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European Camps –British & Commonwealth Prisoners of war 1939-45

“Vas du das Krieg est uber" - "For You the War is over." German and Italian camps! Over 200,000 soldiers of the British armed forces were captured during the Second World War and placed in one of the different types of prisoner of war camps run by the Germans until 1945 and Italians until late 1943, sometimes even both!

We have the full German AND Italian camp listings in our fully searchable database!

 

Types of camp

In the German adminstered systems prisoners were divided by 'type' i.e. In German run camps an 'Oflag' was a prisoner of war camp for officers, a 'Stalag' was for enlisted personnel, and there were also separate camps for navy, aircrews and civilians.

In the (Facist) Italian system camps were prefixed 'CC' or 'PG' and still split between officers and enlisted men however there was no denomination between the 2 main types of camp.

The Geneva convention

All PoWs were supposed to be protected by rules for the treatment of prisoners of war which had been established in the Geneva Convention of 1929.

The Geneva convention comprised a few other agreements made concerning Prisoners of war, notably the Hague regulations of 1899 and 1907 and the pre war version which was initially signed on July 27th 1929. 

It was this version that Germany and Italy, amongst 53 other countries, signed.

In fact, a little known detail, is that although Germany signed the agreement on the date of issue they ratified it in 1934 (- after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor in March 1933)!

It is very important to note that The Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva convention and hence the main Nazis reasoned that the POWs captured were to be treated similarly cruelly to the Jews, Slavs and the myriad of other prisoners that were systematically ill treated, brutalised & murdered during the war.

The case for the defence at war crimes tribunals after 1945 was often based on this, however this was overruled as Germany had signed, and hence was argued to be in breach of the rules they had pledged to uphold, regardless of which countries POWs they were dealing with.

In Germany only those POWs from Britain, France, the low countries, the US, the commonwealth and a few selected other countries were treated with any reference to the Geneva conventions rules.

Article 10 required that PoWs (also abbreviated as PW) should be lodged in adequately heated and lit buildings where conditions were the same as German troops.

Articles 27 to 34 listed the conditions of the work that could be required.

Working life as a POW

Ordinary servicemen were required to do any work they were able to do, as long as it was not dangerous and did not support the German war effort, (Geneva conention section III, article 49)

This was a general rule, although there are plenty of reports the Germans misused this to force labour on troops that would aid the German war effort.

E.g. Camp E715 ‘Buna/Monowitz’ where POWS worked alongside Jewish inmates from the adjacent Auschwitz III KZ (Konzentrationslager) -otherwise known as ‘Extermination through work’ (Vernichtung durch Arbeit) camp.

Senior NCO’s (sergeants and above) were required to work only in a supervisory role, although they could join in with the lower ranks if they wished to do so, this became a contentious issue as the Germans (but not the Italians for the most part) were very keen to make all non officer ranks work especially as the continuing war after 1941 was sapping German industry and agriculture of its manpower.

The Germans would frequently refuse to recognise ranks as being of NCO status even after the British Government had sent proof of individuals rights in this respect, this coupled with the fact that a few POW Privates would pretend to have a higher rank to escape compulsory work meant that anyone below a significant rank would struggle in choosing not to work.

Officers were not required to work, although they could volunteer, the convention did actually allow officers to be requested to work but neither the Axis nor Allies used them so.

The work performed was largely agricultural or industrial, ranging from coal or potash mining, stone quarrying, or work in saw mills, breweries, factories, railroad yards, and forests. PoWs hired out to military and civilian contractors were supposed to receive pay and to get a least one day a week of rest.

It is worth noting especially the fact that over 60% of ‘other ranks’ POWs were neither housed nor worked at the actual POW camp they may be recorded as rostered at, having been assigned to work details they usually worked and lived at a smaller camp attached to a factory/worksite or even lived with the farmers family off camp.

Article 76 had a number of agreements designed to ensure that POWs who died whilst in captivity were honourably buried and in marked graves, this did not always happen especially on the ‘long marches’ in 1945.

German camps

German camps were arranged by district and then often had many sub camps, these could be a small barracks attached to a factory or even just a barn on a farm, these could be up to 100 miles from the main camp, this combined with the fact that camps were sometimes moved or renamed means that researchers should take great care in identifying camps by both designation number and location in order to ensure they locate the correct camp.

Officers:

An Oflag (Offizierslager) was a camp for officers only.

A limited number of non-commissioned soldiers working as orderlies were allowed in Oflags to carry out the work needed to care for the officers so don’t be too surprised to find a Corporal in Colditz!

A few of these orderlies had been assigned as ‘batmen’ to senior officers and were incarcerated along with them, however most were assigned by the Germans once captured and many disliked their new role intensely and suffered because of it.

e.g. Wing Commander and air ace Douglas Baders ‘man’ was a medical orderly by profession and according to the Geneva Convention was offered early repatriation only to have Bader, his officer, refuse to let him go!

Equally there were stalags which only had officers in them so nominally called a ‘Stalag’ but in reality more an ‘Oflag’, these were typically a compound of a larger POW camp housing other ranks also, or a Stalag Luft where most aircrew were officer grades.

In general the German Army complied with the provisions of the Geneva Convention regarding care of officers of the armies of the western Allies, including Poland.

There were notable exceptions, for example the execution of recaptured prisoners.

Oflag IX-C (Molsdorf) was used to house Women Officers of the Polish army and was widely known (even to the International Red Cross) as the worst of all of those run by German forces during WWII for its near concentration-camp conditions.

Stalag Luft III (Sagan) was the camp made famous for its multiple tunnels and mass escape in 1944 ‘The great escape’, 50 recaptured POWS were murdered by the Gestapo. (short for 'Geheime Staats Polizei' : secret state police).

The National Archives holds over 100 files concerning the murder of 50 Allied airmen who escaped from Stalag Luft III in March 1944: an incident known as 'The Great Escape' which make fasicnating reading.

Within the camp British PoWs were controlled by the Senior British Officer (SBO) or Senior British Non-Commissioned Officer (SBNCO). Some large camps had both a camp leader and a 'man of confidence' (or several in the biggest camps) who was junior to him and handled any day-to-day negotiations with the Germans regarding, for example, camp routine, work schedules and diet. He/they reported directly to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were responsible for inspecting camps and hospitals and producing reports.

Other Ranks: Stalag

Stalag was short for Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager.

According to the Third Geneva Convention of 1929 and its predecessor, the Hague Convention of 1907, Section IV, Chapter 2, those camps were only for prisoners of war, not civilians. Stalags were operated in both World War I and World War II and intended to be used for non-commissioned personnel (Enlisted ranks in US Army, Other ranks in British Commonwealth forces).

Civilians who were officially attached to military units, such as war correspondents, were provided the same treatment as military personnel by the Conventions.

There were also detailed conditions under which they should work, be housed and paid. During World War II these latter provisions were consistently breached, in particular for Soviet, Polish, and Yugoslav prisoners. 

Prisoners of various nationalities were generally separated from each other by barbed-wire fences subdividing each stalag into sections. Frequently prisoners speaking the same language, for example British Commonwealth soldiers, were permitted to intermingle.

At each stalag the German Army set up local sub-camps called ‘Arbeitskommando’ for factories, coal-mines, quarries, farms or railroad maintenance. 

Sub-camps sometimes held more than 1,000 prisoners, usually split by nationality, although English speakers were usually together for this purpose.

The sub-camps were managed by the ‘main’ stalag, which maintained personnel records, collected mail, International Red Cross packages etc. 

Hence a person imprisoned under a main camp ( Stalag III for example, could actually not have been kept there for the majority of his time as a POW, and may have had an easier or harder experience than those kept elsewhere.

Anyone that was injured in work, or became ill, were returned to the Lazarett (’Hospital’) at the main camp or a nearby Military/civilian hospital.

Stalag Luft

Stalag Luft was short for Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager- Luft.

These were exactly the same as the standard ‘army’ Stalags, however there is a great deal of evidence that Stalag Lufts were far better guarded than the normal camps in recognition of how valuable each aircrew (especially pilots) were to the allies war effort.

Stalag Luft camps were administered by the Luftwaffe (German air force) rather than all other camps which were administered by the Wehrmacht (Germany regular army), the Luftwaffe used their own designations so it is a little confusing that whilst Stalags were for enlisted men under Army designation and Oflags for officers it would logically be named an 'Oflag Luft' since most aircrew were officer ranks.

Other Camp designations

    Dulag or Durchgangslager (transit camp) –These camps were intelligence collection centres, Prisoners were always supposed to come to one of these before going on to a ‘permanent’ Stalag/Oflag camp, stay duration could be as short as just one or two days.   

    Dulag Luft or Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe (transit camp of the Luftwaffe) – These were transit camps for Airforce POWs. The main Dulag Luft camp at Frankfurt was the principal collecting point for intelligence derived from Allied POW interrogation. 

    Marlag or Marine-Lager (marine camp) – These were Navy personnel POW camps. 

    Milag or Marine-Internierten-Lager (marine internment camp) – These were merchant seamen internment camps, both these and Marlags were administed by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy).

    Feldpost –normally a Kreigslazzarett or field hospital, (literally ‘war hospital’).

    BAB -Bau und Arbeits Battalion (construction battalion)

These were work battalions formed from the other ranks camps i.e. Stalags and Marlags, most were mobile units especially for road and heavy construction.

Note on camps:

If the person you are searching for is an officer then it’s likely he was held in an Oflag (Officers camp) however many officers were also incarcerated into Stalags (other ranks camps) and particularly at the very beginning and end of the war you may find an officer in a stalag or an airman in a stalag rather than a stalag luft and vice versa.

There are also reports of POWs being held at Concentration camps such as Auschwitz, Dachau etc. these were very much the exception to the normal rules and usually it seems the result of being caught in civilian clothing after escaping or during evasion from the military authorities and handed to the Gestapo.

List of camps 

Camps were split into military districts these were as follows:

District I –in what is now known as Olsztyn, Poland, then it was in East Prussia.

The nearest large city is Kaliningrad (formerly Konigsberg).

District II –in the far North east of Germany, nearest large city Schwerin (German name: Stettin)

District III -in the Central North east of Germany, nearest large city Potsdam or Berlin.

District IV –In the Lower eastern part of Germany bordering The Czech Republic in the south and Poland in the east, nearest large city Magedeburg/Dresden. 

District V –In the Far south west of German, the nearest large city being Posen.

District VI –Nearest city Wroclaw, Poland (German name: Breslau)

District VII –Nearest city Munster in the North West region of Germany.

District VIII –Nearest city Koblenz, In the middle west area of Germany.

District IX –Nearest City Altona, near Hamburg in the middle North of Germany.

District X – Nearest city Hanover, in the middle north of Germany.

 District XI –Nearest city Kassel, in the centre of Germany.

District XII -Nearest city Dresden, in the North East of Germany.

District XIII- Nearest city Stuttgart in the South west of Germany.

District XIV –Nearest city Karlsruhe, in the southwest of Germany.

District XV –Nearest city Strasbourg, now in France.

District XVI –Nearest city Metz, now in France.

District XVII –Nearest city Gdansk Poland, (German name: Danzig).

District XVIII –Nearest city Frankfurt am main – in the west of Germany.

District XIX –Nearest city Leipzig in the east of Germany.

District XX –Nearest city Olsztyn, Poland (German name: Allenstein)

District XXI –Nearest city Saarbrucken, Germany, on the French border.

Please note when searching for camps names, these will not only be listed by type and number but also location.

The Locations may be in German and also the countries language they are now located in.

 

 

Map of Military Districts in Germany proper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dulag

Dulag 135/1 Athens Greece Location N/E 38-23

Dulag 377 Gerolstein (TL 71) Rheinland, Prussia Location N/E 50-06

Dulag Luft Grosstychow Dulag 12

Dulag Luft POW Camp Chalons-Sur-Marne France Location N/E 49-04

Dulag OB Chartres France Location N/E 48-01

Dulag Wetzlar (Transit) Klosternald, Rheinland, Prussia Location N/E 50-08

 

Dulag luft

Oberusel, Frankfurt

 

Location: 50.21654°N 8.55366°E

Dulag Luft was the abbreviated name of ‘Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe’ - given to Prisoner of War (POW) transit camps for Air Force prisoners captured by Germany during the Second World War. 

Whilst they were ostensibly for collection of air force personnel their main purpose was as interrogation centres for newly captured aircrew, before they were transferred in batches to the permanent camps. 

The main centre used during the war was at Oberursel near Frankfurt. 

Another sub camp was built at Wetzlar later in the war to help cope with the large numbers of aircrew captured as the bombing campaign intensified against Germany with between 1000 and 2000 kept during any one month, although most were there for only a few days before being transferred to their ‘permanent’ Stalag Luft/Oflag camps.

The main part of the camp consisted of four large wooden barracks, two of which were connected by a passage and known to POWs as the "cooler". 

These contained some 200 cells. 

These cells, eight feet high, feet wide and twelve feet long, held a cot, a table, a chair and an electric bell to call the guard. 

The third barrack contained administrative headquarters. 

The fourth building was for the interrogating offices, files and records. 

The camp was built on the site of an old chicken farm, approximately 300 yards north of the main Frankfurt to Bad Homburg road. The camp opened in December 1939 when a small number of British and French POWs were transferred in from Oflag IX-A/H. These first prisoners were the permanent staff of the camp and helped new POWs become accustomed to camp life. The main building, known as ‘the stonehouse’, had been used as a prison for a small number of airmen captured in the early months of the war, before it became a transit camp.

From April 1940 onwards the camp expanded with the completion of three wooden barrack blocks. After this point the stonehouse was used as the interrogation centre for new POWs, and the barrack blocks were used to house the permanent staff POWs and other POWs awaiting transfer to other camps. The first Senior British Officer (SBO) was Wing Commander Harry Day. 

There was also a hospital building at Hohemark.

 Post-war the site was taken over by the United States Army and renamed Camp King. It remained in use until 1993.

As with all POWs, escape was always in mind. Despite initial appearances, and some accusations of collaboration with the Germans, the permanent staff, headed by Day, had set up an escape committee with other members of the staff, including Squadron Leader Roger Bushell and Lt Cmdr Jimmy Buckley RN. Buckley was a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm and as such the Germans had placed him, with all other FAA aircrew, under the responsibility of the Luftwaffe. Bushell was later to be murdered by the Gestapo following The Great Escape from Stalag Luft III in March 1944.

Several tunnels were started, but the first two ran into problems of extreme flooding, however they were not discovered. The third tunnel ran westwards from the westernmost barrack block under a sentry tower on the south-western corner of the camp. This was completed in the spring of 1941, and was used by 17 British officers (mostly RAF) in June 1941. The exact date of the escape is not known, but many sources quote it as occurring during the Whitsun weekend.

The escapers, including Day, Buckley, Johnnie Dodge and future ‘Carry on’ Film star Peter Butterworth were all recaptured within a week. Roger Bushell is believed not to have used the tunnel, instead escaping on the same night from a goat shed in the camp grounds. It is understood that he wished for a slightly earlier start to catch a train for his intended escape route. He was also recaptured.

This was the first mass escape of the war by British officers, and the first tunnel constructed by RAF POWs to be completed and used. All the recaptured escapers were well treated, and after serving their solitary confinement as punishment for the attempt were all transferred to Stalag Luft I. It is reputed that the German Camp Commandant at the time (Major Rumpel), gave the escapers a case of champagne with the words "Better luck next time, even if I'm not supposed to say so". 

The national archives has a file reference WO208/3269 which gives the full camp history.

Oflag

‘Closure’ dates refer to the both the evacuation or liberation of the site if in 1945, all other dates mean the camp was ‘officially’ closed and the POWs transferred. 

All of the numbers are in roman numerals: the normal designation, you should prefix them with an ‘O’ for Oflag for the shortened version when researching elsewhere.

All locations are named as the German title and the present day country they are located.

Suffixes on camps relate to their parent camp: i.e. ‘h’ means hauptlager –main camp, ‘z’ means zweiglager or a sub camp.

OFLAG LUFT I

See Stalag Luft I

OFLAG LUFT II

See Stalag Luft II

OFLAG 2 IIa Prenzlau, Germany.

Located in the town of Prenzlau, Brandenburg, 93 kilometres (58 mi) north of Berlin. 

Coordinates 53.3021°N 13.8209°E

The camp, located just south of Prenzlau on the main road to Berlin, and was originally built in 1936 as a barracks for Artillery Regiment 38.

It was opened as a POW camp in September 1939 and housed mainly Belgian officers. With an area of about 7 hectares (17 acres) the camp was divided into two compounds: Lager A which contained four three-storey prisoner blocks, and an administration and canteen block, and Lager B which contained various garages and workshops, some of which were used as additional prisoner accommodation. The camp was surrounded by a double barbed-wire fence with seven watchtowers.

In March 1945 two bombs dropped by a Russian aircraft hit Block B killing eight POWs, and injuring several others. The camp was liberated by the Red Army on the morning of 12 April 1945.

In February 1945s SHAEF report it had 2750 PoWs all Belgian.

OFLAG 2 IIb Arnswalde, Poland

Opened November 1939.

Coordinates 53.10°N 15.27°E

The camp was founded in 1939, by the 3rd Battalion barracks German motorized infantry regiment & 25th and 3rd Squadron - two motorized artillery regiments. Infrastructure of the camp consisted of four two-storey blocks, a gymnasium, two administrative buildings, four garages, and a large parade ground. The area was fenced with barbed double fence height. 2.5 m and a width of 1.5 m 

Named Arnswalde II B, which meant, Arnswalde - the name of the town where the camp was situated - Choszczno , II - the number of the military district in this case, Stettin ( Pomerania , Mecklenburg ), B - the sequence of the camp in the district - the second. The first transport numbering 2254 POWs (1618 officers and 636 other ranks) arrived at the camp on 6th November 1939. 

The prisoners came from the Polish Army Krakow, SGO Polesie and the defenders of the coast. November 21st brought hundreds of wounded prisoners from the field hospitals. The next larger transport (1067 prisoners) arrived on December 7th, 1939 also from Stargard, Oflag II-d.

French officers were also brought to this camp after the defeat of France in 1940.

The commandants of the camp:

6 November 1939 - 20 December 1940 – Colonel Joachim von Loebecke

20 December 1940 - April 1941 - Major von Stietencron

 April 1941- late 1942 - Colonel von Muller 

Senior allied officers:

November 6, 1939 to 19th December 1940 - Colonel Rudolf Kalenski

20th December 1940 -28 September 1941 - Colonel Wojciech Tyczynski

September 28 1941- late 1942 - Colonel Witold Dzierzykraj-Moravian

Prisoners lived in the soldiers barracks, equipped with 1-2 tables and a few stools, cupboards (one for two people) & mattresses.

Beds were for officers, elderly and the sick. 

PoWs received: one blanket, a towel, a cup, a spoon and a piece of soap. 

On each floor there were toilets and sinks with running cold water but no baths. 

The lighting was poor, and heating didn’t function. 

Bathing was provided once a month outside the camp. 

In the camp there were eight medical officers, the seriously ill were treated in the prison hospital in Stargard. Foodwas very scarce and below starvation rations.

The officers received monthly wages paid in the so-called ‘lagergeld’ corresponding to the value of brands circulation. Size salary was dependent of your military rank and was for Colonel 150 (eg, Brigadier 180), Col. 120, Major 108, Captain 98, Lt. 81, Lieutenant 72.

Part of the wages earned was transferred to a Mutual Fund . The Fund's operations include assistance to widows and orphans of fallen colleagues in the country, the fees for the lawyers defending prisoners before German courts, the payment of salaries of the cadets and soldiers, as well as cultural and educational activities. 

On 14th May 1942 all Polish PoWs were transferred to Oflag II D Gross Born, where prisoners were all French. 

The first group of French prisoners of war were brought to Choszczna just after the fall of France in June 1940, The senior officer being Colonel Gonnard. The French stay was relatively short.  

From the 15th of August 1940 there were 356 officers and 140 other ranks.

On November 8th 1940 all French were then transported to Oflag IIa in Prenzlau, however later in 1942 the camp became almost all French with transfers from other officers camps.

1942 - 2396 officers and 408 other ranks

Up until October 1943 - 2459 officers and 302 other ranks

1 October 1943 - 2561 officers and 292 other ranks

1944 -2526 Officers and 285 other ranks

1945 -2549 Officers and 291 other ranks

As usual with Oflags –the ‘other ranks’ were there mainly for use as orderlies to the officers.

A command was issued to march from the camp westwards on the night 28/29 of January 1945 in advance of the Russians. 

The camp was divided into three groups of 900. Some took the opportunity to escape at this point.

The march lasted until February 25th and ended up in the town of Waren where they were liberated by the Russians soon after.

Reports from SHAEF dated February 1945 showed 1 Belgian, 1 Yugoslav and 2870 French were held.

OFLAG 2 IIc Woldenberg, Poland.

Location 52.96°N 15.75°E

Opened June 1940, closed January 1945.

Oflag II-C Woldenburg was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp located about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the town of Woldenberg, Brandenburg (now Dobiegniew, western Poland). The camp housed Polish officers and orderlies and had an area of 25 hectares (62 acres) with 25 brick huts for prisoners and another six for kitchens, class-rooms, theatre, and administration.

Work on the camp began in October 1939 when 500 Polish prisoners from the September campaign arrived to build the camp, and who lived initially in tents. In May 1940 as the building work progressed small groups of Polish officers were transferred in from other POW camps. In July 1941 a group of officer-cadets were brought from Stalag II-A. 

They were divided among the 25 huts to work as orderlies, in addition to the lower ranks that were already doing this work. 

In April 1942 the last group of Polish officers arrived from Oflag X-C near Lübeck. The number of inmates reached its peak of 5,944 officers and 796 orderlies. In October 1944 a small number of higher ranking officers arrived from the Warsaw Uprising. On 28 January 1945 the POWs were assembled and marched westward, but after two days they were liberated by the Soviet Red Army.

There were several escape attempts, but only two were successful. In early 1942 three officers managed to hide inside empty boxes in a truck that was unloading food supplies. They were successful. On Christmas Eve 1942 a number of officers arranged a fight outside one of the huts. While the guards were engaged in breaking up the fight, toward which the searchlights were all directed, three officers managed to cut through the barbed wire and escape from the camp. A larger scale attempt was unsuccessful. In 1943 a tunnel was being dug from a hut closest to the wires. About 150 officers were preparing to get out through it. Unfortunately, as the tunnel was within a few feet of its end it was discovered.

SHAEF reports from February 1945 show 6781 PoWs held, all Polish.

OFLAG 2 IId Groß-Born Rederitz, Poland.

Opened June 1940, closed April 1945.

Location 53.573°N 16.537°E

Oflag II-D was a World War II German prisoner-of-war camp located at Gross Born, Pomerania (now Borne Sulinowo, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland). In the late 1930s the German Army built a large base and training ground at which the XIX Army Corps of General Heinz Guderian was based.

