Visit us soon to see the full collection of cartoons.
The collection of 66 pen and ink drawings is the most comprehensive visual record of what daily life was like for German prisoners of war in the UK. Cultybraggan Camp, known as Camp 21 during the war, housed up to 4000 prisoners including many of the most zealous Nazis including members of the notorious Waffen SS as well as trouble-makers from other POW camps elsewhere in Britain. Despite known cases of intimidation, violence and even murder, these pictures vividly show that life was not all bad for the inmates.
Using basic ink and paper materials, a German prisoner has managed to capture, not only the conditions inside the camp and activities that the prisoners engaged in, such as sports and pastimes, music and theatre, English lessons and lots more, but also the feelings and emotions of the incarcerated men. The relief of being away from the fighting, the pain of being a thousand miles away from home and loved ones, the camaraderie, humour and even fun of being together with comrades and the despair and boredom of daily life are all vividly portrayed in these pictures.
For visitors to the camp, copies of all the cartoons are on display in the jailblock building at the heart of the camp. The jailblock, which still has the original cell doors from the 1940s, is a wonderfully atmospheric space within which to engage with these amazing cartoons.