accused in the Nuremberg Trials and other senior Nazi dignitaries, such as:

  • Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop, foreign minister
  • Robert Ley, head of the German Labour Front
  • Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, head of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
  • Generaloberst Alfred Jodl
  • Großadmiral Karl Dönitz
  • Fritz Sauckel, General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment
  • Walther Funk, minister of the Economy, president of the Reichsbank
  • Hans Frank, General Governor of Poland
  • Wilhelm Frick, minister of the Interior
  • Arthur Seyß-Inquart, governor of the Netherlands
  • Julius Streicher, publisher of Der Stürmer
  • Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk, minister of finance
  • Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt
  • Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring
  • Albert Göring, brother of Hermann Göring, later released without charges
  • References

    Camp Ashcan Wikipedia

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