Armin Jost was a POW from Germany who had lost both legs on the eastern front whilst battling against the Russians during WW2. The exact details of his capture and his journey detailing how he ended up in the various locations around Cheshire including both the Crewe and Marbury hall POW camps is unknown.
Interestingly Armin was classed as a ‘Black’ prisoner. After interrogation he would have been deemed an ardent Nazi supporter and a dangerous threat. This is indicated in the picture left by the black patch placed over his left (presumable prosthetic) knee.
This story is picked up around 30 years after Armin had initially returned home to Germany. Police in Crewe were called out to deal with a man who had been reported driving dangerously. This man was no other than Armin Jost. He was driving the wrong way down a one way street in a BMW which had been customised to accommodate his war injuries. Needless to say this was causing a bit of havoc and brought a lot of attention to the situation especially when the Police turned up.
Obviously Crewe had changed a little since he had last remembered it 30 years earlier and this is what had caused the confusion. The visit was prompted by Armin’s plans to write a book which would include some of his experiences as a POW in the area. The police now understanding the situation assisted by arranging a motorcycle escort to take Armin to Crewe hall where he met Allan Stubbs who was the transport manager there at the time. Armin was transferred to a wheelchair and Allan gave him a tour of the area, in return Armin shared old stories about his time at Crewe Hall. He detailed how guards would sometimes borrow him clothing so he could attend dances around the area including trips to Chester. Armin’s time at Crewe Hall as a prisoner was described as ‘the time of his life’.
Despite Armin’s initial ‘black’ status on Arrival to England, his complimentary attitude about the treatment and positive memories about his time in the area suggests that upon his return to his homeland he had probably been completely turned around and had transitioned to a ‘White’ prisoner.
Hand written correspondence from Armin Jost (right) “Democracy in peace and freedom”
Information for this blog post sourced from;
Embracing the Enemy – Mark Tyrrell