scout planes had searched for camp Wildflecken fruitlessly (camouflaged
by high close-standing trees), flyers were dropped-off with the following
note: "Wildflecken we will find you", American Forces moved into the
village of Wildflecken on 6 or 7 April 1945 with tracked and wheeled
US troops destroyed and demolished military facilities within the training area. There was no more training. The remaining villages Reußendorf and Werberg, as well as Dalherda and the buildings at the Arnsberg and Haus Franken were resettled by evacuees from Eastern Europe. Some families and their decendants still live in this region.
During WWII Polish, Belgian, French and Russian POWs, who came from different STALAGs, could be found at the training area/camp. The camp of russian POWs was at the former Ammunition Storage Point (ASP3) of recent US troops. After American troops occupied Wildflecken (6 or 7 April 1945), detained Belgian and French soldiers returned to their native countries. Russian and Polish people had to wait for several months.
Approximately 20.000 Russians, formers POWs, foreign workers and DPs, came to camp Wildflecken. Bruno Kleinheinz became Wildflecken`s Town Mayor. During this time, crime bloomed: robbery and theft in Wildflecken and the surrounding villages. But also the local population participated in plundering the main warehouse as well as the Food Supply Point. During this time a train with 450 tons of food was plundered.
17000 Polish people moved into the camp. Companies of the 778th Tank Battalion were stationed at the ammunition depot (MUNA). Theft prevailed, a civil guard was founded. This situation continued until the currency reform in June 1948. Bad conditions (no or little work, indescribable poverty, black marketing,....) within the camp as well as the entire county of Brückenau were the main reasons for this situation.
The lack of fire wood caused the camp`s population to cut down trees, which once camouflaged the camp. A complete deforestation occured in the surrounding area. Rafters, beams and planks were cut out of attics and buildings and used as fire wood. Day and night chimneys smoked. Approx. 150 tons of bread were baked daily, therefore lots of fire wood was needed to feed the camp`s population.
Source: "475 Jahre Wildflecken 1524 - 1999 by Gerwin Kellermann (I would also like to thank you cordially for the spontaneous approval on 21 April 2001). Innumerable conversations with people and former employees of the US Army (from day one, since March 1951) as well as diverse private property documents.
and translated: Walter Kömpel, Oberbach, Germany Wkoempel@t-online.de