In September 1939 two Stalags, Stalag 302 and Stalag 323 were established to house Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive.

The Polish POWs were transferred to other camps on 1 June 1940 and Oflag II-D was established to house French officers from the Battle of France. By February 1941 there were 3,166 officers and 565 orderlies in the camp.

In 1942 the French officers were transferred to other camps and replaced with Polish officers.

In 1942 a large camp (Stalag 323) was built for Soviet prisoners, it was located at the other end of the training ground. Conditions in this camp were deplorable, as the rules of the Third Geneva Convention were not observed for Soviet prisoners.

 In October 1944 most of the officers from the Warsaw Uprising were brought to this camp. The roster of 1 January 1945 showed that there were 5,014 officers and 377 orderlies in the camp.

 When the offensive of the Soviet Red Army resumed in 1945, all inmates were marched westward on 28 January 1945. Only those too sick to walk were left behind. After an eight-week 500 kilometres (310 mi) march in bitterly cold weather they reached Stalag X-B and Marlag und Milag Nord in Sandbostel. The prisoners were liberated there by units of the British Army on 5 May 1945.

SHAEF report of February 1945 shows 5390 Polish PoWs here.

OFLAG 2 IIe Neubrandenburg, Germany.

Opened October 1940, closed March 1944 and redesignated as Oflag 67 (LXVII).

Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive were placed in Stalag II-A. After some time the officers were separated out and placed initially in the garages of the adjoining German Army armoured division. Then a separate camp, Oflag II-E, was built for them on the west side of the road.

From May and June 1940 Dutch and Belgian prisoners arrived from the Battle of France, followed by French. In 1941 more officer prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign mostly British, Yugoslavian, Serbs and Greeks. By February 1944 most of the officers had been transferred to other Oflags. Only Dutch officers and a few Russian officers remained. The camp was renumbered Oflag-67. It was liberated by a Soviet armoured division on 28 April 1945.

OFLAG 3 IIIa Luckenwalde, Germany. 

Opened September 1939, closed January 1942.

OFLAG 3 IIIb Tibor, Poland.

Opened June 1940, closed February 1942. 

OFLAG 3 IIIc Lubben, Germany.

Opened August 1940, closed September 1942.

OFLAG 3 IIId Hohenfels, Germany.

See Stalag 383.

Opened August 1940, closed 1944.

OFLAG 3 IIIe Brandenburg, Germany.

Opened March 1940, closed March 1944.

OFLAG 4 IVa Hohenstein-Ernstthal/Bad Schandau, Germany.

Opened September 1939, closed April 1945. 

The castle was first used as a camp in 1933-34, named KZ Hohnstein. As a Schutzhaftlager ("protective custody camp"), it held political prisoners, mostly members of the Communist Party, who were forced to work in a nearby quarry.

 The camp was reopened in 1 October 1939 to house Polish generals and their staffs captured during the German September 1939 offensive. On 15 May 1940 most of them were transferred to Oflag IV-B Konigsteine.

By September 1940 the prisoners at the camp were mainly French, with 100 officers up the rank of colonel, and 28 generals. There were also seven Dutch and 27 Polish generals, with orderlies. By the end of October 1940 all these prisoners had been transferred to other camps, and the castle was then used to accommodate evacuee children from Hamburg and Berlin.

OFLAG 4 IVb Konigsteine Elbe, Germany.

Opened October 1939, closed April 1945.

At the start of the war most high-ranking Polish officers were imprisoned there. The staff officers were imprisoned in the casemates and the generals in one of the forts. The lower-ranking officers were incarcerated in the lower levels of the fortress. Despite harsh conditions in the living chambers, the officers were granted relative freedom and had a part of the fortress gardens at their disposal. Apart from Antoni Szylling and Tadeusz Piskor, who were imprisoned in Murnau, all Polish army commanders taken by the Germans in 1939 were held there. After the Fall of France in 1940, most Polish officers were transferred to either Oflag VIIA Murnau or Oflag VIII E Johannisbrunn, and French officers were imprisoned in the castle.

After being freed in 1941, an orderly to a French admiral wrote that that life there was boring but "not particularly onerous", with "adequate by European prison standards" sanitation, inadequate but regular rations, and cigarettes for purchase. The prisoners quickly found German bugs in their rooms, and discovered that an "English general" imprisoned with them was a German agent. The orderly estimated that 20% of the 120 French general officers favoured cooperation with Germany (with many freed to join the Vichy government), 30% favoured the Allies, and 50% were neutral.

The camp was surrendered to the Red Army on May 9, 1945. The Russians stayed only long enough to remove anything of value, and loading up the German guards, they returned to their HQ leaving the French Generals alone. A short while afterwards, a French light aircraft landed and the pilot informed them that he had come to collect General Saint Ceran of the French Air Force. The remaining inmates asked that he inform the Americans of their plight which he did, and despite Koenigstein being in the Russian zone, a decision was taken to swiftly remove the French generals from the castle on May 11. They were flown back to Paris on May 12, many of them free for the first time in five years.

OFLAG 4 IVc Saalhaus Colditz, Germany.

 

Opened November 1939, Liberated 16th April 1945.

Located in Colditz Castle situated on a cliff overlooking the town of Colditz in Saxony.

1939: The first prisoners arrived in November 1939; they were 140 Polish officers from the September Campaign who were regarded as escape risks. However, later most of them were transferred to other Oflags.

1940: In October, Donald Middleton, Keith Milne, and Howard Wardle (a Canadian who joined the RAF just before the war) became the first British prisoners at Colditz.

On 7 November, six British officers, the "Laufen Six", named after the camp (Oflag VII) from which they made their first escape, arrived: Harry Elliott, Rupert Barry (later Sir Rupert Barry), Pat Reid, Dick Howe, Anthony "Peter" Allan, and Kenneth Lockwood. They were soon joined by a handful of British Army officers and later by Belgian officers. By Christmas 1940 there were 60 Polish officers, 12 Belgians, 50 French, and 30 British, a total of no more than 200 with their orderlies.

1941: February, 200 French officers arrived. By the end of July 1941, there were more than 500 officers: over 250 French, 150 Polish, 50 British and Commonwealth, 2 Yugoslavian. In April 1941, a French officer, Alain Le Ray, become the first prisoner ever to escape from the Colditz Castle.

On 24 July, 68 Dutch officers arrived, mostly members of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army, who had refused to sign a declaration that they would take no part in the war against Germany. According to the German Security Officer, Captain Reinhold Eggers, the Dutch officers appeared to be model prisoners at first. Importantly for other internees in the camp, among the 68 Dutch was Hans Larive with his knowledge of the Singen route. This route into Switzerland was discovered by Larive in 1940 on his first escape attempt from an Oflag in Soest. Larive was caught at the Swiss border near Singen. The interrogating Gestapo officer was so confident the war would soon be won by Germany that he told Larive the safe way across the border near Singen. 

Larive did not forget and many prisoners later escaped using this route.

13 August: Within days after their arrival, the Dutch escape officer, Captain Machiel van den Heuvel (known as 'Vandy'), planned and executed his first of many escape plans. On 13 August the first two Dutchmen escaped successfully from the castle followed by many more of which six officers made it to England. Afterwards a number of would-be escapees would borrow Dutch greatcoats as their disguise. When the Wehrmacht invaded the Netherlands they were short on material for uniforms, so they confiscated anything available. The coats in Dutch field grey in particular remained unchanged in colour, since it was similar to the tone already in use by the Germans, thus these greatcoats would be nearly identical with very minor alterations.

Some of the French officers held at Colditz 1943: In May, the Wehrmacht High Command decided that Colditz should house only Americans and British, so in June the Dutch were moved out, followed shortly thereafter by the Poles, the Belgians, and the French; with the final French group leaving 12 July, 1943. By the end of July there were a few Free French officers, and 228 British officers, with a contingent consisting of Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Irish, and one Indian.

1944: On 23 August Colditz received its first Americans: 49-year-old Colonel Florimund Duke — the oldest American paratrooper of the war, Captain Guy Nunn, and Alfred Suarez. They were all counter-intelligence operatives parachuted into Hungary to prevent it joining forces with Germany. Population was approximately 254 at the start of the early winter that year, with 71 other ranks (orderlies etc).

1945: On 19 January six French Generals — Lieutenant-General Jean Adolphe Louis Robert Flavigny, Major-General Louis Léon Marie André Buisson, Major-General Arsène Marie Paul Vauthier, Brigadier-General Albert Joseph Daine, and Brigadier-General René Jacques Mortemart de Boisse — were brought from the camp at Königstein to Colditz Castle. 

Major-General Gustave Marie Maurice Mesny was killed on the way from Königstein to Colditz Castle.

On 5 February, Polish General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, deputy commander of the Armia Krajowa (Home Army) and responsible for the Warsaw Uprising, arrived with his entourage.

In March, 1200 French prisoners were brought to Colditz Castle, with 600 more being imprisoned in the town below.

On the 16th April Oflag IV C was captured by American soldiers from 1st US Army.

Did you know?

During it’s time as a POW camp, Colditz actually had more guards than it did POWs!

The escape committee were supplied with full detailed survey and building plans of the castle by SOE during the war, these were better and far more detailed than the Germans had themselves!

There were many attempts at escape during the war, these are covered in some detail in many other publications, especially ‘the Colditz story’ by Pat Reid himself.

On January 5th 1942 - Airey Neave and Anthony Luteyn successfully escaped from Colditz Castle, Germany, Neave being the first British officer to accomplish this feat.

OFLAG IV-D

Oflag IV-D Elsterhorst was a World War II German Army Prisoner-of-war camp for Allied officers located near Hoyerswerda in Saxony, 44 km north-east of Dresden.

In June 1940, part of Stalag IV-A was separated and made into an Oflag for Belgian, British, and French officers taken prisoner during the Battle of France. Also a separate part of the camp was set aside as a hospital for prisoners Reserve Lazarett 742.

In September 1943 many British Commonwealth officers from the North Africa campaign. that had been held in Italian prisoner of war camps were transferred to Oflag IV-D.

In May 1945 the camp was liberated by the Red Army. 

Before that many prisoners had been marched out in a south-west direction.

OFLAG IV-E

Located at Annaberg-Bucholz in Germany, this was also a POW camp in WWI.

OFLAG Va Weinburg (Baden- Wurttemburg) Germany.

 

Opened December 1939.

One of the most highly decorated POWs of the war was kept here, the only fighting soldier to be awarded the VC twice.

Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham (VC & Bar), 20th battalion 2nd NZ expeditionary force. 

Having been taken prisoner of war (POW), he was sent to an Italian hospital to recuperate but attempted to escape numerous times before being branded "dangerous" by the Germans, (how a man, having been awarded 2 VC’s for combat could not be regarded as ‘dangerous’ by the enemy is extremely ironic!)

One attempt to escape occurred when a group of POWs were being transported in open trucks through Italy. Upham jumped from the truck at a bend and managed to get 400 yards (370 m) away before being recaptured. He had broken an ankle in jumping from the moving truck.

Another attempt occurred when he was being moved between prison camps on a civilian train while guarded by two Germans. Upham was only allowed to visit the toilet when the train was travelling at high speed, to prevent him from jumping through a window. Nevertheless, Upham prised open the toilet window and jumped onto the tracks, knocking himself unconscious.

 On a third occasion, he tried to escape a camp by climbing its fences in broad daylight. He became entangled in barbed wire when he fell down between the two fences. When a prison guard pointed a pistol at his head and threatened to shoot, Upham calmly ignored him and lit a cigarette. This scene was photographed by the Germans as "evidence" and later reprinted in his biography (Mark of the Lion, by Kenneth Sandford).

After this incident, Upham was considered extremely dangerous and was placed in solitary confinement. He was only allowed to exercise alone, while accompanied by two armed guards and while covered by a machinegun in a tower. Despite these precautions, Upham bolted from his little courtyard, straight through the German barracks and out through the front gate of the camp. The guard in the machinegun-tower later told other prisoners that he ‘refrained from shooting Upham out of sheer respect.’

Upham was soon recaptured and sent to the infamous Oflag IV-C (Colditz) on 14 October 1944.

OFLAG Vb Biberach, Germany

 

Opened August 1940 closed November 1941.

The camp was originally built as barracks for German Army infantry early in 1939 and consisted of concrete single storey buildings on a plateau north-west of the town. It was named "Lindele". In good weather there was a fine view of the Alps to the south.

In May 1940 the first British and Commonwealth officers captured in the battle of France arrived. The Senior British Officer was Major-General V. M. Fortune. The camp was clean and living conditions were satisfactory. The first officers from the battle of Greece arrived on 16 June 1941. They were surprised at the good conditions after several weeks of travel and grim conditions in transit camps. 

In October 1941 the British officers were transferred to Oflag VI-B in Warburg. For three months after their removal the camp was used as a transit camp for Soviet prisoners. It was then used as a temporary camp for French and Serbian officers.

In September 1942 the camp became Lager Lindele ("Lindele Camp"), and was used as an Ilag ("Internment Camp") for about 1,200 civilian internees from the Channel Islands. 

There were several escape attempts during the summer of 1941. The largest such attempt was on 13th September, when 26 prisoners got out through a tunnel. Four managed to reach Switzerland, the rest were recaptured. It is possible that the large number or escape attempts and the close proximity to the Swiss border (only 110 km/68 miles away) prompted the authorities to move the prisoners.

The successful escapes by Lt. Michael Duncan and Captain O'Sullivan were documented extensively at the time by British Intelligence. 

OFLAG Vc Wurzach, Germany 

Opened September 1940 closed May 1942. 

OFLAG Vd Offenburg, Germany 

Opened 09/40, Closed 04/42 

Relocated to Biberach, housed mainly French and Serbo-Croat officers.

Postal records show this camp as being under the control of the SS.

OFLAG Vd (55) Biberach, Germany 

Opened 03/42, closed 12/42 

OFLAG Vd Wurzach, Germany 

POW camp in the castle of Bad Wurzach, although this was unlike Colditz in that it was really a large country house, not a castle as such.

Opened September 1940 and closed May 1942.

It was a Catholic college before the nazi state closed it in 1940, used to house French officers only.

OFLAG VIa Soest, Germany.

Opened June 1940, closed April 1945.

Oflag VI-A Soest Prussia Location N/E 51-08

OFLAG VIb Dössel, Germany 

Opened 09/40 closed 04/45, also listed under 'Warburg'.

 

The camp was opened in September 1940 on what had been originally intended to be a military airfield. At first French, and then British officers were housed there.

The camp was the setting for two remarkable escape attempts. On 1 December 1941 Flt Lt Peter Stevens RAFVR, disguised as a German Unteroffizier, led a party of 10 POWs disguised as orderlies, and two more disguised as guards complete with dummy rifles, up to the gates of the camp. The sentry was not satisfied with their gate pass, so Stevens marched his party back into the camp. As the sentry was apparently unaware that the party was not genuine, a second attempt was made a week later. This time the sentry demanded to see their Army paybooks, so the escape party fled, although two were arrested.

On 30 August 1942 the camp was the scene of "Operation Olympia", also known as the "Warburg Wire Job", another mass escape attempt. After ROAC officer Major B.D. Skelton ("Skelly") Ginn fused the perimeter floodlights, 41 prisoners carrying four 12-foot (3.7 m) scaling ladders made from bed slats rushed to the barbed-wire fence and clambered over. One ladder collapsed, so of the 41 involved, only 28 escaped the camp, and only three of those made it home.

In September 1942 the British prisoners were transferred to other camps, and were replaced with Polish officers, with 1,077 brought from Romania, where they had been interned since September 1939, and another 1,500 transferred from other camps in Germany. 

The British had begun an escape tunnel, and the Poles continued working on it, and on 20 September 1943, 47 of them escaped. Within four days, 20 had been captured and returned to the camp. They were then transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp and executed. In the next few days 17 more were captured and taken to the Gestapo prison in Dortmund where they were killed. Only 10 managed to remain free, some returned to Poland, others finding their way to the Allied lines.

On the night of 27 September 1944 British aircraft attacking the nearby railroad junction in Nörde, dropped some bombs on the camp, killing 90 officers. Altogether 141 prisoners died in Oflag VI-B. They are buried in the cemetery near the centre of the village of Dossel. A memorial was erected there in 1985.

The camp was liberated by the U.S. Army on 3 April 1945. 

OFLAG VIc Osnabrück, Germany 

Opened 06/40 closed 06/41

The barracks in the Landwehr Road was built in 1935 for the Wehrmacht. After the French campaign French prisoners of war were imprisoned here.  They lived in 30 barracks, which were mostly built of wood. In each of the barracks surrounded by barbed wire lived 140-200 people. "Only the generals slept alone.

A cruel irony is that of the 6000 POWs kept here 150 were Jewish and allowed complete freedom of religion and non persecution although had they not been POWs their fate would certainly have been far worse as regular concentration camp bound trains passed the camp.

An air strike on 6 December 1944 killed 118 POWs, there being no air raid shelter provided.

Later renamed Quebec barracks and a base of the British Army after the war.

OFLAG VId Münster,Germany 

Opened 02/41 Closed 10/44 - mostly French officers. 

OFLAG VIe Dorsten,  Germany 

Opened 09/40 Closed  02/45. 

OFLAG VIf Wesuwe, Germany 

Opened 06/40 Closed 06/41 

OFLAG VIg Oberlangen, Germany 

Opened 06/40 closed 06/41 

OFLAG VIh Aachen, Germany

OFLAG VIIa Murnau, Germany

Oflag VII-A Murnau was a German Army POW camp for Polish Army officers during World War II. It was located 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the Bavarian town of Murnau am Staffelsee.

The camp was created in September 1939. It consisted of an enclosure 200 m (660 ft) square, surrounded with barbed wire and guard towers. Immediately after the German invasion of Poland, at the beginning of World War II, some 1,000 Polish officers were imprisoned there. On April 27, 1942, additional Polish POWs were transferred there from the so-called "Generals' Camp" Oflag VIII-E in Johannisbrunn, Sudetenland (now Janské Koupele, Czech Silesia). After the failed Warsaw Uprising and "Operation Tempest" more prisoners were brought there from Poland. By early 1945 the number of POWs held in the camp reached over 5,000.

The camps was liberated by troops of the U.S. 12th Armoured Division on 29 April 1945

OFLAG 7 VIIb Eichstaat, Germany

The camp was built in September 1939 to house Polish prisoners from the German invasion of Poland. The first prisoners arrived there on 18 October 1939.

On 22 May 1940 all 1,336 Polish prisoners were transferred to Oflag VII-A Murnau, and were replaced with British, French and Belgian officers taken prisoner during the battle of France.

In the summer of 1941 Australians and New Zealanders captured in Greece and Crete during the Balkans Campaign arrived in the camp.

In Rommel's second offensive on Tobruk in June 1942, most of the South African 2nd Division was captured. Many of these soldiers were interned at Oflag VII-B.

On 31 August 1942 Canadian officers captured during the Dieppe Raid arrived. Soon after their arrival the senior Canadian officer, Brigadier W.W. Southam, convened a conference which compiled an after action report on the Raid. This was recorded in shorthand in a notebook labelled "Shorthand Reading Exercises. O. Henry's Short Stories", which after the war was donated to the archives of the Historical Section of the Canadian Army HQ.

In September 1942, British officers from Oflag VI-B Dössel, were transferred to VII-B after a mass escape (the "Warburg Wire Job"). Within months two officers from Dössel, Lieutenant Jock Hamilton-Baillie and Captain Frank Weldon, proposed digging a tunnel north from Block 2's latrine to a villager's chicken coop about 30 m (98 ft) away. Work began in December 1942, but the rocky ground made digging difficult. The Germans found spoil from the tunnel and searched the camp, but failed to find it. The tunnel was completed in May, and on the night of 3/4 June 1943 sixty-five men escaped. Most of them headed south, towards Switzerland, sleeping by day and travelling by night. Eventually, all 65 were recaptured, but had occupied over 50,000 police, soldiers, home guard and Hitler Youth for a week. After two weeks detention in nearby Willibaldsburg Castle, the escapees were sent to Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle.

In spring of 1943 American personnel captured in the Tunisia Campaign arrived.

On 14 April 1945, as the U.S. Army approached, the officers were marched out of the camp. Unfortunately, only a short distance from the camp the column was attacked by American aircraft, who mistook it for a formation of German troops. Fourteen British officers were killed and 46 were wounded. In 2003 a memorial plaque was erected by local German authorities at the site.

The camp was liberated by the U.S. Army on 16 April 1945. Within days the POWs were repatriated to their home countries.

As of 2012 the site of the camp is occupied by the barracks and training school of 

II Bereitschaftspolizeiabteilung ("2nd Riot Police Division") of the Bavarian State Police.

OFLAG VIIc Laufen, Germany

Located in Laufen Castle, in Laufen in south-eastern Bavaria from 1940 to 1942. Most of the prisoners were British officers captured during the Battle of France in 1940. To relieve overcrowding, some of the officers were transferred to Oflag VII-C/Z in Tittmoning Castle. The Oflag existed only for a short time. In early 1942 all the officers were transferred to Oflag VII-B in Eichstätt.

The castle was then used as an Internment Camp Ilag VII for men from the British Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey until the camp was liberated in May 1945. Previously, in September 1944, after lengthy negotiations, 125 elderly and sick prisoners were repatriated to Great Britain via Sweden. In April 1944 the count of internees in Laufen included 459 British internees (417 Channel Islanders) and 120 American civilians who had been trapped in Europe when war was suddenly declared in December 1941. Even though the camp housed civilians, it continued to be operated by the German Army. The camp was liberated by the U.S. 3rd Army on 5 May 1945.

Eight Channel Island internees died in Laufen camp during the period of internment.

Notable POWs who were held here include (briefly) Colditz inmate and escape officer Pat Reid who was held for 3 months before escaping, being recaptured and sent to Colditz where he finally escaped to freedom from later.

On the 5th September 1940 6 inmates made a break for freedom but were swiftly recaptured & sent onto Colditz (Oflag IV-c)- Harry Elliott, Rupert Barry (later Sir Rupert Barry), Pat Reid, Dick Howe, Anthony "Peter" Allan, and Kenneth Lockwood.

OFLAG VIId Titmoning, Germany

The camp was opened as Oflag VII-D in February 1941, but in November 1941 became a sub-camp of Oflag VII-C, and was redesignated Oflag VII-C/Z. In February 1942 the prisoners were transferred to Oflag VII-B in Eichstätt, and the castle was then became an internment camp (Internierungslager) for men from the British Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. As a sub-camp of Ilag VII, it was designated Ilag VII/Z. The camp was liberated in May 1945.

OFLAG VIIe Hohenfels, Germany

OFLAG VIIh Eichstadt, Germany

OFLAG VIII Friesack 

The camp was located on the outskirts of the village of Wutzezt.

SHAEF reports of February 1945 show 224 French and 172 Greek PoWs held here, although we have seen letters from Polish Officers also kept here earlier in the war.

OFLAG VIIIa Kreuzberg, Poland

Originally a Hitler Youth camp, in October 1939 it was modified to house about 15,000 Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. By June 1940 most of the Poles had been transferred to other camps and replaced with Belgian and French troops taken prisoner during the Battle of France. At one time there were over 30,000 jammed into facilities designed for 15,000. In 1941 a separate compound was created to house Soviet prisoners. In 1943 2,500 British Commonwealth soldiers came from the battles in Italy, and later in the same year an undefined number of Italian soldiers came from Albania. Finally in late December 1944 1,800 Americans arrived, captured in the Battle of the Bulge. On 14 February 1945 the Americans and British were marched out of the camp westward in advance of the Soviet offensive into Germany.

OFLAG VIIIb Silverberg, Poland

 

Polish POWs held here.

Operated 12/39-12/43

OFLAG VIIIc Juliusberg, Poland

OFLAG VIIId Tost, Poland

OFLAG VIIIe Johannisbrunn/Troppau, Poland

The camp, a former spa hotel, was opened in July 1940 and housed approximately 70 Allied generals and their aides. Among those officers imprisoned were 30 from Poland, 30 from France, 9 from the Netherlands, 1 from the United Kingdom, and a Colonel from Norway. On April 27, 1942, all the Poles were transferred to other camps, mostly to Oflag VII-A Murnau. Soon after all the other prisoners were also transferred, and the camp was closed on 1 July 1942.

OFLAG VIIIf Wahlstatt, Poland

Oflag VIII-F was first established at Wahlstatt in July 1940 and housed French and Belgian officers taken prisoner during the Battle of France. It was located in a former Benedictine Abbey dedicated to Saint Hedwig of Silesia, that had been a military school between 1840 and 1920, and used by the Nazis as a "National Political Educational Institution" from 1934.

In July 1942 a new camp at Mährisch-Trübau, about 200 km (120 mi) to the south, was designated Oflag VIII-F, while the original camp was redesignated Oflag VIII F/Z, a sub-camp of Mährisch-Trübau. The prisoners were transferred to other camps, though a small number stayed behind to carry out construction work as the site was adapted for the use of GEMA (Gesellschaft für und mechanische elektroakustische apparate) in developing radar systems The sub-camp was closed in June 1943.

The camp at Mahrisch-Trubau contained around 2,000 officers, mostly British captured in North Africa and the Greek Islands, but there were also numbers of Greek, French and American POW. In April 1944, most of the prisoners were transferred to Oflag 79 near Braunschweig and the camp was closed.

OFLAG VIIIg Weidenau, Czech republic

OFLAG VIIIh Oberlangendorf, Czech republic

OFLAG VIIIh/z Eulenberg, Czech republic

OFLAG IXa Spangenburg bei Kassel, Germany 

The camp was opened in October 1939 as Oflag IX-A to house POWs from the British Royal Air Force and the French Armée de l'Air.

The camp was renamed Oflag IX-A/H (Hauptlager, "Main camp") in June 1940, after Oflag IX-C at Rotenburg an der Fulda became a sub-camp (Zweiglager) designated Oflag IX-A/Z.

The first escaper from the camp was Flight Lieutenant Howard Wardle in August 1940, but he was recaptured and sent to Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle.

The camp was closed in February 1941, but reopened in July when it was used for housing RAF and British Army officers.

On 3 September 1941 three RAF officers, Dominic Bruce, Peter Tunstall and Eustace Newborn, escaped disguised as members of a "Swiss Commission". They were escorted to the main gate by another prisoner, John Milner, dressed in a German officers uniform that had been found in an apparently forgotten set of attic rooms. They passed through the gate, and then, wearing faked Luftwaffe uniforms, headed to an airfield near Kassel intending to steal a Ju 52, which Newborn had flown before the war, and fly home. Unfortunately, there were no suitable aircraft, so they decided to head to France and contact an escape line. After ten days they arrived at Frankenberg, but were challenged by soldiers suspicious of their uniforms. Speaking little German they were soon identified as escapees and arrested. Returned to Spangenberg, the three were each sentenced to fifty-three days in solitary. As a result of this, and other escape attempts, the camp was evacuated in October 1941 with all prisoners being sent to Oflag VI-B.

The camp was reopened in January 1942, and housed senior British Army officers, until being liberated in April 1945.

OFLAG IXa/z Rotenburg Fulda

Sub camp of the Spangenburg main camp a few miles away.

Opened November 1939 and liberated April 1945 after many failed attempts by the Germans to move all of the PoWs.

 

OFLAG IX a/h Spangenberg-Kassel Hessen-Nassau, Prussia

A number of camps were administered under this designation housing around 30,000 PoWs/Internees as of February 1945, the camps liberation was controlled under the Twelfth Army Group (US).

The SHAEF report mentions malnutrition/lice and infections hence it is thought unlikely there were any remaining western allied officer POWs still held at liberation at this camp.

Liberated by US troops 3/4/45.

Location N/E 51-09

Oflag IX-A/Z Rotenburg An Der Fulda Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 51-09

OFLAG IXb Weilburg

Stalag IX-B (also known as Bad Orb) was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp located south-east of the town of Bad Orb in Hesse, Germany. It had the reputation of being one of the worst Stalags, especially when it was overcrowded in 1945. 

In December 1939 it was taken over by the Army and used to house Polish prisoners sent to work in the area, especially the salt mines. They were joined in June 1940 by French taken prisoner during the Battle of France, and in 1941 Yugoslavian prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign, mainly Serbs. In 1942 the first Soviet prisoners arrived at the camp, and in 1943 after the armistice, Italian prisoners arrived. Finally, in late December 1944, Americans captured in the Battle of the Bulge arrived. Approximately 4,700 U.S. infantrymen were held there, far exceeding the capacity of the camp and resulting in very severe overcrowding, even after their officers and NCOs were later transferred to other camps.

OFLAG IXc Molsdorf

Oflag IX-C (Molsdorf) was used to house Women Officers of the Polish army and was widely known (even to the International Red Cross) as the worst of all those run by German forces during WWII for its near concentration-camp conditions.

OFLAG Xa Schleswig/Itzehoe

OFLAG Xb Sandbostel

Stalag X-B was a World War II German Prisoner-of-war camp located near Sandbostel in north-western Germany. Sandbostel lies 9 km south of Bremervörde, 43 km northeast of Bremen. Placed on swampy ground, with a damp, cold climate, it is one of the most notorious prisoner-of-war camps. Between 1939 and 1945 1 million POWs of 46 nations passed through. Nearly 50,000 died there of hunger, disease, or were just simply murdered.

Among the Italian prisoners, who were mostly soldiers who did not surrender to the German army after the Cassibile armistice, was journalist and writer Giovannino Guareschi, who wrote here La favola di Natale (A Christmas Fable) on Christmas, 1944.

Marlag und Milag Nord, the camps for captured Navy personnel and civilian sailors respectively, were originally in two separate enclosures at the Sandbostel camp. They were moved to a different location closer to Cuxhaven, Westertimke, in 1942.

OFLAG Xb Nienburg/Weser

Oflag X-B was opened in May 1940, and was used to hold French officers captured during the battle of France. The camp was roughly square, about 300 m (980 ft) to each side. Internally, it was divided in half by a road running east-west, the Ziegelkampstraße. To the north of the road were seven prisoner accommodation blocks. Six were built of brick, while the seventh was wood. To the south were four more blocks; three were for senior officers, while the fourth housed their ordonnance ("orderlies"). The accommodation blocks were divided into rooms, each containing from 8 to 12 men. In the centre of the camp was camp kitchen and canteen. In the south-western corner of the camp, separated by a barbed-wire fence, were two hospital blocks, the shower/delousing block, and the detention block.

OFLAG Xc Lübeck

The camp was opened in June 1940 for French officers captured during the Battle of France. In June 1941 British and Commonwealth officers from the Battle of Crete and the North African Campaign arrived. During 1941 and 1942 many Allied air crews that had been shot down were taken to Lübeck, then later transferred to Oflag VI-B, Warburg. 

In early 1945 Polish Officers, inmates of Oflag II-D Gross-Born and Oflag II-C Woldenberg, were marched westwards and finally reached Oflag X-C. The camp was liberated on 2 May 1945 by troops of the British 2nd Army.

OFLAG Xd Fischbeck

The camp was established in May 1941. On 22 June 1943, all reserve officers of the Belgian Army held at Oflag II-A in Prenzlau were moved to Oflag X-D Fischbek. The camp was liberated in May 1945 by troops of the British 7th Armoured Division, 2nd Army.

OFLAG XIa Osterode 

Opened September 1939 Closed August 1st 1940

For Polish officers, this camp opened in October 1939 with the first transport of 1000 officers.

All POWs transferred to oflag IIc.

OFLAG XIb Braunschweig

Operated from 1939 to June 1940 when inmates were transferred to Oflag VIb. 

OFLAG XIIa/b Hadamar/Limburg am main

Located at Hadamar, near Limburg an der Lahn in western Germany. It was created in November 1939 for Polish officers captured in the September campaign. In June 1942 it was renumbered Oflag XII-B.

November 1939 - Polish officers and a small number of orderlies were transported to Hadamar from other collection camps in Poland.

 In June 1942 the Polish officers were transferred to other camps, such as Oflag VII-A Murnau and Oflag VI-B, Dössel. In their place British, French and other Allied officers were transferred to Hadamar from the citadel of Mainz. It was then renumbered Oflag XII-B

In 1943, after the withdrawal of Italy from the war, the German army transferred Allied officers from camps in Italy, such as Sulmona, to Hadamar.

The camp was liberated 26 March 1945 by the United States Army.

OFLAG XII-B Mainz

Oflag XII-B was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp for officers (Offizierlager) located in the citadel of Mainz, in western Germany. The fortress had also served as an Oflag in World War I.

In June 1940 British, Belgian, Dutch and French senior officers and a small number of orderlies were transported to Mainz from transit camps in France and Belgium after the end of the Battle of France. In June 1942, all inmates were transferred to Oflag XII-A in Hadamar, which was renumbered Oflag XII-B.

OFLAG XIIIa Nürnberg 

Oflag XIII-A was opened in August 1940 to accommodate mainly French officers captured during the Battle of France. They were transferred to other camps, and the camp was closed on 29 October 1941.

OFLAG XIIIb Nurnberg - Hammelburg 

Oflag XIII-A was opened in August 1940 to accommodate mainly French officers captured during the Battle of France. They were transferred to other camps, and the camp was closed on 29 October 1941. 

In May 1941 Oflag XIII-B was created in a separate compound for Serbian officers captured during the Balkans Campaign. This camp was moved to Hammelburg in April 1943 under the same designation.

OFLAG XIIIc Hammelburg 

Operated from July 1940- December 1942.

OFLAG XIII-D Nuremburg-Langwasser

Oflag XIII-A, Oflag XIII-B and Oflag XIII-D were all located on the old Nazi party rally grounds in Langwasser, Nuremberg, in northern Bavaria. 

In June 1941 a new compound Oflag 62 was opened for high-ranking Soviet officers captured during Operation Barbarossa. It was redesignated Oflag XIII-D in September 1941. This camp was closed April 1942 and the surviving officers (many had died during the winter due to an epidemic) were transferred to other camps. From December 1944 to March 1945 XIII-D was designated Oflag 73 and used to accommodate officers of various nationalities evacuated hastily from camps in the east that were threatened by the rapid advance of the Red Army.

On 16 April 1945 the United States Army liberated the camp, finding only Serbian officers and those too sick to have been marched out, including some Americans that had been wounded by strafing American planes while being marched from Hammelburg.

OFLAG XVIIa Edelbach 

Oflag XVII-A, was located between the villages Edelsbach and Döllersheim, in the district of Zwettl in the Waldviertel region of north-eastern Austria.

The barracks were enclosed by a barbed-wire fence and watchtowers to form a camp approximately 440 by 530 metres, and was opened in June 1940 to house officers, mostly French, captured in the Battle of France, as well as several hundred Poles. Approximately 6,000 officers and orderlies were in the camp. The guards were mainly Austrian army veterans and conditions in the camp were better than in many other POW camps in Germany.

The POWs lived in barrack huts that were divided into two dormitories each housing around 100 men, with a small kitchen and a washroom between them. There was a separate shower block, and prisoners were allowed two showers a month. Part of one barrack was set aside for use as a chapel.

‘Le Grande Evasion’

On the night of 17 September 1943 a large group of prisoners escaped. Most posed as French civilian workers, of whom there were many in Germany at the time. Their disappearance went unnoticed the next day, so the next night another group escaped, a total of 132 men altogether. Some of the first escapees were recaptured and returned to the camp before the escape had even been discovered by the camp authorities. Only two of the escapees managed to return to France. Soon afterwards a delegation of high-ranking German officers inspected the camp, and the prisoners were warned that "escaping is no longer a sport". Six months later, after 76 Allied airmen escaped from Stalag Luft III, 50 were murdered by the Gestapo.

On 17 April 1945, the camp was evacuated in the face of the approaching Red Army. The prisoners were marched towards Linz, some 128 km (80 mi) to the west. The column generally covered less than 10 km (6.2 miles) a day, and steadily diminished in size as prisoners took advantage of the dense forests to slip away. By May 10, when news of the German surrender reached them, half the POWs had vanished.

The camp was liberated by the Russians on 9th May 1945.

OFLAG XVIIIa/b/c Lienz/Wolfsberg/Spittal 

Located to the south of the town of Wolfsberg, in the southern Austrian state of Carinthia, then a part of the German reich. A sub-camp Stalag XVIII-A/Z was later opened in Spittal an der Drau about 100 km (62 mi) to the west.

The camp, designated Oflag XVIII-B, was opened on 19 October 1939. The first occupants were Polish officers captured during the invasion of Poland. The Poles were transferred to other camps, and in March 1941 it was redesignated Stalag XVIII-A, with French and Belgian prisoners being transferred in from Stalag XVII-A. The first British and Commonwealth prisoners arrived in July 1941 from a transit camp in Thessaloniki, Greece, having been captured during the battles of Greece and Crete. The first Soviet prisoners arrived in October 1941, and were housed in a separate enclosure. In December a typhus epidemic broke out, and the entire camp was quarantined until March 1942. Many prisoners died, mainly Russians, as their living conditions and rations were substantially inferior to the other prisoners.

In June 1942, to ease overcrowding, three new barracks were built, and 400 British NCOs were transferred to Stalag XVIII-B at Spittal. In January 1943 the camp at Spittal became a Zweiglager ("Sub-camp") of Wolfsberg, and was redesignated as Stalag XVIII-A/Z. In March 1943 a Lazarett ("Camp Hospital") was built there.

In November 1943, after the Italian armistice, Italian and Commonwealth prisoners arrived from Italy. Two hundred NCOs were transferred to Stalag XVIII-C at Markt-Pongau in June 1944. That month there were a total of 38,831 prisoners registered at the camp. Of these 10,667 were British and Commonwealth troops, of which only 825 were in the main camp, while the rest were attached to various Arbeitskommando ("Labour Units").

On 18 December 1944 the camp was bombed by U.S. aircraft. Forty-six prisoners and several guards were killed. Both the British and French camp hospitals were hit, with the British hut being almost completely destroyed.

 On the approach of Allied forces in April 1945 all fit prisoners from the camps and neighbouring labour units were marched east to Stalag XVIII-C.

 Officially, the camp was liberated by elements of the British 8th Army on 11 May 1945. In fact the prisoners had been in control of the camp since the 8th, the day of the German surrender. That day the Kommandant, Hauptmann Steiner, had handed over control of the camp to the Senior British Medical Officer and the "Men of Confidence". French and British prisoners disarmed their guards and took control of the camp armoury, and the local Post Office, Railway Station and Police Station. Over the next few weeks the prisoners were transported via Klagenfurt to transit camps in Bari and Naples, from where they were eventually repatriated. By the middle of June only Russian prisoners remained, these were eventually exchanged for British and American PoWs in Russian hands, near Graz. The camp then served as a British detention centre for ex-Nazis, before finally closing in mid-1947.

 

OFLAG XXIa/b Schubin, Poland

Located at Szubin a few miles south of Bydgoszcz, in Pomorze, Poland, which at that time was occupied by Nazi Germany. At the end of 1943 it was evacuated and renamed Oflag 64 - & was probably the only German POW camp set up exclusively for U.S. Army officers. At most other camps there were several nationalities, although they were usually separated into national compounds.

The camp was built around a Polish boys' school by adding barracks. Initially it was Stalag XXI-B for Polish soldiers until December 1940. It then it became Oflag XXI-B for French and British Commonwealth officers, subsequently for Soviet officers until June 1943. They were then moved out to other camps, the Commonwealth flying personnel to Stalag Luft III Sagan, others to Oflag XXI-C Ostrzeszów. 

On 5th March 1943 the ‘Schubin Tunnel escape’ led by the indomitable Wing Commander Harry Day got 35 POWS out of the camp, although none escaped home.

Oflag 64 or XXI-B Schubin (Moved to Usedom) Poland, Altburgund Location N/E 53-17

OFLAG XXIc/z Grune bei Lissa/Skoki, Poland.

Located in Warthegau, a western province of Poland that had been incorporated into the German Reich in 1939. It held Norwegian officers captured in 1942 and 1943. Originally most soldiers and officers had been released after the end of the Norwegian campaign, but as resistance activities increased, the officers were rearrested and sent to POW camps.

The camp was originally established in June 1942 near Schokken (now Skoki) 30 km (19 mi) north of Poznan, in what had previously been Oflag XXI-A, opened in September 1940 as a camp for Polish officers.

 In March 1943 it was moved to Schildberg (now Ostrzeszów) 18 miles south of Ostrów, taking over buildings previously used as a camp for wounded and sick British non-commissioned officers and designated Stalag XXI-A. This camp was unique in that it comprised several buildings in the centre of the small town, from which the remaining Polish inhabitants had been removed. These buildings were not adjacent to each other and were surrounded by barbed-wire fences.

In 1944 the Norwegian officers were located as follows: 630 in the Seminary; 290 in the high-school; 100 in the primary school; 80 in the Richter house; 30 in hospital.

There was also a sub-camp, designated Oflag XXI-C/Z established at Grune bei Lissa (now Gronówko, near to Leszno), between September 1943 and January 1945.

In January 1945 the officers were marched out westward, finally arriving at Oflag III-A in Luckenwalde, south of Berlin. On 21 April 1945 the Red Army liberated the camp. On 5 May 1945 the Norwegians were transported east to a camp near Lignica in Silesia, then travelled for several days by train to Hamburg and Aarhus, Denmark, finally arriving in Oslo on 28 May 1945.

OFLAG 52 LII

Located at Ebenrode (Nesterov) in USSR, opened 1941.

OFLAG 53 LIII

Located at Heydekrug- Pogegen (Pagegiai) in Lithuania.

OFLAG 56 LVI

Located at Prostken in Poland, close to Stalag Ib/PR.

OFLAG 57 LVII

Located at Ostrolenka in Poland

OFLAG 60 LX

Located at Schirwindt (Sirvintos) in Lithuania.

OFLAG 63 LXIII

Located at Prokuls in Lithuania.

OFLAG 64 LXIV 

 

Located at Schubim Alten Burgund

See Oflag XXIb.

 

Oflag 79 Braunschweig (Formerly VIII-F) Brunswick 52-10

OFLAG 64 LXIV  

Located at Montwy Honensalsa 

Formerly Oflag 21.

On June 6, 1943 the camp was redesignated Oflag 64; it became an American officers-only camp with the arrival of officers captured in the North Africa Campaign in Tunisia. In late 1943 an escape committee started digging a tunnel which was to pass under the barbed wire fence, but in March 1944, upon receiving news of the disastrous results of the "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III the escape committee ordered a shut-down of the operation. In June 1944 senior American officers captured in the Battle of Normandy were sent to Oflag 64.

On January 21, 1945, the roll call established a total of 1,471. Because of approaching Soviet troops, all POWs capable of walking were marched out. The senior U.S. officer was Lieutenant Colonel Paul Goode. Two days, later, on January 23, 1945, the camp was liberated by the Soviet 61st Army. There were approximately 100 Americans, sick and medical personnel, and a few that had hidden in the old escape tunnel. About 200 escaped from the marching column and returned to the camp.

Oflag 64 or XXI-B Schubin (Moved to Usedom) Poland, Altburgund

Location N/E 53-17

OFLAG 65 LXV Barkenbrugge

There were also camps designated Oflag 65 at Strasbourg in France, Wurzach in Germany, Schaulen in Lithuania and Osnabruck in Germany.

According to SHAEF reports from February 1945 this camp held: 275 Russians and 2014 Yugoslavs.

OFLAG 65 LXVZ Hohensalza

There were also camps designated Oflag 65 at Strasbourg in France, Wurzach in Germany, Barkenbrugge in Poland, Schaulen in Lithuania and Osnabruck in Germany.

OFLAG 65 LXV Strasbourg

Emptied by German forces in December 1944 and PoWs transferred elsewhere.

Reserve Hospital Saarbourg

On liberation report of 20/12/44 this hospital housed 6 Russians, 15 Poles, 30 British Indians, 73 Yugoslavs and 184 Italians and 72 French most were evacuated to Marseleilles via Bayon on11/12/44, except for the French who were moved to Luneville.

Some of the more critically ill were moved to the 650th Hospital on 25/11/44.

Barracks at Saarguemines

Liberated in early December 1944.

Released were 535 Italians, 58 Yugoslavs, 3 Poles, 399 Russians, 3 medical staff (unknown nationality).

 

 

OFLAG 67 LXVII Neubrandenberg

Named as Oflag IIe prior to 1944,

Lager Fünfeichen was located in Fünfeichen, a former estate within the city limits of Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg, northern Germany. Built as Stalag II-A Neubrandenburg in 1939, it was extended by the officer camp Oflag II-E in 1940 (renamed Oflag-67in February 1944). After the Soviet takeover (in 1945) it was until 1949 a ‘special’ camp, NKVD-camp Nr. 9 of the Soviet secret service (NKVD). Today, the site of the camp is a memorial.

Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive were placed in Stalag II-A. After some time the officers were separated out and placed initially in the garages of the adjoining German Army armoured division. Then a separate camp, Oflag II-E, was built for them on the west side of the main road.

From May and June 1940 Dutch and Belgian prisoners arrived from the Battle of France, followed by French. In 1941 more officer prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign mostly British, Yugoslavian, Serbs and Greeks. By February 1944 most of the officers had been transferred to other Oflags. Only Dutch officers and a few Russian officers remained. The camp was renumbered Oflag-67. 

It was liberated by a Soviet armoured division on 28 April 1945.

SHAEF reports from February 1945 show 130 Russian and 1691 Dutch were here.

