People paid £30 to be the prisoner of war in Nazi theme camp

In Britain during the 1980s a holiday camp was set up at an unused hospital at Weyhill, near Andover in Hampshire. The basic concern of this camp was to create the atmosphere of Nazi prisoner of war camp. And the organiser of the camp was also successful to a greater extent in his effort of setting up pseudo Nazi prison of war camp. This holiday camp where people came to be treated as the prisoner of war was known as Butlitz. Visitors spend their weekends being a prisoner of this camp. To enjoy the treatment given to the prisoner of this camp the visitors paid an amount of £30, the Mail Online reports.

When the visitors entered to the camp premises the speakers over there welcomed them by singing German marching songs. From that moment onwards the organiser of the camp, Bob Acraman started treating them as the prisoners of war. He instructed the visitors to line up for an inspection. Some of these incidents are well captured in the form of photographs taken inside this bizarre holiday camp during the 1980s. To feel the terror of Nazism the visitors were encouraged to escape from the camp. In doing so if they were caught they had to go through some of the similar punishments which were given by the Nazi soldiers to the prisoner during the time of WWII.   One such punishment was to keep the caught prisoner in a metal chamber for up to half an hour. Gary Howard of Ilford, Essex, a visitor of the camp shared his experience when he escaped from the camp. He said: “I was in a pretty bad state because I walked for 45 miles. I had to ring up the camp and asked to be picked up. I had no money, no food and no help from anybody and got soaked to the skin three times. I think I felt what it felt like to be a PoW.”

Sergeant Mr Acraman when asked about this extraordinary theme camp said: ‘We have a big tower here and when someone said to me that it looks like a prisoner of war camp it gave me the idea of running a holiday camp on prison lines. I am now looking around to buy a train to bring people here in cattle trucks. If I can’t get one I shall probably use old army lorries and shut them down in those.’

He added: ‘There are plenty of people around who are just as crazy as I am. They’ll enjoy it’ in fact we’ll make sure they enjoy it. Prisoners will be interrogated for information. On arriving at the camp people will be briefed, given army ranks and then their photographs will be taken.’

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE