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The "class of 45": Prisoners of Ashcan posing for a group photo in August 1945. In the center of the bottom row, Hermann Göring.

Central Continental Prisoner of War Enclosure No. 32, code-named Ashcan, was an Allied prisoner-of-war camp in the Palace Hotel of Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg during World War II. Operating from May to August 1945, it served as a processing station and interrogation center for the 86 most prominent surviving Nazi leaders prior to their trial in Nuremberg, including Hermann Göring and Karl Dönitz.

A British counterpart of Ashcan, Camp Dustbin in Castle Kransberg near Frankfurt am Main, housed prisoners of a more technical inclination including Albert Speer and Wernher von Braun.



The Palace Hotel before the war.

The camp was established by order of Allied Command.[1] It was commanded by U.S. Army Col. Burton C. Andrus, and staffed by men of the U.S. 391st Anti-Aircraft Battalion,[2] Allied intelligence services and 42 German prisoners of war selected for their skills, including a barber, dentist, doctor and even a hotel manager.[3]

The place selected for the camp was the Palace Hotel, a four-story luxury hotel dominating the small spa town, which had earlier in 1945 been used as a billet for U.S. troops.[1] The hotel was transformed into a high-security area with a fifteen-foot high electrified barbed wire fence, guard towers with machine guns and klieg lights.[4] Security was so tight that even the MPs guarding the perimeter knew not what went on inside; they quipped that getting in required "a pass signed by God, and then somebody has to verify the signature".[2] Conditions in the prison were Spartan. The hotel furniture was replaced by Army cots and collapsible tables.[3]

On 10 August 1945, the prisoners were transferred to Nuremberg to stand trial, and the camp was disbanded shortly afterwards. The building continued to serve as a hotel until 1988, when it was demolished to make way for a more modern spa.


Prisoners at Ashcan included most of the accused in the Nuremberg Trials and other senior Nazi dignitaries, such as: