• the cultural life of a German PoW

    ‘Featherstone Park has developed into such a study-camp. There is theatre, a press, academic studies, radio, agricultural work, as well as archaeological excavation at the Roman wall. Where is there today a place that supports more than one stage? In Featherstone Park there are four.’

    This was the initial impression of a German officer PoW who arrived at Featherstone Park in March 1946 from captivity in Canada.

    There were also four orchestras at the camp. This cultural activity helped many prisoners to view their time at Featherstone as

    'years of grand experience, which I should not like to have missed.'

    It was Sulzbach’s duty to find what was needed to ensure that the cultural programme ran smoothly, and more than one PoW recognised that

    'in the cultural sector your guiding hand and planning could always be felt.'

    As far as possible, the prisoners themselves made, adapted or invented what was needed for their shows. Hours were spent making costumes for theatre productions, puppets for the marionette theatre, and sometimes even instruments for the orchestras. One prisoner remembered that

    'Everything changed when Herbert came – there was real organisation. If you had a wish (and of course we all had our wishes) with the theatre and things like that, he always said, “Ok. We can do that.” And helping with instruments. All of a sudden there were instruments. Then far more than we expected. Herbert was the conjurer, you know, getting all these things.'

    Sulzbach was often invited to the performances and remembered them with great enjoyment. Of one, he said,

    'It was simply terrific. A marionette band with all instruments, plus original music on the gramophone. The highlight was “Hans Moser and Theo Lingen in front of the de-Nazification committee.” Not only were the puppets horrifyingly similar, but the voices, spoken by two young PoWs, could be mistaken for them. The mumbling and Jewishness from Moser, and the arrogant, nasal voice from Lingen - with such funny dialogue!'

    As many PoW remembered him, Herbert Sulzbach was

    'The good spirit of Featherstone Camp.'

    (photo: Herbert Sulzbach in his hut at Featherstone Park)


Photo crop (passport)

Web feed

If you would like to receive my new and old blog posts on a web feed click here.

Welcome to my blog

On my blog I write about biography, Anglo-German reconciliation, and the life of Herbert Sulzbach.


This page shows my latest 5 blog posts. For previous posts click 'older' at the foot of each blog page.

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player