OFLAG 73 LXXIII

From December 1944 to March 1945 STALAG 13d (XIII-D) was designated Oflag 73.

OFLAG 79 LXXIX  Braunschweig

 

Oflag 79 was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp for Allied officers. The camp was located at Waggum near Braunschweig in Germany, also known by the English name of Brunswick. It was located in a three-story brick building that had previously been the home of a German parachute regiment, near the Herman Göring aircraft engine factory.

Established in December 1943 with men transferred from camps in Italy, mainly British Commonwealth officers from the Battle of Crete and North African Campaign. More prisoners arrived in July 1944 transferred from Oflag VIII-F. On 24 August 1944 the camp was strafed by American and British aircraft. Three men were killed, and 14 seriously wounded. The camp was liberated by the U.S. Ninth Army on 12 April 1945.

OFLAG 79 LXXIX Querum, Brunswick

Opened December 1943

Oflag 79 was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp for Allied officers. The camp was located at Waggum near Braunschweig in Germany, also known by the English name of Brunswick. It was located in a three-story brick building that had previously been the home of a German parachute regiment, near the Herman Göring aircraft engine factory.

POWs were transferred from camps in Italy, mainly British Commonwealth officers from the Battle of Crete and North African Campaign. More prisoners arrived in July 1944 transferred from Oflag VIII-F. On 24 August 1944 the camp was strafed by American and British aircraft. Three men were killed, and 14 seriously wounded. The camp was liberated by the U.S. Ninth Army on 12 April 1945.

OFLAG 80 LXXX Prenzlau, Germany 

Opened 12/44, this is possibly either a redesignated Oflag IIa or a sub camp of Oflag IIa. 

It housed 2455 officers with 297 other ranks.  

OFLAG 83 LXXXIII Wietzendorf, Germany 

Opened 11/43 Closed 04/45

From January 1944, Wietzendorf was the site of one of the largest camps for Italian officers known as Oflag 83. There was a hospital for Italian military internees in the Oerbke camp, but its patients were transferred to a separate section of the Bergen-Belsen POW hospital in late July 1944. Most of these Italian prisoners were suffering from tuberculosis or had been injured while working. 142 Italian military internees had died in the nearby Bergen-Belsen hospital by the end of the war and were buried in a separate area at the edge of the POW cemetery. 

There are also unconfirmed listings of another OFLAG 83 LXXXIII at Winniza in the Ukraine 

OFLAG 68 LXVIII or 88 LXXXVIII

This camp has been noted as both Oflag 68 and 88 so there appears to be some confusion over the numbering.

Opened in July 1941 in Suwalki/Sudauen in Poland (also known as Stalag IF –see listing) mostly housing Russians, a very large number of deaths were reported here from a peak population of over 100,000 men.

OFLAG 92 LXXXXII Sandbostel, Germany 

See Stalag Xb.                                    

Oflag VII-A Murnau Bavaria 47-11

Oflag VII-B Eichstatt (British) Bavaria 49-11

Oflag X-B Nienburg An Der Weser Hanover, Prussia 52-09

Oflag X-C Lubeck Schleswig 54-10

Oflag XII-B Hadamar Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

Oflag XIII-B Hammelburg Bavaria 50-10

Oflag XXIB Schubin, Poland  

Stalag and Stalag Luft

 

Stalag I-A Stablack

 

Stalag I-A Stablack location N/E 54-20

Stalag I-A was a German prisoner-of-war camp located near the village of Stablack, about 8.5 km (5.3 mi) north-west of Preußisch Eylau, East Prussia (now Bagrationovsk in Russian Kaliningrad Oblast).

Located at coordinates 54 degrees 25 minutes North, 20 dgrees 32 minutes 5 seconds east.

It was designed with a holding capacity of 10,000 only despite (as many) holding many more than this for most of its existence.

The camp was built in late 1939 by Polish prisoners of war. In 1940 the Poles were joined by Belgian and French prisoners, and by Russians in 1941. Some British and Italian prisoners were also there.

26047 Russians, 5411 Belgian, 4836 Polish, 731 Italians, 15794 French were held here including 163 officers according to reports given to SHAEF in February 1945. 

However other reports show on 25th January 1945, as Russian troops approached, the camp was abandoned and all prisoners were evacuated to the west.

Stalag I-B Hohenstein

Stalag I-B Hohenstein East Prussia Location N/E 53-20

Stalag I-B Hohenstein was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp located 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) west of Hohenstein, East Prussia (now Olsztynek, Poland).

Located at coordinates 53 degrees 35 minutes North, 20 dgrees 15 minutes east.

The camp was partially located on the grounds of the Tannenberg Memorial and initially included a set of wooden structures intended to house World War I veterans during Nazi festivities.

Established in 1939 to house Polish soldiers captured in the course of the September Campaign, with time it was extended to house also Belgians, French, Italian, Serbian and Soviet soldiers. Harsh conditions, malnutrition, maltreatment and recurring typhoid epidemics led to many deaths among the prisoners. Notably during the winter of 1941-1942 roughly 25 thousand people died there, mostly Soviet soldiers.

 It is estimated that altogether 650,000 people passed through this camp and its' sub-camps. 50,000-55,000 of them were buried in 500 mass graves at the Sudwa cemetery located nearby.

In 1943 there were recorded as being 47,483 ‘other ranks’ with 303 Officers mostly employed in the local salt mines.

In February 1945 according to SHAEF reports the prisoners were: 20815 Russians, 481 Belgian, 270 Poles, 819 Italian and 24,000 French. 

There was a hospital located near here at Saandhof & Stolzenberg and 350 British & US and 200 other ranks were there on March 17th 1945.

Stalag I-C Heydekrug (Silute, Lithuania)

The northernmost POW camp in nazi occupied Europe.

The camp was built in 1939 and designated Stalag I-C. At first it held Polish POWs, then from 1940 also French and Belgians, and from 1941 Russians. In June 1943 it was renamed Stalag Luft VI and used to hold British and Canadian Air Force NCOs, and from February 1944, also Americans.

By July 1944 it housed 9,000 Allied airmen. When the Russian front approached, orders were given to move the prisoners to other camps further west. Most of the men were moved by train to Stalag XX-A in West Prussia, but some 900 were taken to the port of Memel, where they were put aboard the merchant ship Insterburg for a 60-hour journey to Swinemünde. After another train journey the men were force marched from Kiefheide, with many men being bayoneted or shot before they reached Stalag Luft IV in Gross Tychow. This march was one of the "Long Marches".

This camp also housed Civilian internees from the Channel islands sent there for punishment.

Stalag I-D Montwy (Matwy, Poland).

Opened in 1940 and also located close to a Jewish forced labour camp working at the local caustic soda factory. Over 900 POWs died in the camps in this location.

Stalag I-E Prostken (Protski, Poland). Also at Suwalki, Poland.

Only operated for 3 months from August until November 1942.

Stalag I-F Sudauen

Located just north of the town of Sudauen, East Prussia (now Suwalki, Poland).

Construction of the camp began in April 1941, before the attack on Russia, to accommodate the expected POWs. It was carried out by French and Polish prisoners. The camp opened in May 1941 as Oflag 68, but was renamed Stalag I-F in June 1942.

 Covering 50 hectares (120 acres) the camp contained a kitchen, bakery, latrines and bathhouse, and was surrounded by a double barbed-wire fence with five gates and four guard towers (later increased to nine). The prisoners lived outdoors in dugouts until 1943 when 43 barrack huts were built, though due to overcrowding, many were still forced to live underground.

More than 100,000 prisoners, mostly Russian, passed through Stalag I-F, of whom over 50,000 died, mostly from malnutrition, exposure and typhus.

In October 1944, as the Red Army approached, the guards abandoned the camp leaving 4,029 Russian prisoners behind.

Stalag Luft I Barth, Germany.

Stalag Luft I Barth-Vogelsang Prussia Location N/E 54-12

 

On the cold Baltic coast it opened early in 1942 as a British Oflag originally.

Located at coordinates 54 degrees 23 minutes North, 12 degrees 42 minutes east.

It reopened as an ‘other ranks’ stalag luft and officers were transferred in October 1942.

Later in 1944 it became an US officers and British ‘other ranks’ holding 9142 POWs upon liberation by the Russian Army on 6/5/1945, consisting of 7500 US AAC officers, 400 other ranks and 500 RAF Officers with 150 other ranks, additionally held were 50 other ranks of other nationalities.

There is a SHAEF report fvrom February 1945 showing 1087 British, 4000 US & 21 Czech PoWs here which is different to the other report above.

The Russians handed out some of the Red cross parcels stockpiled here and the water supply had been cut off by 1st May.

The US and British POWs ‘stood fast’ as per their orders when liberated and were later evacuated via a nearby Airfield some 32 miles to the south of the camp to Le Havre and homewards then by Sea.

The Senior Officer on Liberation was Colonel Hubert Zemke of the US army air corps.

Allied reference number for this camp was P-2553.

Stalag Luft II Litzmannstadt (Lodz -Poland)

Camp for Russian pilots in the district Litzmannstadt'u - Erzhausen (Lodz region today called Ruda Pabianicka at the south-western area of the city), the square of the current streets Oder (German Wallensteinerstrasse, from the south-west) Retmanskiej (German Paracelsusweg; from the north-west.) burdocks (German Schwertbrüderstrasse, from the north-east) and Brownies (German Goldene Pforte, from the south-east.)

It operated from 1st February 1942 to 1st September 1944 . 

The conditions in the camp, as well as with all Russian prisoners of war, led to their gradual extinction. They slept on the bare bunks, without blankets, in unheated areas and in very cramped conditions.

Rations were inadequate also.

PoWs worked in Lodz city. They performed a variety of heavy earthworks, roadbuilding, agricultural work, and were also worked on the construction of freight railway station Olechowo and others. Small groups of prisoners were employed also in Lodz factories. The jobs allowed some Poles to help them – by giving food and cigarettes. 

The camp was supposed to be closed completely late in 1944 when most of the camp were transferred to Sagan (Stalag Luft III) but a few of the sick remained to be liberated by the Russians a few months later.

Luftwaffe Lazarett IV/XI Wismar Mecklenberg 

Located at 54N-11E.

It held 1 British and 12 US PoWs according to a red cross visit passed onto the SHAEF in February 1945.

Stalag II-A Neubrandenburg

Stalag II-A Neubrandenburg Mecklenberg location N/E 53-13

Located in Fünfeichen, a former estate within the city limits of Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg, northern Germany. Built as Stalag II-A Neubrandenburg in 1939, it was extended by the officer camp Oflag II-E in 1940 (renamed Oflag-67, 1944).

The location listed for this camp in the SHAEF report of February 1945: 

53 degrees 31 minutes 17 seconds north, 13 degrees 17 minutes east.

Wikipedia lists the main camp as at 53.5219°N 13.2918°E

The camp was built in September 1939 to house Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. The first POWs arrived on 12 September. Some were used for completing the camp construction while housed in tents during the winter. Others were sent to work on farms. From May/June 1940 Dutch and Belgian prisoners arrived from the Battle of France, followed by French. A number of the French were from African colonial regiments and were used for the worst work such as collecting refuse.

 A new camp for officers, Oflag II-E was created close by and Polish warrant officers and ensigns were transferred to it. In 1941 more prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign mostly British and Yugoslavians (mostly Serbs). In late summer 1941 Soviet prisoners from Operation Barbarossa arrived and were placed in a separate enclosure built south of the main camp.

In September 1943 some Italian internees were transferred to Stalag II-A from Italy after the capitulation. From November 1944 to early January 1945 American soldiers captured in various operations during the Allied drive eastward arrived. Most were immediately sent to Arbeitskommandos (work details). From February to April 1945 Neubrandenburg was a waypoint in the forced march westward of Allied prisoners from POW camps further east. The camp was finally liberated on 28 April 1945 when a Soviet armoured division reached Neubrandenburg.

In the middle of April most of the prisoners in the camp and in the outlying Arbeitskommandos were marched westward ahead of the advancing Red Army. Within a few days they were liberated by British troops pushing eastward.

SHAEF reports numbers as at Feb 1945 as: 200 British, 559 US, 7531 Russians,757 Poles,1976 Yugoslavs,638 Italians and 10734 French.

There are some surviving BAOR (British Army Of the Rhine) reports reference WC/C/243 (war crimes) regarding the forced marches from Nebrandenburg camps to the Schwerin area in 1945 these can now be found at the national archives under reference WO209/1047.

Hospital Ueckermunde

Reserve Lazarett Heilanstalt Ueckermunde Pomerania, Prussia.

The location listed for this hospital in the SHAEF report of February 1945: 

53 degrees 45 minutes north, 14 degrees 2 minutes east.

1 British POW was reported as being here at February 1945.

Incidentally the sanatorium of this town was where the ‘Aktion T4’ Nazi state euthanasia programme was instituted in 1939, by the end of WWII over 275,000 Germans had been murdered countrywide in this scheme.

Stalag II-B Hammerstein–Schlochau

Stalag II-B Hammerstein (99 work camps in vicinity of Koslin & Stolp) West Prussia Location N/E 53-17

The camp was situated on a former army training ground (Übungsplatz), and had been used during World War I as a camp for Russian prisoners. In 1933 it was established as one of the first Nazi concentration camps, to house German communists. In late September 1939 the camp was changed to a prisoner-of-war camp to house Polish soldiers from the September Campaign, particularly those from the Pomorze Army. In December 1940, 1,691 Polish prisoners were recorded as being there. At first they lived in tents, throughout the severe winter of 1939-1940, and construction of all the huts was not completed until 1941. In June 1940 French and Belgian prisoners from the Battle of France began to arrive. To make room for them many of the Poles were forced to give up their status as POWs and become civilian slave labourers.

The construction of the second camp, Lager-Ost ("East Compound") began in June 1941 to accommodate the large numbers of Soviet prisoners taken in Operation Barbarossa. It was located south of the railway tracks. In November 1941 a typhoid fever epidemic broke out in Lager-Ost. It lasted until March 1942 and an estimated 45,000 prisoners died and were buried in mass graves. The camp administration did not start any preventive measures until some German soldiers became infected.

 In August 1943 the first American prisoners arrived having been taken prisoner in Tunisia. In April 1945 the camp was liberated by the Soviet Red Army although there were plans (& some movements?) for PoWs to be transferred to Stalag II-D Stargard according to SHAEF reports dated 10/2/45.

Stalag II-C Greifswald

Stalag II-C Greifswald Pomerania, Prussia Location N/E 54-13

Located at 53 degrees, 41 minutes North, 16 degrees, 55 minutes East in the far North of Germany on the Baltic coast.

30,957 other ranks with 66 officers upon liberation reported, however according to other SHAEF reports from February 1945 the make up was: 8379 Russians, 5563 Belgian, 23 Poles, 2733 Yugoslavs, 624 Italians,10027 French.

There were certainly US (and British?) PoWs held here previously however.

Stalag II-D Stargard

Stalag II-D Stargard Pomerania, Prussia Location N/E 53-15

Located at 53 degrees, 20 minutes, 35 seconds North, 15 degrees, 0 minutes East in the far North of Germany on the Baltic coast.

The camp was established on a military training ground in September 1939 to detain Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. For the first few months they lived in the open or in tents during a very cold winter, while they built the wooden and brick huts for the permanent camp. In May and June 1940 American, French and Belgian soldiers taken prisoner during the Battle of France arrived. These were followed by Soviet prisoners from Operation Barbarossa in the summer of 1941. In September and October 1943 Italian prisoners arrived after the Italian capitulation. Canadian prisoners from the Dieppe Raid of August 1942 were transferred to Stargard from Stalag VIII-B in January 1944. The camp was liberated by the Soviet Red Army in mid-April 1945 although this was long after most had been force marched out westwards.

Reports from SHAEF in 1945 show although the camps had a designated holding capacity of 5000 it actually (had) held: 1090 British, 23 US, 11135 Russians, 7 Poles, 2211 Yugoslavs, 19 Dutch, 257 Italians, 13987 French.

The first evacuation occurred on 29 January, 1945 in blizzard conditions.

This report from Wikipedia and various eye witness accounts:

The count was held up the morning of the march as the MOC (Man of Confidence) was in negotiation with the Kommandant for the safety of the men who were too sick for the march.

Many of the sick and infirmed were left behind in the Lazzarett (camp clinic) and were transported by rail or truck at a later date. Almost a thousand men struggled into formation. There were about 500 Russians, 200 Frenchmen, 100 Americans and 25 Canadians in the march. 

Other reports have the number at as many as 2,000 in the column.

They were marched twenty-five or thirty kilometers that day. Then were put into a barn, under guard, and slept for the night. Every evening the guards would dump out the meal for the day on the muddy earth. Everyone would scramble for what they could get. In the morning, they were given two slices of bread, counted, and the march began again for twenty-five or thirty kilometers until they reached the next appointed village.

Those who fell to the side of the road were rumored to have been shot, but were more likely to have been loaded onto the “dead cart” at the end of the column used to carry the dead, dying, and sick all piled into the cart together and carried to the next stopping point.

After two to three days, the column reached Stettin. The sick and the dead were left at Stettin while the majority of the rest were moved on to Stalag IIA (Neubrandenberg) where they arrived on 7th February, 1945. 

The eight-day total distance of the march was 70-90 miles (120-150 Kilometers).

On 25 February 1945 most of the remaining prisoners were forced to march westward in advance of the Soviet offensive and endured great hardships before they were freed by Allied troops in April 1945.

The lower ranks prisoners at this camp fared much better than those in many other camps further south. They worked predominately on farms and had the possibility to obtain better nourishment.

It was relatively easy to escape from a farm, but much more difficult to evade recapture. Prisoners working on farms did not have the essential assistance that was provided in Oflags by teams of dedicated specialists who forged documents and prepared maps. Without these it was extremely difficult to traverse hundreds of miles past frequent checks by the Nazi police.

Gabriel Regnier, a French prisoner, describes his failed attempt with a French companion on 23 March 1942. A Polish civilian worker at the farm had helped them by hiding civilian clothes for them. It was a dark night and they successfully reached a freight train that was switching cars at the station that was close to the farm. They successfully hid in one box-car full of boxes. But then the train stopped in Stettin for unloading, they switched to another car loaded with sacks of barley destined for Aachen in western Germany, which they reached four days later. There again they got out to search for a car going to the Netherlands. Unfortunately the driver of a vehicle noticed two persons moving hesitantly along the train and alerted the military police. Recaptured they were returned to Stargard and spent 24 days in solitary confinement. It could have ended much worse.

Stalag II-E Schwerin

Stalag II-E Schwerin Mecklenberg Location N/E 53-11

Opened Novermber 1941, closed May 1945.

15,880 other ranks with 54 officers.

Located at 56 degrees, 7 minutes North, 11 degrees, 27 minutes East.

Stalag II-F Hammerstein

Located at 53 degrees, 41 minutes North, 16 degrees, 54 minutes East.

According to a SHAEF report of February 1945 the camp held: 

25 British, 7201 US, 16234 Russians, 851 Belgians, 3 Poles, 1676 Yugoslavs, 1111 Italians and 16935 French.

Stalag II-G Redevitz

Operated 07/41 - 06/42.

Belgian POWs held here.

Stalag II H Barkenbrugge

Other camps in this area identified in SHAEF reports in 1944.

Parchim

Noted as having 2 shed like buildings at 53 degrees 26 minutes North, 11 degrees 52 minutes south map reference T74045C, Parchim had a POW camp during WWI located in this vicinity also.

Wittenburg

Again, a camp previously used in WWI was located here at 53 degrees 32 minutes North, 11 degrees 6 minutes south map reference T220530.

Stalag III-A Luckenwalde

Location 52.0583°N 13.1147°E

Planning for the camp commenced before the invasion of Poland. It was designed to hold 10,000 men, was the largest in the 3rd Military District, and was considered a model for other camps.

In mid-September 1939 the first Polish POWs arrived, and were housed in large 12 m (39 ft) by 35 m (115 ft) tents, and set to work building the barrack huts before the winter set in. Once their work was complete the Poles were relocated, and the first inhabitants of the camp were Dutch and Belgian. They only remained there for a brief time before being replaced by 43,000 French POWs, who arrived in mid-1940, and remained the largest group of prisoners until the end of the war. They included 4,000 Africans from French colonial units. In 1941 some 300 of these took part in the Nazi propaganda film ‘Germanin’. The French were joined in 1941 by Yugoslav and Russian prisoners, then in late 1943 some 15,000 Italian military internees arrived, though most were quickly dispersed to other camps. In late 1944 small numbers of American, Romanian, British and Polish prisoners arrived.

The SHAEF/Red Cross reports from February 1945 show 1438 British, 1 US, 14111 Russians, 20 Belgian, 401 Poles, 1703 Yugoslavs, 4177 Italians and 12814 French pows here.

Pritswalk Labour camp

Located at 53 degrees 9 minutes North and 12 degrees 10 minues east this camp held 1727 Yugoslav, 583 Italians and 2414 French the Red cross visited it in early 1945.

Stalag III-B Fürstenberg/Oder/Brandenburg

Location 52N, 13E.

There was a military hospital also at this location, it held 2 British, 3703 US, 9053 Russian, 840 Yugoslav, 2200 Italian and 15514 French Pows as of February 1945 (Shaef reports).

Work camps under the jurisdiction of Stalag IIIB

Finsterwalde

A civilian work camp for Poles (Gemeinschaftslager) 

Location 51,38N 13,42E

Lubben

Location 51,56N 13,52E

Kirchhain 

Location 51,38N 13,34E

Lubbenau

Location 51,52N 13,58E

Stalag III-C Alt-Drewitz Brandenburg

A SHAEF report dated 10/2/45 reports these 2 camps marching westwards, location was 52N 14E.

Another SHAEF report on camp strengths dated February 1945 showed:

986 British, 1734 US, 9486 Russians,9 Belgian, 2 Polish,1665 Yugoslavs,1449 italians and 15692 French were at this camp.

Stalag III-D Berlin Stegelitz Prussia

 

Located at Lichterfelde-Sud in the south west of Berlin also known as Steglitz-Berlin

52 degrees 32 minutes North, 11 degrees 52 minutes south map reference Z950510.

Early 1945 reports have 27303 POWs with 491 officers, 214 of which were British, later reports show 217 British, 17 US, 9439 Russians, 40 Belgians, 299 Yugoslavs, 1835 Italians and 5030 French.

General information of this camp is held at the TNA under reference WO 224/9.

There were also camp number IIId/999 and IIId/517 camps listed in the German postal system, these were likely to have been in the case of ‘999’ some sort of punishment camp (999 Battalions in the German SS/Army were severe punishment units for near suicidal missions) and in the case of ‘517’ this was the camp that the ‘British freikorps’ were held at whilst training at Genshagen, location 52,19N 13,17E which held 264 British PoWs at February 1945.

