Among the more notable Camp 30 prisoners were U-boat commanders Wolfgang Heyda and Otto Kretschmer, the latter credited with sinking 47 ships (totaling 274,333 tons) between the start of the war and his capture in March of 1941. Only a tenth as many made Bowmanville their home in 1941, however, when the Canadian government ordered the Bowmanville Boys Training School (a “school for unadjusted boys who were not inherently delinquent”) to vacate the site. (credit AlexLuyckx with the above images)
Many of these prisoners were considered “high profile” – the reasoning being, the farther they were from Nazi Germany, the less chance of them returning there after a successful escape. The community of Bowmanville, Ontario, is home to just over 40,000 people, many of whom work in Toronto and commute daily via Highway 401. As Camp 30 was a former boy’s school, prisoners were allowed to use the indoor pool as well as the soccer and football fields. (credit Rick Harris with the above images)
Comment on Facebook By the end of the year, the former school and its environs had been converted into Camp 30 and the first German prisoners of war arrived. (credit Courtney McIntosh with the above images)
In stark contrast to the treatment doled out to Allied POWs in German prison camps, those prisoners sent to Camp 30 enjoyed a wealth of freedoms and amenities.