The Germans We Kept

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Published on 14th May 2017 by

The Germans We Kept is a BBC Timewatch programme from 2000 about German Prisoners of War (POWs) who were captured by Allied forces and imprisoned in camps in Great Britain but decided to remain in the country after the end of the Second World War. By 1946 there were over 400,000 prisoners of war in the UK and they were kept for several years and made to help fix the destruction caused by German bombing campaigns. When they were eventually released most of them decided to return to Germany, but a small number elected to stay.

The film describes how English people and the Germans who were given their freedom had to adapt to the strange situation of needing to get to know each other and trust each other. Several Germans who stayed in the UK are interviewed in the film including Bert Trautmann who became a professional footballer and played for Manchester City for 15 years between 1949 and 1964. Trautmann died in 2013 at his villa in Spain where he lived, he was 89 years of age.

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