There were 2 lazaretts here also:

119 

128

Stalag III-E Kirchhain/Neiderlautz

 

Became a branch camp of Stalag IIIb in June 1942.

On the 11th May 1942 52 POWS escaped from Kirchain via a tunnel, all were later recaptured.

Stalag III-F Friesack

Stalag Luft III Sagan, Poland

Stalag Luft III Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser) Location N/E 49-11

The famous camp of ‘the great escape’ of 24/3/44 and the ‘wooden horse’ escape of October 1943.

The camp consisted of 6 compounds:

1 used by German personnel

Centre -opened 11 April 1942 -Firstly housed RAF Sergeants until the end of 1942 when USAAF POWs replaced them.

East -opened March 21st 1942 for RAF

South -opened September 1943 for USAAF

West -opened July 1944 for USAAF officers only

North - RAF officers opened 29/3/43

The camp housed around 2,500 British & 900 other commonwealth & allied nations pows and 7,500 USAAF in huts (10 x 12 metres) for 15 men with 3 tier bunks.

There was also a further 'camp' adjacent called 'Belaria' which was opened in 1944 and used to house those suspected of attempting or aiding escape(rs).

This housed 728 British & commonwealth and later a further 113 US personnel.

The camp was adjoined on one side to Stalag VIIIc the other ranks army camp, although the administration of both camps was entirely seperate.

 

The National Archives holds over 100 files concerning the murder of 50 Allied airmen who escaped from Stalag Luft III in March 1944: an incident known as 'The Great Escape', during this escape it was planned to get 250 airmen out, in the event 76 escaped and 3 made ‘home runs’.

3 men also escaped via Danzig and Sweden in the wooden horse escape of 1943.

Another notable escape attempt occurred on 12th June 1943 (the ‘delousing break’) where Squadron Leader Roger Bushell organised for 26 men to escape from 32 who attempted, none managed to get very far and were captured soon after.

Sagan became one of the most active escape camps of WWII and a constant thorn in the Nazis side.

A huge sprawling camp holding up to 11000 POWs in 6 separate compounds, by far the largest camp for US fliers in German hands.

The camp was evacuated in January 1945 as the red army approached At 11:00 PM on 27 January 1945 Germans marched the POWs out of Stalag 3 with Spremberg for their destination. The evacuation was frightening and arduous to POWs of all compounds, especially to those of the South Compound who made the 40 miles from Sagan to Muskau in 27 hours with only 4 hours sleep.  At Muskau they were given a 30 hour delay for recuperation and then marched another 20 miles to Spremberg. On 31 January the South Compound men plus 200 men from the West Compound went to Stalag 7A at Moosburg in railway boxcars packed 50 men and 1 armed guard in each boxcar. The trip took two days and two nights. On 7 February the men from the Centre Compound joined them. The North Compound fell in with the West Compound at Spremberg and on 2 February entrained for Stalag 13D at Nurnberg, which they reached after a two day trip.

A SHAEF report dated 10/2/45 confirmed this move and the dispersal of the PoWs amongst ‘various camps’.

Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow/Burzlaff, Poland. 

Stalag Luft IV Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) Location N/E 54-16

Opened May 15th 1944, located at Located at coordinates 53 degrees 56 minutes 41 seconds North, 16 degrees 10 minutes 20 seconds east.

On February 6, 1945, according to Red Cross reports, some 8,000 men of the camp set out on would be called the "Black March". The prisoners were given the remaining Red Cross parcels; you could carry as much as you could. The march from Gross Tychow lasted approximately 86 days. They were forced to march under guard about 15–20 miles (24–32 km) per day. There was much zigzagging, to escape the encroaching Soviet Red Army from the east. At one time, they travelled 40 miles, only advancing a few.

The treatment was very bad. The sick were mistreated when dysentery and diarrhoea set in. The Germans could not be collaborated with. Some prisoners were bayoneted; others kicked and hit. Shelter was either a barn or under the stars, in the rain, snow, or whatever happened to be. As for the food, a bushel or two of steamed potatoes for a barn full of men was the best ever received at the end of a day. Often, the food was placed in the barn in the dark of night for the men to get what they could. Clothing was misfit being the most dominant, gathered from what they could; the German government provided no clothing. They carried two blankets, and an overcoat for bedding.

At this point, the average POW lost 1/3 of his body weight since capture. Water (often contaminated) POW's drank from ditches beside the road or ate snow when available. Using cigarettes, watches, rings or whatever they had to trade with the farmers along the way, for food. However in doing so risking the farmers and the POW's lives. The POW's ate charcoal to help stop dysentery and every POW became infected with lice. Pneumonia, diphtheria, pellagra, typhus, trench foot, tuberculosis and other diseases ran rampant among the POW's.

Acts of heroism were virtually universal. The stronger helped the weaker. Those fortunate enough to have a coat shared it with others. The Germans sometimes provided a wagon for the sick. However there seldom were horses available, so teams of POWs pulled the wagons through the snow. When a wagon was not available and a POW fell out along the road, a German guard would drop back and a shot would be heard. The guard would then come back into formation alone. However, not all Germans were hated - the guard ‘Shorty’ was carried by several prisoners after he couldn't go on.

They reached Stalag 357 (Stalag XI-B), near Fallingbostel around April 3, 1945. Many camps on the eastern edge of Germany were combined into one large camp there. The treatment was a repetition of previous camps, with the exception of food, of which there was virtually none. The treatment was a little worse. No beds or bedding in the buildings. The prisoners and the Germans as well, knew liberation was close at hand. The sounds of the encroaching American artillery could be heard getting louder and louder at this camp. When the sound of Allied artillery grew closer, the German guards were less harsh in their treatment of POWs, because the prisoner roles may soon be reversed.

The POWs were only in this camp for about a week; when lagers A and B from Stalag Luft IV were taken out on their final march, this time east. This last march lasted approximately three weeks; but was just as harsh as the previous march except for the treatment by the Germans, which was somewhat better, perhaps because the guards knew the war was lost and their own very futures would depend on how they had treated those in their care.

There was still little or no food available, and the pace was much slower, advancing 4-5 miles a day. On the morning of May 2, 1945 the POWs were all sitting in a ditch next to the River Elbe near Lauenburg, Germany, when the British arrived and liberated the "camp". 

Stalag IV-A Elsterhorst /Hohnstein

Stalag IV-A Hohnstein (Airfield at Dresden-Klotsche) (No Base Camps: 13 Work Camps) Saxony Location N/E 51-14

 

Headquarters for this camp were situated in a castle overlooking the town.

As with a lot of German POW camps originally this was a much smaller camp based at the ex Hitler Youth hostel set up in the castle and transformed between an officers camp only then into a stalag with all the satellite work camps I have listed here.

42521 (4546 British) POWs with 1029 officers in total held at this camp and the surrounding work camps.

Work camps located at: 

Grube Brigitta (camp 502)

In the village of Burghammer, (Near Hoherswenda NE of Dresden) 2 wooden huts 50 yards long.

Grube Erika (camp 503)

Several single story stone buildings here near the Village of Erika, about 290 British POWs worked nearby at a local Briquette factory, there was also a large mine in this area.

Grube Lohsa (camp 1225)

130 south African PoWs housed in wooden huts worked at a nearby briquette factory.

Grube Haye (Camp 543)

Nearest Village Lauta, 85 British PoWs here.

Camp 1274

Near the town of Bautzen (spelt Bautsee/Bautsen on the reports in Wo229/5/1), several wooden huts housing 70 British POWs and other nationalities.

Camp 11084

100 British POWs held in the dancehall of the Hotel ‘Kronprinz’ near Bautzen.

Camp 1007

1 Wooden hut at Lobau with 200 British POWs.

Lazarett (Hospital for TB cases) Elsterhorst

This was closed down and the patients moved to Hohenstein-Ernsthal in February 1944.

Lazarett (Mental) Schmorkau

Moved to Hotel Golden Lion - an annex of the Leipzig Warren lazaretto in February 1944.

Stalag IV-B Mühlberg (Elbe)

Stalag IV-B Muhlberg Sachsen Location N/E 51-13

 

25052 (7792 British) with 1310 officers, work detailed to coal mines locally.

Stalag IV-C Wistritz bei Teplitz

Stalag IV-C Wistritz Bei Teplitz Bohemia Location N/E 50-13

 

43449 (6486 British) POWs with 661 officers held here.

Work camp at Schwaz II.

Lazarett (reserve hospital) on a hillside overlooking Bilin village with 150 patients.

Stalag IV-D Torgau

Stalag IV-D Torgau (Elbe) Sachsen, Prussia Location N/E 51-13

 

43703 (10303 British) POWs with 558 officers were processed through this centre and distributed amongst the many work camps locally.

It was rare in that the camp was not a traditional POW camp with central imprisonment facilities but more of a processing centre.

Headquarters of this camp was situated away from the main camp and next to Torgau railway station, only 21 British and 2 US PoWs were held here, and mainly used to assist the administration of the work camps in the area.

Work camps:

Camp SCH186

106 US PoWs here on the road to Falkenburg

Camp L9

49 British POWs held at the local Railway Station of Elstorwerda- Biela.

Camp L71

69 US PoWs held near Bockwitz.

Camp 603

92 British PoWs held at this camp near Laussig.

Camp 602

Adjacent to Klitshcmar railway station 271 British PoWs held.

Camp L25

Situated near Lauchammer between a foundry and a gun finishing factory, no information on POWs held. 

Stalag IV-D/z Annaberg

Stalag IV-D/Z Annaburg (Formerly Oflag 54.E) Sachsen, Prussia Location N/E 51-13

Stalag IV-E Altenburg

Renamed Stalag 384 1st June 1942.

Stalag IV-F Hartmannsdorf/Chemnitz

Stalag IV-F + Work Camps Hartmannsdorf-Chemnitz Saxony Location N/E 51-12

47083 (5191 British) POWs with 927 officers held here.

Stalag IV-G Oschatz (Oscjatz)

Stalag IV-G Oschatz Saxony Location N/E 51-13

34795 (4168 British) POWs with 340 officers held here.

Work Camps:

Camp 44

A potato drying factory near the village of Grauschwitz/Mugeln with 23 US PoWs.

Revier (sick bay) at Gneisenaustrasse 

Near to the Main Leipzig Railway station with 25 patients.

Sub camps/work camps:

Camp 240

In a stone building in Bohringen 200 yards from an ammunition factory (!) 45 US prisoners held here.

Camp 231

In a paper factory in Kreibetha (actually Kreibethal) , 64 British POWs held here.

The village here was very small <100 houses.

Camp 203

24 British POWs held here in a small farming village.

Camp 682/882

53 British POWs held at a Brick factory on the road between Meissen & Oschatz.

Camp 255

183 British PoWs held at the village of Markrandstadt.

Camp 271

A Leipzig 4-5 storey hotel near Konig Albert park housed 89 British PoWs.

Camp 57 Altenhain

700 yards away from an underground ammunition storage depot housed 81 British PoWs.

Stalag IV-H Zeilhain

Also had a Subcamp at Muhlberg.

Renamed Stalag 304 in 1942.

34795 (4168 British) POWs with 340 officers held here.

Stalag Luft V, Wolfen, Groditz, Halle (Saale)

Stalag Va Ludwigsburg, Germany (Baden-Württemberg) 

Stalag V-A Malschbach Ludwigsburg Wurtemberg Location N/E 49-09

In use October 1939 - April 1945.

The prison camp had been constructed on the site of a former German military camp that had once billeted German cavalry troops and their horses. The red brick stables were converted to barracks to house prisoners when the site was converted to a POW camp in October 1939. Additional wooden barrack huts were also constructed on the grounds, to accommodate the camp's growing prisoner population.

The sprawling prison complex was divided into compounds. The perimeter of the each compound was secured by a double barbed-wire fence, fifteen feet in height, on top of which ran a high-voltage wire. The space between the two fences was a tangled mass of barbed-wire. On the prisoners' side of the fence, a wire ran parallel with the fence, staked to the ground approximately ten feet from the fence, six to eight inches above the ground. Any man who stepped between the wire and the fence was shot on sight. Every so many yards along the fence was a guard tower, fully armed and manned.

 The first prisoners detained at the camp had been Poles, taken captive during the German invasion of Poland in 1939. As the war progressed, prisoners of other nationalities arrived at Stalag V-A. By the time of the camp's evacuation in April 1945, Allied prisoners of every nation at war with Germany were present within the camp. The largest population present within the camp was Soviet, followed by the French, Belgian, Dutch, British and Commonwealth, Italian, and American prisoners were also present in large numbers. 

31690 POWs with 1029 officers.

Stalag V-A/Z Münsingen Münsingen  (Baden-Württemberg) 

Opened January 1944. 

Oflag V-A Weinsberg Wurttemberg Location N/E 49-09

Stalag V-B Villingen Villingen-Schwenningen  (Baden-Württemberg) 

Stalag V-B is recorded as at Villingen AND Biberach an de Ris both in Baden Location N/E 48-08, it is possible these are the 2 nearest locations hence it was named as both.

 

2411 POWs mostly USAAF, evacuated to Stalag IV on 14/7/44.

In July 1943 William Ash (RCAF) organised a tunnel that was designed to get 50 men out, 7 managed to escape, all we recaptured shortly afterwards however.

Stalag V-C Wilbad Wurtemberg

Location N/E 48-08

The main camp was in Malschbach in Baden-Baden and was founded in November 1939. sub camps were at Wildbad and Stransbourg.

The camp had field post number 31686, and held up to 30,000 POWs from Poland , Belgium , France , Soviet Union , Yugoslavia , Italy & Great Britain.
In February 1942, the new headquarters of the camp was opened in Offenburg.

Stalag VI-C Bathorn Munster Westfalen Prussia

Location N/E 52-07

Stalag VI-D Dortmund Prussia

Location N/E 51-07

Stalag VI-F Bocholt (Dulag) Prussia

Location N/E 52-06

Stalag VI-G Bonn Rheinland, Prussia

Location N/E 50-07

Stalag VI-J Krefeld Rheinland, Prussia

Location N/E 51-07

Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug

Closed in 1944 and Moved to Stalag IV Grosstychow East Prussia Location N/E 54-20

The camp was built in 1939 and designated Stalag I-C.

At first it held Polish POWs, then from 1940 also French and Belgians, and from 1941 Russians. In June 1943 it was renamed Stalag Luft VI and used to hold British and Canadian Air Force NCOs, and from February 1944, also Americans.
By July 1944 it housed 9,000 Allied airmen.

When the Russian front approached, orders were given to move the prisoners to other camps further west. Most of the men were moved by train to Stalag XX-A in West Prussia, but some 900 were taken to the port of Memel, where they were put aboard the merchant ship Insterburg for a 60-hour journey to Swinemünde. After another train journey the men were force marched from Kiefheide, with many men being bayoneted or shot before they reached Stalag Luft IV in Gross Tychow. This march was one of the "Long Marches".

Stalag Luft VII (Bankau)

Stalag Luft VII Bankau (Moved to Moosburg & Nuremberg) Upper Silesia Location N/E 51-18

The camp was opened on 6 June 1944, and by July held 230 prisoners, all RAF flying crews. They were joined by members of the Glider Pilot Regiment captured at the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. By 1 January 1945, the camp held 1,578 British, American, Russian, Polish and Canadian troops.

On 19 January 1945, 1,500 prisoners marched out of camp in bitter cold. They crossed a bridge over the river Oder on 21 January, reached Goldberg on 5 February, and were loaded onto a train. On 8 February they reached Stalag III-A located about 52 km (32 mi) south of Berlin near Luckenwalde, which already held 20,000 prisoners, consisting mainly of soldiers from Britain, Canada, the U.S. and Russia.

A SHAEF report dated 10 February confirms this move and reported the PoWs ‘already west of the Oder’ (river).

Stalag VII-A  Moosburg, Bavaria 

Stalag VII-A Moosburg Bavaria Location N/E 48-12 (Work Camps 3324-46 Krumbachstrasse 48011, Work Camp 3368 Munich Location N/E 48-11)

 

The camp covered an area of 35 hectares (86 acres). It served also as a transit camp through which prisoners, including officers, were processed on their way to other camps. At some time during the war, prisoners from every nation fighting against Germany passed through it. At the time of its liberation on 29 April 1945, there were 76,248 (7975 British) prisoners in the camp, with 1823 officers.

Many others were billeted in Arbeitskommando working in factories, repairing railways or on farms

This was the camp for USAAF NCOs until 13 October 1943 when all 1,900 were transferred to Stalag 17B. As Germany collapsed in the spring of 1945, it became the final gathering place for 7,948 officers and 6,944 enlisted men moved in from other POW camps.

Moosburg was the central point in Southern Germany for the distribution of ‘red cross’ parcels.

Stalag VII-B Memmingham

Stalag VII-B Memmingen Bavaria Location N/E 48-10

18307 POWs with 550 Officers here in Bavaria.

Stalag VIII-A Görlitz

Stalag VIII-A Gorlitz (Moved to Moosburg Murenberg) Silesia Location N/E 51-15

 

Stalag VIII-B and Stalag Luft VIII-B Lamsdorf, Poland (now Lambinowice)

Stalag VIII-B Teschen Poland Location N/E 49-18

Also known as Stalag 344,  and connected to Stalag IV b/z and Stalag VIII-d.

 

64,665 POWs here in 1944 with 150 officers and 13625 British POWs.

A notorious German Army prisoner of war camp, later renumbered Stalag-344, in Silesia. 

Nearly 100,000 allied POWs passed through this camp at some time during the war.

The camp initially occupied barracks built to house British and French prisoners in World War I. At this same location there had been a prisoner camp during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71

In January 1945, as the Soviet armies resumed their offensive and advanced into Germany, many of the prisoners were marched westward in groups of 200 to 300 in the so-called Death March. Many of them died from the bitter cold and exhaustion. The lucky ones got far enough to the west to be liberated by the American army. The unlucky ones got "liberated" by the Soviets, who instead of turning them over quickly to the western allies, held them as virtual hostages for several more months. Many of them were finally repatriated towards the end of 1945 though the port of Odessa on the Black Sea.   

There is a SHAEF report from February 8th 1945 reporting the camp ‘marching south westwards across Bohemia towards Nuremburg’ against its original intention to move to Goerlitz (Gorlitz) - Stalag VIIIa.

There were as many as 700 different work parties (Arbeitskommando) to various factories and other locations from this camp.

Schalkendorf in the Kreis (Area of) Opole

 Stauverder

E1 Laband

E3 Blechammer

Work Camps

(this is just an example of the out-sourcing of POW labour which was used particularly by the larger camps- as you can see there are dozens of smaller sattellite camps listed spread over a very wide area).

BAU & BN 21 Blechhamer, Oderberg Upper Silesia 50N-18E

E8 Krappitz, paper mill

E17 Opole, cement factory

E22 Gleiwitz-Ohringen

E25 Rauschwalde, Kreis Falkenberg

E27 coal mine

E51 Klausberg, coal mine

E62 Gleiwitz-Steigern

E72 Beuthen

E75 Knurów

E88 Hohrnlohehutte

E93 Sakrau, limestone quarry

E94 Emilienhoff limestone quarry

E110 Stauwerder

E114 Gross Kunzendorf, stone quarry and factory

E119 Mankendorf, saw mill

E38 Ratibor, steel works

E131 Tiefbau Pollok, stone quarry

E149 Buchenlust, forestry work

E159 Domstadtl, quarry

E162 Oderthal

E173 Setzdorf, quarry

E196 Opoleonoora, cement factory

E203 Opole, cement works

E209 Bobrek, coal mine

E211 Treibiz, railway

E218 Flossingen

E234 Tonhain

E243 Breslau, gasworks

E256 Zuckmantel

E265 Grafenweiler

E276 Ottmachau, sugar beet factory

E283 Ratibor, sugar mill

E324 Gross Dubrnsko

E332 Rudgershagen

E354 Jägerndorf, saw mill & timer goods factory

E365 Gross Strelitz lime quarry

E373 Blaschke, Czechoslovakia, sawmill

E389 Rudgershagen

E393 Mittel-Lazisk

E399 Sudetenland Cardboard Factory

E406 Seifersdorf, brickyard

E411 Hohenzollerngrube Beuthen coal mine

E414 Hohenbirken, saw mill

E415 Hohenbirken, tile factory

E419 Opole

E446 Zuckmantel

E456 Kalkau

E460 building railway bridge

E479 Tarnowitz

E484 Neisse, labouring

E486 Neisse,labouring

E490 Beuthen railway building

E494 Gleiwitz Ost

E535 Sosnowitz West coal mine

E538 Sosnowice mine

E542 Fohrengrund ub Gleiwtz

E543 Drmbrowa

E550 Hohenbirken, tannery

E552 Hindenberg Philipstr

E561 Tarnowtitz, railway depot loading and unloading trains

E562 Coal mine "Janina", near Libiaz

E563 Bory Jelen Jaworzno

E565 Sierza Wodna coal mine

E571 Gruden forestry department

E578 Peiskretscham, Kreis Gleiwitz

E579 Niwka

E580 Czelads

E585 Jagerndorf, brickyard

E586 Kazimierz

Kazimierz is in the centre of Krakow: the old Jewish quarter including the area when Oskar Schindlers factory was located.

E587 Czelads Piarski

E593 Beuthen Schonberg

E594 Konigshutte Ost

E596 Jaworzno

E603 Hindenburg

E701 Tichau Czulow (paper factory)

 E702 Klimontow coal mine

 E706 Coal mine near Jaworzno, mostly Australians and New Zealanders

 E707 Sosnowitz

 E708 Laband

 E711A Heydebreck, chemical plant

Work Battalion 21 Heydebreck Silesia 50-18

Westerburg POW Camp Hessen-Nassau Prussia 50-08

E714 Blechhammer, Upper Silesia

E715 IG Farben chemical factory in Monowitz. 

Set up in September 1943, it housed about 1200 prisoners, mostly British.

This was the POW camp next door to Auschwitz death camp and the inmates of Auschwitz frequently worked alongside British POWs on this work detail.

E719 Steigern

E724 Schwientochlowitz

E725 Konigshutte Bismark

E727 Mechtal Beuthen, power station

E728 Neu Oderberg

E732 Czciakowa

E734 Schoppintiz

E739 Dombrowa Grunkolonie

E740 Kobier

E742 Ober Lazisk

E744 Kazimierz

This was the old Jewish district of Krakow.

E746 Königshütte

E748 Brorek

E749 Peiskretscham

E750 Kattowitz

E753 Graumanndorf

E754 Czelads

picture above.

