Series V - Leeuwkop Internment Camp Songbook Collection

Lied-Buch Lager Leeuwkop (songbook) Leeuwkop Lagerlied

Reference code



Leeuwkop Internment Camp Songbook Collection


  • 1940 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

The Leeuwkop Interment Camp Songbook Collection consists of two files.

Archival history

The collection was donated to the Cape Town Holocaust Centre by Richard Silber in 2006.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

The collection contains two hand-made songbooks from the Leeuwkop Internment Camp compiled in 1940 during the Second World War – entitled ‘Lied-Buch Lager Leeuwkop’ and ‘Leeuwkop Lagerlied’, respectively. Once South Africa declared war on Germany in September 1939, Leeuwkop Prison in the (former) Transvaal Province became a transit camp for German detainees and prisoners-of-war arrested by the Smuts government as they were believed to pose a threat to national security.
The verso page of the ‘Lied-Buch Lager Leeuwkop’ is inscribed with the names and prison numbers of some of the German detainees - and at least five of these names have been identified as teachers working at the local German School (Deutsche Schule) at the time. Notably, this included school principal Heinrich von Holten (No. 233), teachers Rudolf Schmidt (No. 239), Georg Duehlmeier (No. 237), Walter Koenig (No. 219), and Pastor Friedrich Hoberg (No. 236). Von Holten and Hoberg were released after four months; the fate of the others is unknown.
The songs in this collection include a range of hymns reflecting the cultural zeitgeist in Leeuwkop, influenced both by pre-modern German folk music and zealous Nazi patriotism. Authors of some of the songs have been identified and are noted where possible. A similar songbook with the same names in the verso page has been identified at Stellenbosch University Special Collections.


System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

This collection is the property of the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • German

Script of material

Language and script notes

English translations are available.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions


One of the booklets is inscribed with the names and prison numbers of some of the detainees on the inside of the front cover as well as a number of patriotic songs in German.

Alternative identifier(s)

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area