Our sincerest gratitude to Pol Denys, who launched his efforts some 16 years ago to preserve the physical remnants of the Zedelgem POW camp and its history. Zedelgem's POW camp—functionally several camps housed side-by-side—had been completely unknown to him and his fellow townsfolk until he discovered a map, in Russian, which brought attention to this role of Zedelgem in the aftermath of WWII. Since then, Pol has successfully campaigned for local and national governmental recognition of the site's historical significance, and obtained EU funds to establish a museum on the camp's grounds for visitors and researchers to familiarize themselves with the camp and, in particular, with the history of the Latvian Legion, Waffen-SS. Thanks to Pol's continued efforts, including joint projects with Latvia, the Zedelgem POW camp site will open to the public in 2020.
Pol launched ZEDELGEM-POW-CAMP.BE, in Flemish, as part of his awareness campaign. Unfortunately, the original web site was lost and its contents only partially preserved online: www.zedelgem-pow-camp.be at archive.org
We have renewed the web site under its original URL to continue the Zedelgem POW camp awareness campaign. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing materials to this heritage site, assisting with translations, or with supporting the Zedelgem preservation projects. We would be particularly interested in photographs or scans of artifacts which we could share here.
You can reach us at contact@zedelgem-pow-camp-be.
|||The Waffen-SS were non-German military units, which while administered by the German SS, were operationally subordinated to the Wehrmacht, and had nothing to do with the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the SS. The vast majority of Legionnaires were conscripted—by the end of the war, the Germans had (illegally) drafted every Latvian male born after 1905 into service on the Eastern Front.|
Updated: July, 2018