E755 Wojkowitz Komorne

E756 Radzionkau

E757 Morenrot

E758 Knurow

E759 Glewitz

E760 Bobrek

E761 Bobrek

E762 Bobrek

E794 Heydebreck

E902 coal mine

E902 Delbruckschachte-Hindenburg coal mine

E22050 gas works

Stalag VIII-C Sagan

Stalag VIII-C Sagan (Moved to Kunau Sprottau) (9 work camps) Silesia Location N/E 51-15

SHAEF report dated 10/2/45 writes ‘this camp to be evacuated to a destination unknown’ however it was moved to Sprottau according to Bundesarchiv reports.

Stalag VIII-D Teschen  (Cieszyn, Poland and Ceský Tešín, Czech Republic)

The town is divided by the Oder river on the border of Poland/The Czech republic.

-Also known as Stalag 344, Stalag IV b/z and Stalag VIII-b.

The camp was created in 1941 as the base camp for a number of work-camps (Arbeitskommando) for prisoners of war working in the mines and industries of Upper Silesia. By early 1942 they housed 7,000 prisoners from Belgium, France, Poland and Yugoslavia. In June 1943 it was placed under the administrative control of Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf and was renamed Stalag IV-B/Z. In November 1943 there was another reorganization, Lamsdorf was renamed "Stalag 344", and a large number of prisoners were transferred to Teschen, which became Stalag VIII-B. Because of these organizational and number changes there is considerable confusion in accounts of prisoners, even in official German records.

 At the end of 1943 within Stalag VIII-B Teschen there were about 50,000 Soviet prisoners, and another 10,000 from other countries[3], including Great Britain, the Commonwealth and Italy. In general, the conditions in the main Teschen camp and in all the sub-camps were deplorable.

From 21 January 1945, many of the prisoners, particularly British and Commonwealth, were marched through Nazi-occupied Czech lands to Stalag XIII-C in Bavaria or Stalag XIII-D Nürnberg. The march, in temperatures of -15°C to -20°C, caused great distress and many prisoners died. The Czech people in the villages and towns, through which they passed, passed food and clothing to them. Many prisoners managed to escape and were sheltered in private homes. The men were marched along country roads towards the Oder, first north towards Dresden, then when the Germans changed their mind, south towards Bavaria, eventually reaching Stalag XIII-D near Nuremberg.

Stalag VIII-E/308 Neuhammer

Stalag VIII-F 

A POW camp for Russians adjacent to Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf, it also held Romanians, Greeks and Italians.

Physical and sanitary conditions were very poor, and of the estimated 200,000 Soviet prisoners who passed through the camp, about 40,000 died of starvation, mistreatment and disease. 

Stalag IX-A Ziegenhain

Stalag IX-A Ziegenhain Hessen-Nassau, Prussia Location N/E 51-09

47,533 POWs here with 1627 Officers (162 British).

Stalag IX-B Wegscheide/Bad Orb

Stalag IX-B Bad Orb Hessen-Nassau, Prussia Location N/E 50-09

20770 POWs here (53 British) with 1735 Officers.

Stalag IX-C Bad Sulza/Muhlhausen

Stalag IX-C Bad Sulza Saxe-Weimar Location N/E 51-11

Stalag IX-C/Z Muhlausen Sachen, Prussia Location N/E 51-10

 

Muhlhausen Opened in February 1940 and closed on 29/3/45, the hospital was located at Bad Sulza.

The main camp was in a former brewery in a suburb of the town with a few large brick buildings up to 3 storeys high.

Stalag IX-G Oschatz

A contagious disease ward type hospital named ‘Leipzig Wahren Lazarett’ belonging to this camp was situated close to the local gas works and railway station  & consisted of 2 long stone buildings.

It housed 224 British POW patients in March 1945.

Stalag X-A Schleswig

 

 

 

Stalag X-B Bremervorder, Germany. 

 

Stalag X-B Sandbostel Schleswig Location N/E 53-09.

Stalag X-B was a World War II German Prisoner-of-war camp located near Sandbostel in north-western Germany. Sandbostel lies 9 km south of Bremervörde, 43 km northeast of Bremen. Placed on swampy ground,with a damp, cold climate, it is one of the most notorious prisoner-of-war camps. Between 1939 and 1945 1 million POWs of 46 nations passed through. Nearly 50,000 died there of hunger, disease, or were just simply murdered.

Among the Italian prisoners, were mostly soldiers who did not surrender to the German army after the Cassibile armistice (The armistice with the allies where the Italian forces changed sides).

Marlag und Milag Nord, the camps for captured Navy personnel and civilian sailors respectively, were originally in two separate enclosures at the Sandbostel camp. They were moved to a different location closer to Cuxhaven, to Westertimke, in 1942. 

The camp was divided into three sections when liberated. The first contained allied prisoners in unsatisfactory conditions, but generally in compliance with the International Red Cross Convention. Soviet prisoners, without the Convention's protection, were in substantially worse conditions. In the third section were 8,000 civilian prisoners in appalling conditions, described in the Army medical history as "utterly horrifying"; "everywhere the dead and dying sprawled amid the slime of human excrement."

The British forces (XXX corps) advancing through this area had been aware of the POW camp but, until two escaped British Secret Service men reached them they were unaware of several thousand political prisoners in a separate compound. These were in desperate conditions and it was decided to liberate the camp immediately. The local German forces refused free access to the camp, so an assault into the area was made by the Guards Armoured Division and the camp was liberated on April 29, 1945. Army medical units were detached to deliver medical attention.

The military authorities decided to conscript local German civilian women to assist with the rescue and clean up work. Inmates were cleaned and transferred to an improvised hospital outside the camp and thence to convalescence camps. The camp was burned between May 16 and May 25 and the last 350 patients left the hospital on June 3.

In September 1939 it was used to house British civilian internees and Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. For lack of huts they were mostly housed in tents.

Timeline:

June 1940 - ca 26,251 French and ca 17,793 Belgian soldiers taken prisoner during the Battle of France arrive.[

May 1941 more prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign, mostly British and Serbians.

In July 1941 they were followed by Soviet prisoners from Operation Barbarossa housed in the open in a separate enclosure.

On December 1, 1941 the prisoner count was: 1664 Poles, 18,210 French, 2,871 Belgian, 2,459 British, 5,361 Serbians, 9,271 Soviets.

September 1943 - Italians interned after the allied Armistice with Italy arrived. Like the Soviets they were not accorded the protection of the Third Geneva Convention and were housed next to them.

October 1944 -soldiers from the Polish Warsaw Rising came, including over 1,000 women soldiers and officers.

On November 1, 1944 the prisoner count was: 4,895 Poles, 11,337 French, 1,732 Belgian, 3,040 Serbians, 20,169 Soviets, 9,453 Italians.

March and April 1945 - about 8,000 Concentration camp prisoners are brought here from the Neuengamme concentration camp and placed in the enclosure that had been Marlag

Stalag X-C Nienburg/Weser

Stalag X-C Nienburg Hanover, Prussia Location N/E 52-09

Stalag XI-A Altengrabow

Stalag XI-A (POWs from Stalag L4 & L1) Altengrabow Brandenburg, Prussia 52-12

Branch camps at Heidkathen & Gudendorf.

 

62322 POWs (3606 British) with 2695 officers held here.

Stalag XI-B Fallingbostel

Stalag XI-B Fallingbostel Prussia (Work Camps) Location N/E 53-09

See Stalag XI-C.

Stalag XI-C Bergen-Belsen (Stalag 311)

Located near the town of Bergen in Lower Saxony.

May 1940: The camp was built to house Belgian and French enlisted men captured in the Battle of France; initial count: 600.

July 1941: About 20,000 Soviet prisoners captured during Operation Barbarossa arrived. They were housed in the open while huts were being built. By the spring of 1942 an estimated 18,000 had died of hunger and disease, mainly typhus fever.

April 1943: Part of the camp was turned into a hospital for POWs. The remainder of the camp was then separated and taken over by the SS to house Jews intended for shipment overseas in exchange for German civilians.

Late 1943: The POW camp is closed and the entire facility becomes Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

In 1935 the Wehrmacht began to build a large military complex close to the town of Bergen in what was then the Province of Hanover and the barracks were completed in 1937.
The workers who constructed the original buildings were housed in camps near Fallingbostel and Bergen, the latter being the so-called Bergen-Belsen Army Construction Camp.

Once the military complex was completed in 1938/39, the workers' camp fell into disuse.

However, after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, the Wehrmacht began using the huts as a prisoner of war camp.
The camp of huts near Fallingbostel became known as Stalag XI-B and was to become one of the Wehrmacht's largest prisoner of war (POW) camps, holding up to 95,000 prisoners from various countries.

In June 1940, Belgian and French POWs were housed in the former Bergen-Belsen construction workers’ camp.

This installation was significantly expanded from June 1941, once Germany prepared to invade the Soviet Union, becoming an independent camp known as Stalag XI-C (311). It was intended to hold up to 20,000 Soviet POWs and was one of three such camps in the area. The others were at Oerbke (Stalag XI-D (321)) and Wietzendorf (Stalag X-D (310)). By the end of March 1942, some 41,000 Soviet POWs had died in these three camps of starvation, exhaustion and disease. By the end of the war, the total number of dead had increased to 50,000.

When the POW camp in Bergen ceased operation in early 1945, as the Wehrmacht handed it over to the SS, the cemetery contained over 19,500 dead Soviet prisoners.
In the summer of 1943, Stalag XI-C (311) was dissolved and Bergen-Belsen became a branch camp of Stalag XI-B. It served as the hospital for all Soviet POWs in the region until January 1945. Other inmates/patients were Italian military internees from August 1944 and, following the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising in October 1944, around 1,000 members of the Polish Home Army were imprisoned in a separate section of the POW camp.

Stalag XI-D Oerbke (321)

Stalag Luft XI-B

Stalag XII-A Limburg

Stalag XII-A to IX-B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia Location N/E 50-08

Housed 42202 POWs with 27 officers, 271 British.

Stalag XII-B

Stalag XII-C

Stalag XII-C Wiesbaden Hessen-Nassau, Prussia Location N/E 50-08

Stalag XII-D

Stalag XII-D Waldbreitbach Rheinland, Prussia Location N/E 50-07

Stalag XII-E

Stalag XII E Metz, located at Fort Queuleu , replaced the Frontstalag 212 & was in operation for 5 months only from 20 July 1940 to 2 December 1940.

Stalag XII-F (Forbach)

Although designated as a PoW camp, this appears like many mainly Russian POW camps to actually be a slave labour camp

Also recorded as Johannis Bannberg/Denting, although this part of the camp/sub camp was for Russians only.

Liberated 26th November 1944.

Those released included military and civilians:

1248 Russians, 41 Poles, 16 Yugoslavs and 3 Italians.

Kreuzwald –La Croix Hospital

Liberated 3/12/44.

Those released included:

30 French, 1 Belgian, 278 Russian, 26 Poles, 257 Yugoslav, 195 Italians, all evactuated to Nancy on 9/12/44.

Stalag XIII-B Weiden Bavaria 49-13

Stalag XIII-C Hammelburg

Stalag XIII-C Hammelburg Om Main Bavaria Location N/E 50-10

 

Built on what had been the training camp at Hammelburg, Lower Franconia, Bavaria, Germany.

Hammelburg was a large German Army training camp, set up in 1893. Part of this camp had been used as a POW camp during for Allied army personnel in World War I. After 1935 it was a training camp and military training area for the newly reconstituted German Army.

In May 1940 the camp was established in wooden huts at the south end of the training ground. The first prisoners included Belgian, Dutch and French soldiers taken during the Battle of France. In May-June 1941 Yugoslavian, predominantly Serbian prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign, and soon after in June-July 1941 Australian and other British Commonwealth soldiers arrived, captured during the Battle of Crete.

In April 1943 Oflag XIII-B was opened nearby, with officers transferred from Oflag XIII-A at Nuremberg.

As was usual for Stalags, many of the prisoners were located in Arbeitslager ("Work camps") on farms or adjacent to factories or other industrial operations. The Stalag served as the base for distribution of International Red Cross packages and mail. A Lazarett (hospital) cared for prisoners that were sick or had been injured in industrial accidents or air-raids. A number of enlisted men and NCOs were housed in the adjacent Oflag to provide necessary services.

American soldiers that had been captured during the Battle of Normandy arrived in June-July 1944, and more form the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945. In March 1945 a large group of prisoners arrived in deplorable condition after marching the 500 miles from Stalag VIII-D in severe winter conditions. The camp was liberated by Combat Command B of the U.S. 14th Armored Division on 6 April 1945.

Ebelsbach Hospital 

(Serves Stalag XIII-C) Ebelsbach Bavaria

Stalag XIII-D Nurnberg (Nuremberg)

Stalag XIII-D Nuremburg (Oflag 73) Bavaria Location N/E 49-11

Stalag XIII-D Nürnberg Langwasser was a German Army World War II prisoner-of-war camp built on what had been the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg, northern Bavaria.

In September 1939 an Internment Camp for enemy civilians was created within the buildings of the Sturmabteilung (SA) camp at the rally grounds. Within a couple of months, the civilians were moved out and prisoners from the invasion of Poland arrived. From May 1940, after the invasion of Norway and the Battle of France, prisoners arrived in large numbers, until they totalled 150,000 from all occupied countries, except Britain. British prisoners were held in separate camps all over Germany. Part of the facilities were used as Oflag XIII-A for officers.

In August 1940 most enlisted men were shipped to other camps; Stalag XIII-A, Stalag XIII-B and Stalag XIII-C. Only those remained who were already employed in local industry and were housed in individual Arbeitskommandos.

In June 1941 the massive influx of Soviet prisoners from Operation Barbarossa began. In August 1943 the camp was severely damaged during an Allied air-raid. 23 wooden huts were burnt down. Miraculously only two Soviet prisoners were killed in the camp. However, in this and subsequent bombing attacks, many prisoners were killed in individual Arbeitskommandos. In late 1944/early 1945 the camp population grew enormously with the arrival of prisoners evacuated from camps in the east in front of the advance of the Red Army. These included many Americans and British airmen from Stalag Luft III. On 12 April 1945 large numbers were marched to Stalag VII-A, and on 16 April the camp was liberated by advance elements of the United States Army

Stalag XVII-A Kaiserbruch

Stalag XVII-A Kaisersteinbruck Bei Bruck Austria Location N/E 48-16

 

1788 officers and 50785 other rank POWs with 1339 British kept here. 

Stalag XVII-B Krems, Austria

Stalag XVII-B Braunau Gneikendorf Near Krems Austria Location N/E 48-15

The largest POW camp in Austria and 2nd largest in the entire German reich.

US, Serbian, Italian and French/Belgian POWs were held at this camp.

Sep 1939 - Dulag Gneixendorf was created; renamed Stalag XVII B Oct 1939; received first American POWs in Oct 1943 (that part of the camp was then called Stalag Luft XVII B).

The camp was built by forced labour. It grew quickly from a few tents to a large POW camp with concrete buildings for the German officers and guards, and 40 large wooden barracks for the prisoners.

The POW population in Stalag XVII B was around 100,000 with up to 40,000 in the camp proper and another 60,000 prisoners outside the camp assigned to Arbeitskommando (Work Detail) groups to provide labour for nearby farms, factories and businesses. 

Stalag XVII B held soldiers of ten different nationalities throughout the war. The captured Polish soldiers arrived first, then the French and Belgians in June 1940. Russian soldiers arrived shortly after the Nazis invaded The USSR in 1941.

US AAF POWs arrived in October, 1943, bringing the total of US prisoners to 4,000 until liberation in April, 1945. Logistical problems meant that this part of the camp was administered by the Luftwaffe, the rest of the camp being under the Wehrmacht.

Some prisoners were even billeted to live with the local Austrian families. Fraternization between local people and prisoners was strictly forbidden, although it certainly happened.

Prisoners were separated by nationality, and were intentionally kept from communicating with any other nations POWs this was common in most POW camps however.

Punishment of prisoners was severe, particularly after July 1944 when the SS took over jurisdiction of camp security (although did not place guards generally) US prisoners who did not follow regulations or tried to escape were sentenced to as much as a month in a special solitary confinement building, Russian POWs fared worse and were generally killed either immediately or worked to death at the nearby Mauthausen KZ.

In April 1945 many POWs were force marched away from the camp where they met advance units of the US army in May. The POWs who were working outside of the camp were simply left there and allowed to leave.

The POWs left in the camp were ‘liberated’ by the Russians on 8 May 1945, however this liberation like many other camps meant they were simply robbed of anything valuable by their allies and locked back up until the Russians  allowed them to return home later.

The Russian POWs fared far worse: (in a common policy) were sent to work camps and treated as traitors for surrendering.

Stalag XVIII a Wolfsburg, Austria

Stalag XVIII-A Wolfsberg Carinthia, Austria Location N/E 46-15

Stalag XVIII-A/Z Spittal Drau (Became Ilag 17)Carinthia, Austria Location N/E 46-13

 

Moved from Spittal to Wagna in 1942.

Stalag XVIII-C Markt Pongau, Austria (also known as Stalag 317).

In March 1941, the Wehrmacht began constructing the camp in the northwest of Austria, between Innsbruck and Salzburg, the nearest railway station was Bishopshofen. 

The prisoners of war - mostly from France and the Soviet Union - had to perform forced labour in nearby factories and in agriculture.

The camp itself was large, but it was split up into nationalities, British, Poles, Indians, and Russians. 

The British part was quite small. The perimeter fence was electrified and there was also two searchlight towers that covered the exercise yard. 

The huts were about 75yds by 10yds and contained two tier beds for up to 200 prisoners. 

4000 mostly Russian POWs died here.

It is now known as Sankt Johann im Pongau.

Stalag XVIIId (also known as stalag 306)

 

Stalag XVIII-D (also known as Stalag 306) was a German Prisoner of War camp at Maribor (German: Marburg an der Drau) in what is now Slovenia. It opened in the spring or early summer of 1941, operating until the end of the war.

 By July 1941 Stalag XVIII-D contained nearly 4,500 British and Commonwealth prisoners captured in Greece and Crete. Conditions initially were very poor, with more than 1,000 men accommodated in tents while huts were being constructed. There was an outbreak of typhus in early 1942. However the situation improved as the war went on.

 Escapes assisted by Yugoslav Partisans became increasingly common, with most escapers being led south to the Partisan base and airfield at Semic in Bela Krajina. In August 1944, the largest mass rescue of POWs of the war in Europe took place when 132 Allied prisoners from Stalag XVIII-D were freed by Partisans in the raid at St Lorenzen.

Between August and November 1942 there was a second camp at Maribor, Stalag XVIII- B/Z.

Stalag XXa (also known as Stalag 301, 312 and 357).

Stalag XX-A was a German World War II prisoner of war camp located in Thorn/Torun, Poland. It was not a single camp, being split into several compunds each autonomous to some degree.

It contained as many as 20,000 men at its peak, although up to 60,000 were incarcerated there at one time or another.

Those who died in Stalag XXA were buried in the garrison military cemetery except Russian POWs who were buried in a mass grave in the forest near Stalag 312, between Glinki and Cierpice. About 14,000 men are buried there. 

The Thorn Complex was a sub-camp of the concentration camp in Sztutowic (German: Stutthof). 

It contained POW camps for non-commissioned officers and other ranks. The 357 designation was later transferred to Oerbke near Fallingbostel.

The main camp was located in a complex of fifteen forts that surrounded the whole of the city. The forts had been built at the end of 19th century to defend the western border of Kingdom of Prussia.

In September 1939 some of the forts were used as POW camps for Polish prisoners, specifically those captured after the surrender of the Polish fort at Westerplatte at the mouth of the river Vistula and on the Hel Peninsula. In June 1940 additional forts were added to the camp to accommodate British soldiers. The first to arrive were 403 men from the Allied campaign in Norway. Later about 4,500 arrived from Dunkirk and subsequently from the British 51st (Highland) Infantry Division captured at Saint-Valery-en-Caux. In 1941 and 1942 Soviet prisoners arrived. At the peak there were about 10,000 prisoners at the camp. However many of them were located in sub-camps. The camp was liberated on 1 February 1945 by the Soviet Army.

The POWs were hired out to military and civilian contractors. In the case of farm work, this was often carried out on state farms. Some of these sub-camps were not the traditional POW camps with barbed wire and guard towers but merely accommodation centres. 

Camp 34 - Construction of a large housing project for German colonists.

Elbing camp

Konitz camp

Fort 11 (XI) named after Stefana Batorego.

Fort 12 (XII) named after Wladyslawa Jagielty.

Fort 13 (XIII) named after Karola Kniaziewicza.

Fort 14 (XIV) named after Jozefa Dwernickiego. (Hospital). 

Fort 15 (XV) named after Jaroslwaw Dabrowskiego.

Fort 16 (XVI) named ‘Kolejowy’ or ‘Railway’. (Prison). 

Fort 17 (XVII) named after Michala Zymierskiego.

The first HQ was in Fort 17, but during the first half of 1940, the camp authorities were moved to a two-storey house, now in Okolna Street, opposite Fort 13. Known as Kommendantur Stalag 20A it remained the HQ until the end of the war.

Stalag 20A was enlarged in the second half of 1941, from Torun-Podgorza in the direction of Glinki. This was to accommodate Russian POWs in a new barracks complex known as Stalag 312/XXC. The 7 forts above which comprised Stalag 312 were also administered by Stalag 20A.

This camp was one of those from which ‘the long march’ was made in early 1945 when POWs were force marched away from their camps westwards into Germany to escape being liberated by the red army.

Stutthof KZ had up to 110,000 inmates, and more than 85,000 were systematically killed there.

Originally, Stutthof was a civilian internment camp under the Danzig police chief. In November 1941, it became a "labour education" camp, administered by the German Security Police. Finally, in January 1942, Stutthof became a regular concentration camp.

 The original camp (known as the old camp) was surrounded by barbed-wire fence. It comprised eight barracks for the inmates and a "kommandantur" for the SS guards, totalling 120,000 square metres. In 1943, the camp was enlarged and a new camp was constructed alongside the earlier one. It was also surrounded by electrified barbed-wire fence and contained thirty new barracks, raising the total area to 1.2 km².

A crematorium and gas chamber were added in 1943, in time to start mass executions when Stutthof was included in the "Final Solution" in June 1944. Mobile gas wagons were also used to complement the maximum capacity of the gas chamber (150 people) when required.

The Germans used Stutthof prisoners as forced labourers. Some prisoners worked in SS-owned businesses such as the German Equipment Works (DAW), located near the camp. Others worked in local brickyards, in private industrial enterprises, in agriculture, or in the camp's own workshops. In 1944, as forced labour by concentration camp prisoners became increasingly important in armaments production, a Focke-Wulf aircraft factory was constructed at Stutthof. Eventually, the Stutthof camp system became a vast network of forced-labour camps; 105 Stutthof subcamps were established throughout northern and central Poland. The major subcamps were Thorn and Elbing.

Stalag XXa Friesack camp

Stalag XX-A Thorn (British) Poland Location N/E 53-18

 

Friesack Camp/Camp Friesack is a name commonly used to refer to a special World War II prisoner of war camp where a group of Irishmen serving in the British Army volunteered for recruitment and selection by the Abwehr (German Intelligence) and the German Army. 

