New arrivals brought on further unrest;. One break in the monotony was when all the people from Persia came in. There was an assortment of Danish, Belgian, Italian and Greek engineers who had been building the bridges for the Trans-Iranian Railway, over which afterwards the supplies to Russia were forwarded.
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Then another break was when the German internees from Java and from the rest of the Dutch East Indies were transferred to India. We received some of them. Of course only a few professed to be anti-Nazi, like Kirschner and Paulsen. Paulsen is a well-known name because his brother was the President of the German Employers' Union. And Kirschner, So gradually the camp was filled up with German non-Nazi families, while simultaneously the Jewish people were released.
The additional Germans and the non-Germans gave the camp new life and new activities to a greater diversity, but likewise increased the problems. The new arrivals lessened the German Jewish character of the fort camp. Then, in late and early , a small but significant group of Lutheran missionaries entered Purandhar.
Stemming from the unfortunate circumstances for the missionary wives, the correspondence with the Government of India and the unnecessary separation of these missionary families, first the wives and the children, and then the husbands from Dehra Dun, began to arrive at this family camp near Poona.
Renate Klimkeit remembered well their reception:. As we came there one of our children had measles, and the commandant Holland wanted to throw us out immediately. Each of us women got a flat.
There we received excellent food, which we hadn't had to eat for years, since we couldn't get it. And the air was also cool, as it was up on a hill and we had come out of the heat. It was really wonderful; we were very happy and we could rejoice. But at first we were not allowed to go out, so as not to infect anyone else. Due to the swelling numbers of civil prisoners of war in British India in , Purandhar, like most detention settlements, began a program of building some additional barracks.
According to the long-time residents of the fort society and their judgment, the building material quality and the type of barracks constructed on the central, much-needed open spaces became officially designated as "The Purandhar Slum Development. During March the beginning was made on a number of new buildings. The first and biggest was laid out on what used to be the only large sports grounds on the station.
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We had been playing football and other games on it at various times, though not regularly at all. Lately it had only been used as a police parade grounds. Some smaller barracks are now being built or laid out on various level bits of ground or old tennis courts. There will be very, very little opportunity for sports on the station when all the old and the new buildings will be completed.
And so the donkeys brought the stones up the hill. Donkeys carried all the bricks on their backs, as with the cement also. Then the word was out that there was going to be a family camp installed; our men, husbands would be coming. Then after a couple of months one heard that the husbands were going to be taken to some island in the ocean.
They were not coming there. Of course there was quite a sad mood among the wives. Then came the clue that some missionaries would be coming 'on trial' to the camp. There were the missionaries Klimkeit and Jellinghaus, as well as some older men - some salesmen and others.
Then our husbands did come and we were permitted to remain in the barracks. Each of us was given a unit. In ", shortly before Christmas,. Otto Wolff arrived at the hill camp. In the case of the four younger Breklum missionaries, Ahrens, Dr. When the Germans from Dehra Dun, who had families in India, were sent to a camp, we expected, of course, to be sent into the main camp at Satara.
But for some reason, which I can't imagine, just the four missionaries from our mission - I, Ahrens, Lohse and Speck, and Klimkeit and Borutta from the Gossner Mission, and one or two more, were sent to Purandhar. And we refused to go to Purandhar. The Jews refused to accept German Nazis, as they thought we were.
And the commandant said, "Well, if you don't want to, you don't have to go. You can just stay on. And after six weeks we returned to the commandant and told him that we were ready to go even to Purandhar. It was a far better place.
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With the building program of the new barracks and with the accommodations available for the most recent arrivals, it was clear to the residents, that "some of the barrack quarters are most uncomfortable, as there are only eight foot wooden partitions, leaving the air circulating above. Renate Klimkeit described their new abode:. So the barracks were completed and we all came into the missionary barrack.
Each family got quarters - a three room unit with a verandha in front as well.
But the walls were not built up to the ceiling and one could hear from a good distance everything, especially at night it was rather unpleasant. You could hear everything, or anybody coughing.
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There was no privacy. These families had often enough accepted their lot in life, and they had courageously come through the crucial times on the mission stations. This Borutta concurred with;. We didn't ask much, rather we accepted the moment.
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As an example, our barrack, which had no ceiling at all, had only a roof made of asbestos sheets. And that was hot. So we bought gunny-sack material and placed a covering over. And then everybody started talking; "This Borutta doesn't know how long he is going to stay here. For us in the living room it was a bit cooler, especially since our child was very bothered. We had better protection from the sun and the heat. After the ordeal of the internment camps for the men and the loneliness for the women on the mission stations, and their marriages put asunder for over two years, these young couples finally wanted families.
In the latter part of there was a sudden crop of new infants among these Missions personnel. Within a camp society, where often your business is everyone's business, it was not difficult to make a different interpretation, namely, "the Protestant missionaries In spite of the many able Jewish medical doctors at Purandhar, it had been the practice that expectant mothers,. The medical service was a transferred service, that is, the Government of India had certain departments reserved for the administration by English officers, while certain other things, like Education and the Medical field had been handed over to the Indians.
But there was no strict division; On January 4th, , our youngest daughter was born, not in camp, but in Poona. In the case of my wife they showed the utmost disregard to the needs of the patient.
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And if my wife had herself not had enough experience with medical care and had not been able to tell the nurses what to do, the doctor would probably not have cared and not bothered to save her from an infection or other complications. The unfortunate experience was a valuable lesson for the internee medical staff, though in the early years there were few births at Purandhar.
There were obvious limitations and related frustrations. Renate Klimkeit, the first to expect a child, commented on the subject:. As I awaited a baby then, it was a shocking thought to imagine that everyone would have to listen to me.