The camp was designated Stalag XX-A (301) and located in the Friesack area, Brandenburg region.

The training and selection by Abwehr II and the German Army took place during the period from 1940-1943.

The camp was eventually dissolved, and its attendees were sent to fight on the Eastern Front, or interned in concentration camps after 1943.

Stalag XXB Marienburg (Danzig)

Stalag XX-B Marienburg Danzig Location N/E 54-19

Stalag XXa & XXb were mentioned in SHAEF reports dated 15/2/45 as being moved towards Military district II

Originally a hutted and tented camp with a double boundary fence and watchtowers. British, Poles and Serbs were held here in 1940. An administration block including a hospital was erected in the latter part of 1940, mainly by prisoner labour. By 1941 a theatre had been built. POWs were sent out to labour in nearby farms, sawmills, factories, goodsyards and cutting ice on the river Vistula.

Stalag XXI-a

Located at Schoken until late 1941.

Stalag XXI-b

 

Located at Schubin until late 1941.

Stalag XXI-c/h 

Located at Wollstein.

Stalag XXI-d

 

Stalag XXI-D Posen (Posnan) Poland Location N/E 52-17

In Poznan itself, three forts were used to house PoWs; Rauch, IIIA and VIII.

On the eastern, right, bank of the River Warter, near to the present day St. Roch bridge, stood Fort Rauch, the most southern of the right bank fortifications. Although partially demolished during the 1920s, it was used to accommodate about 750 men. An ICRC report of August 1941 described the fort as being “a circular building, made of red brick with three floors each with its windows facing an interior court which acts as the hub of the fort. There is no overcrowding and the rooms are not so large that they become noisy when filled with prisoners.” Prisoners lived in many of the 50 basement rooms of the brick built redoubt, with 30-46 beds per room. Other rooms were used as a common room and theatre. After the war Fort Rauch was completely demolished and a college now stands on the site.

Up to 7006 POWs here with 22 officers.

Stalag XXI-e and Stalag XXI c/z

Located at Gratz, Poland.

Closed in March 1942, opened in June the preceding year.

Stalag 52 Ebenrode

(see Stalag Id)

Operated from 1/2/42 to 1/8/42 only.

Stalag 53 Pogegen (Lithuania)

(see Stalag Id)

Operated from 1/2/42 to 1/8/42 only.

Stalag 56 Prostken

Operated from 1/2/42 to 1/8/42 only.

Stalag 60 Schirwindt

Operated from 1/2/42 to 1/8/42 only.

Stalag 63 Firchborn-Lyse

Operated from 1/2/42 to 1/8/42 only.

Stalag 68 Sudauen

Operated from 1/2/42 to 1/8/42 only.

Stalag 122  

Opened March 1944 

Stalag 126 

Opened September 1942 and closed September 1944 

Stalag 133 at Chartres-Morancez

Opened September 1943

Stalag 194 at Dulag Luft-Frankfurt

Destroyed by air raids and fire in late 1944 - POWs transferred to Dulag Metzlar.

Stalag 220 unknown location (France) 

Stalag 221A Rennes, France

Stalag 221BSaint-Medard-en-Jalles, France 

Stalag 222 at Bayonne-Anglet, France

Opened September 1943 and closed a month later.

Stalag 305 Ludwigsburg (Baden-Württemberg) 

Operated between April and August 1941.

Stalag 306

–see Stalag XVIIId

Stalag 308

Stalag 311

– see Stalag XI-C Bergen-Belsen

Stalag 312

–see Stalag XXa

Stalag 314 Epinal, France

Stalag 315 Ludwigsburg Germany (Baden-Württemberg)

Stalag 315/Z Giromagny, France

Opened August 1942

Stalag 316 Wolknowysk (Vawkavysk, Belarus).

Ran from 1/8/32 to 1/4/43

Stalag 317 or (XVIII-C) Markt, Pongau (St. Johann) Salzburg, Austria

Location N/E 47-13

Stalag 324 Losona (Belarus)

Ran from 1/2/42 to 1/10/42

Stalag 326 or VI-K Forelkrug Uber Paderborn Westfalen, Prussia

Location N/E 51-08

Stalag 304/Z Grodno (Poland)

Stalag  331 Fischborn-Turosol

Operated from August 1941.

Stalag 339 (FORMERLY 337) Mantua Italy

Location N/E 45-10

See Italian camps list.

Stalag 344 Lamsdorf (Formerly Stalag VIII- Silesia)

 

Stalag 356 Compiegne, France

Stalag 356/Z Rouen, France

Opened August 1942

Stalag 357 Oerbke (Near Fallingbostel) Prussia

Location N/E 53-09 –see Stalag XXa

Stalag 359 Poniatowa (Poland)

This was a forced labour camp located some 22 miles from the city of Lubin and was used as a German army camp from 1939 until 1941.

25,000 Russian POWs were imprisoned here.

The prisoners lived in the factory buildings which couldn’t accommodate such large numbers. 

Many died from a typhus epidemic and from hunger. 

They were employed building new barracks and a water supply. At the beginning of 1942 almost 1,000 POWs died daily. 

In the spring of 1942 only 500 Russian POWs remained alive in the camp, all were then executed.

Up to 22,000 prisoners who had died or been murdered, were buried in 32 mass graves within the local area of the camp.

In October 1942 the camp was repopulated with Jews and run by the infamous Amon Goth (Later the commandant of Plaszow KZ –concentration camp) this had many thousands of Jews brought here from the Warsaw Ghetto, and these were the Jewish families (men, women and children) who were working for various German run firms in the locale, particularly the Toebbens uniform factory.

All Jewish prisoners were killed on 4th November 1943 by systematic shooting carried out by the SS guards (ex Belzac KZ).

Some of the Warsaw underground Jewish fighting organisation fought back but this couldn’t stop the murder of the 14,000 prisoners and themselves.

Stalag 361 Šiauliai (Lithuania)

Stalag 366 Siedlce (Poland)

On October 28th 1941 a previous Oflag that had been here was renamed Stalag 366.

The first one was in Siedlce, and the second was titled in the following towns: Suchozebry and Will Suchozebrska. Stalag 366 also had a branch in White Podlaska, which until late 1942/43 was an independent Dulag. 

In December 1942 were as many as 19,459 Russian POWs.

 French and Italian soldiers were also kept here (from the end of September 1943 to March 1944). 

Although the camp was almost exclusively for prisoners from the Soviet Union, France and Italy, Poles were also incarcerated here. 

Stalag 369 Kobierzyn/Krakau (Poland)

Located close to the Southern part of Krakow, this was a punishment camp for French and Belgian POWs who refused to work.

Building work commenced on 5th June 1942 and the camp could house up to 6000 POWs.

Until it closed in August 1944, nearly 17000 POWs were housed here for some time.

Many local Poles assisted the POWs with food and other supplies during their time at Stalag 369, often at huge risk to themselves.

Stalag 371 Stanislau (Poland)

Stanislau camp, also known as Stalag 371, was a POW camp during World War II . It was in Stanislau, a city that until 1918 was part of Austria-Hungary in the interwar years under the Polish name Stanislawow.

In 1939 as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact it was annexed by the Soviets and on July 26, 1941 was occupied by the Nazis and is now in the Ukraine. 

Eventually the camp from 1942 to early 1944 accommodated two thousand Dutch officers who between 1940 and 1942 were taken prisoner in the Netherlands. 

During WWI it was a Military prison, before becoming a garrison for the Polish army after 1918.

In 1942 the Nazis deported all soldiers from the Dutch army to POW camps all over Germany and the Reich including Stalag 371.

Some of the Dutch prisoners escaped when en route to Neubrandenburg camp via train by jumping from the boxcars and managed to get home.

Neubrandenburg camp was liberated by the Russians in April 1945.

 

Stalag 383 Hohenfels Bavaria

Location N/E 49-12

Stalag 385 Strasbourg (France)

Opened June 1942 Closed August 1943

Stalag 389

Pernau/Wels

Stalag 398 Wels Austria

Location N/E 48-14 also listed as location Pupping near Linz.

Channel Islands (Great Britain)

Guernsey

Fort George Prison transit camp.

POW camp 801 Castel Camp –forced labour camp.

Jersey

Fort regent –13 POWs -all US from 1944-45 held here.

Alderney

An excellent book by Major Pantcheff ‘Alderney fortress island’ is recommended reading for more information.

Helgoland –Russian forced labour camp, 1500 prisoners.

Nordeney –Forced Labour camp, mostly Russian 1500 prisoners.

Borkum –Organisation todt labour camp 500-1000 at any one time.

Sylt- SS Concentration camp 1027 persons at peak, 300 died.

Lager Sylt was a Nazi concentration camp on Alderney in the British Crown Dependency of the Channel Islands, in operation between March 1943 and June 1944. The Germans built one concentration camp and three labour camps on the island, subcamps of the Neuengamme concentration camp (located in Hamburg, Germany). Each subcamp was named after one of the Frisian Islands: Lager Norderney located at Saye, Lager Helgoland at Platte Saline, Lager Sylt near the old telegraph tower at La Foulère and Lager Borkum, situated near the Impot. 700 people are estimated to died in the camps on Alderney, although it is now believed to have been higher. This was the only Nazi concentration camp on British soil.

It was organised by the Schutzstaffel - SS-Baubrigade I—which was at first under direct supervision of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp; and after mid-February 1943 then run under the Neuengamme camp in northern Germany—located near the old telegraph tower at La Foulère. It was used by the Nazi Organisation Todt, a forced labour programme, to build bunkers, gun emplacements, air-raid shelters, and concrete fortifications.

Sylt camp held Jewish enforced labourers.

The prisoners in Lager Sylt and Lager Norderney were slave labourers forced to build the many military fortifications and installations throughout Alderney. Norderney camp housed European (usually Eastern but including Republican Spaniard) and Russian enforced labourers. The Borkum and Helgoland camps were "volunteer" (Hilfswillige) labour camps and the labourers in those camps were treated harshly but marginally better than the inmates at the Sylt and Norderney camps. Lager Borkum was used for German technicians and volunteers from different countries of Europe. 

Lager Helgoland was filled with Russian Organisation Todt workers. 

The prisoners were from Russia and Europe, usually the east, but including Spanish Republicans. Some of the few remaining unevacuated Alderney natives (around about 2% of the population) also found themselves in there. In 1942, Lager Norderney, containing Russian and Polish POWs, and Lager Sylt, holding Jews, were placed under the control of SS Hauptsturmführer Max List. Over 700 of the inmates are said to have lost their lives before the camps were closed and the remaining inmates transferred to Germany in 1944.

MARLAG & MILAG

 

Marlag und Milag Nord was a World War II German prisoner-of-war camp complex for men of the British Merchant Navy and Royal Navy. It was located around the village of Westertimke, about 30 km (19 mi) north-east of Bremen, though in some sources the camp's location is given as Tarmstedt, a larger village about 4 km (2.5 mi) to the west.

Of more than 5,000 Allied merchant seamen captured by the Germans during the war, most were held at Marlag-Milag. As civilian non-combatants, according to Section XI, Article 6, of the 1907 Hague Conventions, merchant seamen "...are not made prisoners of war, on condition that they make a formal promise in writing, not to undertake, while hostilities last, any service connected with the operations of the war." The Germans, however, always treated Merchant Navy seamen as POWs (as did the British from 1942). In 1943 the Germans suggested an exchange of equal numbers of Merchant Navy prisoners, but this offer was refused by the First Lord of the Admiralty A. V. Alexander on the grounds it would be more to Germany's benefit, as it would provide them with a large number of men suitable to be used as U-boat crews, of which they were desperately short.

Initially, prisoners from the Merchant and Royal Navy were confined in several camps in northern Germany. In April 1941 they were gathered together at Stalag X-B at Sandbostel and housed in two compounds designated Ilag X-B (Internierungslager, "Internment camp") and Marlag X-B (Marinelager, "Navy camp"). At the instigation of the U.S. and Swiss governments, the International Committee of the Red Cross put pressure on the German government not to keep civilian non-combatants in a POW camp. The Germans complied, selecting what was originally a small Luftwaffe training camp consisting of six barracks and a small airfield at Westertimke. In July 1941 the prisoners of Ilag X-B were set to work dismantling their barrack huts at Sandbostel, then rebuilding them at Westertimke, finally completing the Milag camp in February 1942.

Marlag camp was not completed until July 1942.

Marlag, the Royal Navy camp, was divided into two compounds; "O" housed officers and their orderlies, while "M" held NCOs and ratings. The majority of prisoners were British, but there were also small numbers of other Allied nationalities.

In late 1942 all the ratings were sent to Stalag VIII-B at Lamsdorf and assigned to Arbeitskommando ("Work details"), and "M" housed only NCOs.

Milag (Marineinterniertenlager, "Marine internment camp"), the Merchant Navy camp, was 300 m (980 ft) to the east of Marlag. This also divided into two separate compounds for officers and men. The area in between contained the guard house, a prison block, fuel bunker, and the camp hospital.

Just outside of the gates of Milag was the Kommandantur ("Headquarters") and accommodation for the guards. In between the camps there was a large shower block which was used by men of both camps.

Each camp contained a number of single-story wooden huts; 29 in Marlag and 36 in Milag. Most of them were barracks, while the others contained kitchens, dining rooms, washrooms, guard barracks, storehouses, a post office, and other administrative buildings. The barracks were divided into rooms each accommodating 14 to 18 men who slept in two and three-tiered bunks.

The POWs occupied themselves in various ways. There was a camp theatre in Marlag and the POWs performed concerts and plays. Each camp had its own sports field, and there was also a library with around 3,000 books. Prisoners ran courses in languages and mathematics, as well as commercial, vocational, economic, and scientific subjects. Sports equipment and textbooks were obtained from the Red Cross and YMCA. POWs were allowed to send two letters and four postcards each month. There were no restrictions on the number of letters a POW could receive. Naturally all incoming and outgoing mail was censored.[6] A popular diversion was provided by the "Milag Jockey Club" which held race meetings every Saturday evening. The "horses" were wooden models that raced on a 36-foot (11 m) track, controlled by dice. The POW bet on the races, and money was raised and donated to the Red Cross.

 Under normal conditions the camps had a capacity of 5,300. According to official figures in April 1944 there were 4,268 men held there. Initially the camp was guarded by Naval troops. Later they were replaced by Army reservists.

The German Navy also operated a Dulag (Durchgangslager, "Transit camp") in Wilhelmshaven, where newly-arrived prisoners were processed before being sent to other camps. After the Allied bombing raids on Wilhelmshaven in February 1942 this facility was moved to Westertimke. The camp Dulag Nord was located between Marlag and Milag.

 In September 1943, 630 merchant seamen from India, China, Burma and Aden were moved out of the Milag into a new camp, Milag (Inder) (known as the Inderlager or "Indian Camp") west of Westertimke. To the north and east of the village three smaller camps were also built. The Kommandatur contained the headquarters and administration buildings, while the Stabslager and the Wache contained accommodation for the administrative personnel and the camp guards.

At the end of 1944 prisoners evacuated from other camps began to arrive, resulting in overcrowding, and a reduction in food rations. On 4 February 1945 some 3,000 men evacuated from Stalag Luft III arrived at Marlag-Milag.  In order to accommodate them the entire population of Marlag "M" were moved into "O".

 In 2 April 1945 the Commandant announced that he had received orders to leave the camp with most of his guards, leaving a only small detachment behind to hand over the camp to Allied forces, who were already in Bremen. However that afternoon a detachment of over a hundred SS-Feldgendarmerie (SS Military police) entered the camp, mustered over 3,000 men and marched them out, heading east. The next day, at around at 10.00 a.m., the column was strafed by RAF aircraft, and several POWs were killed. Over the next few days the column was attacked from the air several times. Finally the Senior British Naval Officer offered the Germans the POWs parole, in return for being allowed to rest during the day and march at night. The Germans agreed.

On 9 April 1945 the guards at Milag-Marlag moved out and were replaced by older men, presumably local Volkssturm. Meanwhile, the column slowly headed east, finally crossing the River Elbe, north of Hamburg, on 18 April.

On 19 April units of the 15th Panzergrenadier Division positioned tanks and artillery next to the camps. The remaining prisoners responded to the threat of a pitched battle on their doorstep by digging slit trenches. The artillery fired from the positions next to the camps, but fortunately had moved away by the time the British Guards Armoured Division liberated the camps on 27 April 1945.

The next day, 28 April, the column finally arrived at Lubeck on the Baltic coast. They were liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division on 1 May 1945.

Several escape tunnels were dug from Milag. The first was about 12 m (40 ft) long, built from March to August 1943. Twelve prisoners escaped, though all were recaptured within two weeks. A second tunnel, about 40 m (130 ft) long, was built from April to August 1944. Five men escaped, but again were soon recaptured. Another tunnel built by Norwegian prisoners was discovered before its completion. In addition, another tunnel was dug to store contraband.

 Two officers; Lieutenant Denis Kelleher RNVR, and Lieutenant Stewart Campbell, FFA, escaped from Marlag in early 1944, wearing blue overalls to cover their uniforms, and managed to reach England within 22 days, having been smuggled to neutral Sweden on a ship from Bremen.

Another successful escaper from Marlag was Lieutenant David James, RNVR. In December 1943 James slipped out of the shower block, but was arrested at the port of Lübeck. In late 1944 he escaped again and this time made it to Sweden.

Italian Camps

 

 

The main camps were all designated ‘PG’ prigionieri di Guerra, although they were also abbreviated 'CC' meaning Campo di concentramento.

All were prefixed and numbered with the exception of the 2 Dulags and 1 Stalag within Italy which were German controlled transit centres for POWs being transferred to Germany.

When the Italian armistice was announced on 8 September 1943 there were an estimated 80,000 allied PoWs in Italy. At this point all Senior British Officers (SBOs) informed their men of Field Marshal Montgomery’s so-called 'standfast' order. This instructed them to remain in camp and await imminent liberation by the advancing Allied forces. 

In reality, overall victory in Italy took far longer than anticipated. Reaction to the armistice varied from camp to camp. In some, the Italian Commandant refused to hand over control to the SBO or his equivalent; others opened the gates and disappeared along with the guards. In the latter circumstances, the more perceptive SBOs, realising the Germans would quickly take control, encouraged individual escapes; while some of the more enterprising prisoners escaped without official sanction. Some escapees fled northwards towards Switzerland or southwards towards allied lines. Others hid near their camp to await developments or took the opportunity to explore the vicinity before voluntarily returning to their camp. Ultimately, the confused situation meant that by the end of 1943 some 50,000 POWs had been rounded-up and transported to camps in Germany. 

Italian camp rosters up to 1943 are very scarce and difficult to source, if the person you are searching for remained a Prisoner after 1943 it may well be useful to search the German camp records as they have a definite possibility of being recorded there, the source roster for Italian camps has however been located and have been completely transcribed on this site -these come directly from the national archives reference WO392/21.

German run camps in Italy:

Dulag 226

Used from November 1943 onwards, Pissiguano , previously called cc77.  

Dulag 339 Mantua  

Used from September 1944 onwards, Bozen.

Stalag 339 Trieste

 

Italian administered camps:

Camps in Italy were normally prefixed PG –‘prigionieri di guerra’ (prisoner of war), however the full title is ‘campo concentramento prigionieri di guerra’ hence abbreviations may have the title Campo 57 or PG 57 etc so CC is also commonly used.

This is sometimes confusing as Italy also had ‘concentration camps’ in the normal sense of the word for holding of Political opponents and Jews.

Italy also had civilian internments camps although certain POW camps had some civilian prisoners also.

Most POWs captured in the North Africa campaign were handed onto the Italians for processing.

The Italians held them in holding camps in the desert until transportation to the Italian mainland a few days or weeks later.

It is extremely rare for any records to be found from these holding camps: they were quite literally a barbed wire compound with at best tents for shelter, no real infrastructure and well guarded.

Disembarking in Italy, POWs were given a quick clean-up at their port of disembarkation, usually Brindisi or Taranto. At Taranto the arrangements, in the hands of the Italian Navy, were known as very efficient. The men had hot showers, and their clothes were steamed and fumigated to kill the lice that were an ever present threat of typhus.

From the port of disembarkation prisoners of war went to transit camps in the south of Italy.

Every prisoner-of-war camp in Italy had a squad of Carabinieri Reali, the police force who were known for their efficiency. These men were responsible for security, seemed to be able to over-rule the Army commandant of camps, no matter what his rank, conducted the most rigorous and unexpected searches of personal belongings, and sometimes treated prisoners with the brutality which (presumably) had become habitual to them in dealing with civil offenders. 

The Italian camps were in operation right up until the armistice on September 8th 1943, however the Germans very quickly took control of the north of Italy immediately afterwards and any POWs either still in the camps (under the ‘stand fast’ order of the British high command) or in the vicinity were quickly rounded up and sent north to camps in Germany.

During June in fact some of these camps had already been ‘evacuated’ to Germany and their inmates replaced with PoWs from further south.

All PW camps in Italy had postal marks which indicated the central postal reception area for the camps mail, several camps could (and did) have the same code as it was area based. 

The camp listings come from several sources including the USSME (Italian Army archives) so there could be some confusion over camp designations where two different numbers exist, however it was felt important to list them all: in the event of 2 conflicting peices of information the USSME data has taken precedence as this is felt to be the most reliable.

Listing of all known Italian camps with location N/E

CC 122 

CC 152 CC 203 Location Unknown

CC 204 Altamura Italy 41-16

CC 206 Nocera (N.E. of Naples) Italy 41-16

CC 207 Milan Italy 45-09

CC 21 Chieti Italy 42-14

CC 38 Civilian Internment CAMP Arezzo Italy 43-12

CC 47 Modena Italy 44-11

CC 49 Parma Italy 44-10

CC 52 Chevari Genoa Italy 44-09

CC 54 Location Unknown

CC 59 Ascoli Picenzo Italy 43-13

CC 62 Grunello Italy 45-09

CC 65 Gravina Italy 40-16

CC 66 Capua Italy 41-14

CC 73 Carpi Italy 44-11

CC 82 Laterina Italy 43-11

CC77 (was Dulag 226) Pissiguano Italy 43-12

 

P.G. 5 Forte De Cavi (Allessandria)

OFFICERS

Also listed as 'Gavi-Serravalle Scrivia Piedmont'. 

Postal mark number 3100

Some 20 miles (32 km) north of Genoa, this was a fortress on top of the hill overlooking the town.

Used for punishment.

172 officers held here as of February 26th 1943, opened originally in June 1941.

P.G. 10 Acquapendente Viterbo

Conflicting reports from various sources place this also as PG 93 and relocated at Fontanellato in Parma. It was 'under construction' according to reports in 1943.

     

Postal mark number 3300

P.G. 12 Candeli / Vincigliata near Florence

OFFICERS

Postal mark number 3200

Several escape attempts, one successful on March 29th 1943 - Six British and New Zealand officers escaped through a tunnel from Castello di Vincigliata (Campo 12) near Florence, Italy. Four were recaptured. New Zealand Brigadiers James Hargest and Reginald Miles escaped to Switzerland.

37 officers held here as of 26/2/43 originally opened September 1941.

P.G. 17 Razzanello (Piacenza)

OFFICERS

151 Officers held here as of 26/2/43 Originally opened June 1941.

P.G. 19 Carpi (Modena)

Under contruction according to USSME reports in 1943.

P.G. 21 Chieti old convent

OFFICERS

Postal mark number 3300

After the Armistice, anybody wishing to leave the camp was forcibly prevented from doing so under the orders of the senior British officer who was following to the letter the orders of Allied HQ to remain in the camp and await the arrival of Allied forces. Consequently the Germans were able to capture them all. They were subsequently transferred to PG78 just outside Sulmona and thence to camps in Germany where they remained until the end of the war.

150 feet above sea level, bungalows surrounded by playing fields and gardens, educational courses also were held here!

Originally opened in June 1942, 1002 officers were held here on 26 Feb 1943.

P.G. 23 Vestone, Brescia

OFFICERS

161 officers were held here on 26/2/43 and it opened originally in June 1941.

P.G. 26 Cortemaggiore, (Piacenza)

OFFICERS

189 officers held here as of 26/2/41 originally opened May 1941.

P.G. 27 San Romano, Pisa

OFFICERS

45 officers held here as of 26/2/41 originally opened November 1941.

P.G. 29 Veano (Piacenza)

OFFICERS

Mentioned in Brigadier Cliftons book ‘The happy hunted’ (1955) as ‘Veano’ camp and at the Italian Army archives (USSME) as the same spelling although elsewhere as 'Viano'.

This camp consisted of high ranking officers, mostly of the rank Major and above.

Originally a catholic seminary, accommodation was a 3 storey building with a large courtyard & terrace and very liberal use of barbed wire to enclose the Prisoners compound.

The senior British officer in 1942 was Colonel George Younghusband.

There were 209 officers held here as of 26/2/43 and the camp originally opened in May 1941.

Postal mark number 3200

P.G. 32 Bagliano (Brescia)

OFFICERS

130 officers held here at 26/2/43 oiginally opened June 1941.

P.G. 35 Certosa di Padula (Naples)

OFFICERS

189 officers held here as of 26/2/43 originally opened May 1942

P.G. 38 Villa Iscensione (Poppi /Arezzo)

OFFICERS

416 officers held here as of 26/2/43 originally opened May 1942.

P.G. 41 Montalbo (Piacenza)

OFFICERS

137 officers held here as of 26/2/43 originally opened June 1941.

P.G. 43 Garessio Cuneo

OFFICERS

Postal mark number 3200 

13th century castle near Florence. (Small camp with around 25 prisoners at any one time). 

Several British Generals were imprisoned here, including Major-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Air-Marshal Owen Tudor Boyd, Lt-General Richard O'Connor, Lt-General Philip Neame, and New Zealander Brigadiers Reginald Miles and James Hargest. 

After the Italian Armistice September 1943, 11 officers and 14 other ranks escaped with Italian partisan and SOE help. Most officers made the Allied lines or the UK, whilst many NCO's and other ranks were rounded up by the Germans, and sent to camps in Germany until the end of the war. 

317 Officers were listed here on 26/2/43, originally opened October 1942.

 

P.G. 44 Unknown Location

P.G. 47 Modena

OFFICERS

1015 Officers held here as of 26/2/43 originally opened October 1942.

P.G. 49 Reggio Nell Emilia

Sus malonne barracks 'under construction' according to USSME reports from 1943.

P.G. 50 Genova Cavalleria

QUARANTINE & CLEARING CAMP

Originally opened in May 1941 the camp reported having 1 officers and 10 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

P.G. 51 Villa Sereni (Bari)

OTHER RANKS

Also noted as Altamura elsewhere

126 POWs held here as of 26th February 1943, originally opened July 1942.

P.G. 52 Pian di Coreglia (Genova)

OTHER RANKS

Also noted elsewhere as 'Chiabari'.

Built in October 1941 to house 3000 POWs, it held on February 26th 1943 3438 POWs.

P.G. 53 Urbisaglia Macerata

OTHER RANKS

Also noted as 'Sforza costa Liguria' elsewhere, although this may be a mistake as PG 56 was in this location.

Postal mark number 3300

A very large camp with over 10,000 prisoners.

Sforza costa is 12 miles south of Macerata which is close to the east coast of Italy in the Marche region. 

The camp itself was about one mile from the town railway station in Urbisaglia.

In 1942 the prison camp was a fairly modern building having been built originally to refine sugar beet

The north and south parts of the camp consisted of tall storage buildings housing up to 2000 POWs each on just the one floor.

Between these two large buildings were another two smaller ones which had previously been the factory's administration blocks. 

The buildings were fairly modern and were made of thick concrete with toilet and washing facilities however being completely inadequate having only 12 toilets and 3 taps for up to 10,000 POWs.

6975 POWs were held here as of 26/2/43 and it originally opened in October 1942.

P.G. 54 Passo Corese/ Fara in Sabina (Roma)

OTHER RANKS

 

Located in Fara in Sabina 35 km from Rome. 

Postal mark number 3300

4,000 lower-ranked British, South African and Ghurka prisoners, mostly from the surrender of Tobruk, were held in two compounds of tents, with very poor conditions and food shortages. Many prisoners escaped into the Apennine Mountains when guards deserted as the Italian Armistice was announced on 8th September 1943.

3788 POWs recorded here on 26th February 1943, originally opened July 1942.

P.G. 55 Busseto Near Piacenza.

OFFICERS

There were 4 sub camps located in the vicinity also. 

Postal mark number 3200

168 officers were here on 26/2/43, opened originally in June 1941.

P.G. 56 Sforzacosta

OTHER RANKS

P.G. 57 Gruppignano Near Udine.

OFFICERS & OTHER RANKS

Postal mark number 3200

Located at Cividale del Friuli, 75 miles north east of Venice.

This camps commandant ‘Calcaterra’ was killed by Italian Partisans in 1943, had this not happened he would have faced a war crimes tribunal for his brutality against the POWs in his charge.

Here the POWs were mostly made up from Australian and New Zealand ‘other ranks’ and this was the main Italian POW cap for Anzacs from 1942, holding around 2000 by June that year.

The site chosen was on a river plain of the Natisone, south-west of the town of Cividale and the nearest railway line. This site allowed room for expansion of the camp facilities and its main feature was the ruined old Chapel of San Martino, sometimes known as San Mauro or Grupignano. The old chapel was torn down and construction work on the prison facilities started in 1940.

The prison buildings consisted of 2 compounds, each with its own cook-house, ablution block, recreation huts and orderly Rooms. The dormitory huts were made of double wooden walls located on concrete foundations, with a felt roof, and one heating stove, although there were reports fuel was never supplied.

Sleeping accommodation was in wooden double bunks in groups of 8. Each hut held approximately 50 prisoners, and each compound had 20 huts, the Hut Commander slept in an area which doubled as an admin office. 

From the Camp looking north through the perimeter barbed wire system, there was a spectacular view of the Dolomites and the mountains of nearby Yugoslavia. 

Work parties were drawn from this camp to work at Agricultural tasks under Campo 106 and 107.

On October 30th 1942 14 Australians and five New Zealanders escaped through a tunnel, but were all recaptured when they found the route to the Swiss border was heavily populated and ran into a large Italian army camp.

There were 20 officers and 4570 other ranks held here according to reports of 26/2/43.

P.G. 59 Servigliano Ascoli 

OTHER RANKS

Postal mark number 3300

Up to 5,000 POWs were housed here at any one time (Greeks, Maltese, Cypriots, British, Americans, French, Slavs). 

Some wooden Huts some Brick Buildings. 

The Camp was used for Austrian POWs in 1915 until 1918 and reopened as a POW camp in WWII in February 1941.

As of 26th February 1943 this housed 1008 men of all ranks but by 30th June 1943 this camp housed: 5 Officers, 344 other ranks and was split thus: 323 British, 11 Australians & 15 South Africans. 

There was a Military Hospital nearby at Ascoli(Piceno) Old Palace with Colonnade and gardens, situated in the town itself. 

P.G. 60 Colle Compito Lucca 

OTHER RANKS

There is also a mention within the USSME files for PG 60 being located at Villa Marina (Roma), one of these mentions is clearly an error, although more than one source states Lucca as being the location.

See PG 70 also.

Opened 7th July 1942 with a capacity of 4000.

Two visits by the Red Cross were made and the following comments were made:

"Tented Camp in two sections with no Heating or lighting. Used as a Transit Camp."

The ground was previously marshland until efforts to drain 10 years previously and this directly caused 180 Pows to be admitted to hospital with malaria, 3 died.

The Red Cross inspection visit of 15th Oct 1942 declared the camp to be ‘healthy’ during the height of summer, however they also declared it should be closed before the onset of winter due to having no suitable cold weather facilities.

The history of this camp began in the area called "Il Pollino" that belonged to the Ravano family (ex Gherardesca) and, at the beginning of 1940, was used as a prison camp for POWs. 

The camp ended of an area called "Padule", under the village of Castelvecchio, next to the railway station of Colle linking Lucca to Pontedera until 1958.

(Pontedera is on the main Pisa autostrada today and was home to the Piaggio aircraft factory (since 1946- the ‘Vespa’ scooter factory).

Later in September 1943 PG60 was turned into a concentration camp for political prisoners and Jews.

P.G. 62 Crunello del Piano (Bergamo)

OTHER RANKS

Also recorded elsewhere (incorrectly?) Grumello del Piano/del silenzio /Grumillina

Postal mark number 3200

Near to Bergamo. 

The camp held mostly Indians and Cypriots. There were seven sub camps, including Gamba, Cremona and Torbole. 

Originally a button factory and then an armaments factory before being converted to a POW camp in 1942.

A large number of the inmates made their way to the Swiss frontier and were interned when the Italian guards abandoned their posts after the armistice in 1943.

3104 POWs here on 26/2/43 originally opened in August 1941.

P.G. 63 Marinaro Aversa 

OFFICERS & OTHER RANKS

Postal mark number 3400

Near Arezzo and had mostly Indian inmates.

357 officers and 58 other ranks were reported here on 26/2/43.

P.G. 65 Cressina (Bari)

OTHER RANKS

Noted elsewhere as 'Gravina-Altamura' 

Postal mark number 3450

Campo PG 65, had been established in March at Gravina, about thirty miles inland from Bari.  

It was surrounded by a countryside divided into huge fields of wheat and oats, and the city of Altamura could be seen in the distance. Large new barrack buildings of white stone, roofed with red tiles or slates, were divided into seven or eight bays, each holding twenty or so two-tier bunks. POW Quarters were roomy and designed so as to be cool and airy in the hot summer months. Although all the camp buildings had not been completed, there were well-built ablutions and latrines, served with a good water supply, and a proper infirmary. 

As in other permanent camps the sheets on the beds were the biggest surprise to new arrivals. 

The camp was designed eventually to hold up to 12000 men. Opened in February 1942, by 12th May 1942 it held some 3150, including 387 New Zealanders, on February 26th 1943 it held 8970.

P.G. 66 Capua Transit camp

QUARANTINE & CLEARING CAMP

Postal mark number 3400

Campo PG 66, on a flat stretch of ground on the outskirts of Capua, had been in use as a prisoner-of-war camp since early 1941, when a medical officer reported favourably on its food, water supply and sanitation, and the men stated that they were being ‘well taken care of.’ 

Though overcrowded at the end of 1941, conditions were an improvement for most prisoners from previous camps. 

Other ranks lived 18 to a tent (made of Italian groundsheets), slept on duck-boards with straw mattresses and two Italian blankets each, and had regular though not always sufficient rations.

An area of about five acres gave adequate space for exercise, though the continued wet winter weather converted it into a quagmire. Hot showers and barbers were available, and an issue of clothing, though poor in quality, satisfied an urgent need.

Originally opened in April 1941 the camp reported having 155 officers and 4785 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

P.G. 68 Vetralla

50 miles north of Rome.

P.G. 70 Monturano (Parma)

OTHER RANKS

West of Porto St. Giorgio on the Italian East coast

 

Postal mark number 3300

Set up by the Italians in May 1942 and ran until September 8th 1943. 

It was later used by Germans (SS) as a main transit camp (Durchgangslager) for deportation to Germany of Jews and political opponents. After the war it was used for interned prisoners of the defeated regime.

Official position given is 43:14N - 13:41E
New buildings; Textile Works near Railway Line in two Sections, Nearest Airfield Macerata.

Camp was opened 19th August 1942 and on the 15th Nov 537 Prisoners arrived from PG 60 followed the next day by 538 more.
PG60 was then closed.

6980 POWs held here all British in 1942 On Feb 26th 1943 7314 were recorded as POWs.

P.G. 71 Aversa

OFFICERS

351 officers held here as of 26/2/43 originally opened April 1941.

P.G. 73 Carpi (Modena)

OTHER RANKS

Originally opened in July 1942 to house up to 6,000 POWs, it held 5169 on 26th February 1943.

There are reports this camp was transferred upon the armisitice through the Brenner pass into Austria and rehoused at Stalag VIIIb.

This camp was used after the armistice to house the 40,000 Jews from Modena/Bologna before their transfer to Auschwitz.

P.G. 75 Torre Tresca (Bari)

QUARANTINE & CLEARING CAMP

Postal mark number 3450

 Bari Transit camp, one work camp, located nearby.

There was a report of a war crime here when 2 officers who had been recaptured after escaping were shot (one died).

Originally opened in May 1941 the camp reported having 144 officers and 1785 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

P.G. 77 Pissignano / Campello sul Clitunno also known as Dulag 226 and CC77 (Foligno).

OTHER RANKS

Postal mark number 3300

A basic Tent camp at Foligno, used as a transit camp to camps in Germany, this was designated for Prisoners for eastern Europe. 

809 POWs were held here on 26th February 1943, originally reopened in WWII in August 1942.

P.G. 78 Sulmona

OFFICERS & OTHER RANKS

 

Postal mark number 3300

Another camp which had housed Austrian POWs in WWI & reopened as a POW camp in August 1940.

The 1st Anzacs arrived in 1941 after processing at Capua, this became an officers only camp later in 1942 with the transfer of most ‘other ranks’ to Udine PG 57 and then back to a mixed ranks camp later in 1943.

On 26/2/43 there were 247 officers and 2898 other ranks interned here.

 P.G. 78/1 Aquafredda - Sub camp.

Sulmona served as a POW camp in both world wars. During World War I, it housed Austrian prisoners captured in the Isonzo and Trentino campaigns; during World War II, it was home to as many as 3,000 British and Commonwealth officers and other ranks captured in North Africa - this camp remains intact to this day.

In September 1943, as the Italian government neared collapse, the inmates of Sulmona heard rumours that the evacuation of the camp was imminent. They awoke one morning to discover that their guards had deserted them. On 14th September, German troops arrived to escort the prisoners northwards, to captivity in Germany, but not before hundreds of them had escaped into the hills. 

The Villa Orsini close by, was used to house very senior British and Commonwealth officers including: Major-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Lieutenant General Sir Philip Neame, Air Marshal Boyd, General Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor, Brigadier Reginald Miles and Brigadier James Hargest.

Most ANZAC POWs were transferred to PG 57 early in 1942, some did remain behind in Sulmona as batmen to officers, being given separate accommodation in the lower section of the main camp. Others went to a satellite camp - Campo 78/1 - established at Aquafredda high in the hills to the north-east of Sulmona, but close enough to come under the administration of Campo 78. This was a work camp, making roads and operating a stone quarry.

 Most Australian officers were concentrated into Sulmona, just as Australian NCOs and other ranks were gradually brought together to Campo 57. The Senior British Officer at Campo 78 was Lt Col Munro of the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment AIF. Capt E.W. Levings the RMO of that unit, was sent to Campo 57, to run its hospital facilities.

P.G. 80 Villa Marina near Rome 

Also noted in USSME files as PG 60, possibly some confusion within the records?

P.G. 81 Unknown

P.G. 82 Laterina 

OTHER RANKS

Postal mark number 3200

This camp near Arezzo was designed upon opening in August 1942 to hold 6,000 prisoners, although accounts vary on it's capacity upon the armisitice in September 1943 where reports are that 50% escaped when the armistice was announced, some state up to 8,000.

The USSME reports from 26/2/43 show 2714 POWs here.

The camp was organised into huts about 40 yards long and 8 yards wide. The bunk beds were in blocks of nine- three on the top, three in the middle and three on the bottom. 

P.G. 83 Fiume

QUARANTINE & CLEARING CAMP

Actually in Yugoslavia, the ‘Carnaro’ district was annexed to fascist Italy in 1941.

Originally opened in March/April 1941 the camp reported having 920 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

P.G. 85 Tuturano Transit camp

QUARANTINE & CLEARING CAMP

Postal mark number 3450

Up to 3000 POWs housed in wooden huts.

Originally opened in May 1941 the camp reported having 3546 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

P.G. 87 Cardoncelli (Stalia) Benevento.

OTHER RANKS 

Up to 6000 POWS housed in this camp, 30 miles Northeast of Naples.

Originally designed to hold 4,000 in July 1942.

P.G. 88 Palazzalo della Stella (Naples) 

QUARANTINE & CLEARING CAMP

Originally opened in March 1941.

P.G. 89 Gonars Udine 

P.G. 91 Aversano

OTHER RANKS

Postal mark number 3300

Opened in February 1942 & built with a brand new stone barracks for the incoming POWs.

1878 pows held here as of 26/2/43.

Noted elsewhere as 'Averzzano'.

P.G. 93 Bolzano Prato all’Iscaro

'Under construction' on USSME reports of late 1943 it appears this camp was relocated possibly from Bolzano to  Acquapendente (Viterbo) at some point.

Originally opened in April 1941 the camp reported having 155 officers and 4785 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

P.G. 95 Cairo Montenotte (Genova)

OTHER RANKS

Built in December 1941 to hold a maximum of 2060 POWs it held 932 on 30/12/42

P.G. 97 Anghiari Renicci Arezzo 

P.G. 98 San Giuseppe Jato (Sicily) 

QUARANTINE & CLEARING CAMP

Opened originally in December 1941, 431 other ranks were reported here on February 26th 1943.

P.G. 102 Aquila

Postal mark number 3300

Near to the town of Aquila, this was a transit camp.

Medical facilities were also situated just outside of the town. 

P.G. 103 Monigo Treviso 

PG 103 had 19 sub camps dotted around the neighbourhood at factories and farms.

It was a fairly small camp with around 500 POWs, mostly Anzacs.

P.G. 103/6 Ampezzo Udine 

P.G. 103/7 La Maina 

Near Ampezzo, at Sauris

 P.G. 106 Vercelli 

Located between Milan and Turin, this camp had up to 25 sub camps, housing mostly Australians and New Zealanders, up to 25 work camps were attached to this main camp.

Some were named as:

 PG 106/1 Molinetto, San Dominano, Palestrino/collabanio, Selvi/Salasco, Tenuta Veneria/Lignano, Castell Apertole, Castell Merlino, Tenuta Palestro, Tenuta Castellone, Langosca a busonegno/villaboit, Viancino, Foglietta, Carpenetto/Bianze, Petiva/San Germano, Vallasino/Olcenegno, Cascina Oschiena.

Most of these were farms and agricultural sub camps.

 P.G. 107 Torviscosa Udine

WORKCAMP 

Five work sub-camps, including Prati, San Donà di Piave, Torre di Confine, La Salute. 

POW camp consisted mostly of New Zealanders and South Africans.

The camp where the POWs were quartered was located on a large plain.

The camp covered an area of 37,000 square metres, divided into two sections but not separated by barbed wire. Each section comprised four large and one medium size barracks. The buildings were arranged in a horseshoe shape.

Washing and laundering is done in the courtyard, where the linen is hung out for drying. Further back stands a stone structure enclosing the toilets. Two very high large buildings, located beside the second section, contain large halls appropriated for dayrooms. There are other buildings holding dayrooms, the kitchen, the infirmary with isolation ward, a hall with shower, baths, stores and shoemakers and tailor's workshops. The buildings were solid brick structures with cement floors and tar/felt roofing. 

Reports from 26th February 1943 show 1000 other ranks here, the camp opened originally in October 1942.

P.G. 108 L'Acquila  

WORKCAMP

Opened originally in July 1942, 250 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942.

P.G. 110 Carbonia (Cagliari)
 
WORKCAMP 
Opened originally in July 1941, 2195 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942..

P.G. 112 Turin

P.G. 113 Avio (Trento)

WORKCAMP 

Near to Marsciano & Rovereto in Perugia.

The camp had work camps close to the nearby aluminium factory.

Opened originally in May 1942, 180 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942..

P.G. 115 and sub camps 

WORKCAMP

P.G. 115/3 Marsciano 

Near Perugia, ‘Fornaci Briziarelli’ brick factory, POWs also worked on the Todi –Orvieto road construction.

This road (the SS448/’Due Mari’) is now reached via the E45 Autostrada 1st exit after Perugia.

There was also a sub work camp at Casemasce di Todi for the Todi road.

P.G. 115/5 Margnano di Spoleto

Margnano lignite mine, listed elsewhere as 'Morgnano' -clearly a spelling error.

Opened originally in May 1942, 460 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942., this may well be the figure for all of the work camps however.

P.G. 115 Spoleto

Cantiere Orlando lignite mine.

P.G. 117 Ruscio Spoletto (Near Camonero)

WORKCAMP

Lignite mine work camp.

Opened originally in May 1942, 95 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942..

P.G. 118 Prato all'Isarco Near Bolzano 

P.G. 120 Chiesanuova Padova 

Work camps at Fattoria Bianco, Cetona, Abano, Fogolana. 

P.G. 120/4 Cetona 

P.G. 120/5 Abano  

P.G. 120/8 Fogolana  

P.G. 122 Cinecittà (Rome) 

WORKCAMP

As the name suggests, ‘Cinecitta’ (literally: film –city) was the ‘Hollywood’ of pre war Italy and several films were made here.

Several work sub-camps were attached to this camp, the main camp was known as ‘the film studio’.

POWs were moved out of this camp on March 10th 1944 towards Germany. 

Opened originally in May 1942, 562 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942..

P.G. 127 Locana Canavese (Aosta)

WORKCAMP

Opened originally in January 1942, 93 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942..

P.G. 129 Montelupone Macerata 

WORKCAMP

Opened originally in August 1942, 250 other ranks were reported here on December 30th 1942..

P.G. 132 Foggia 

P.G. 133 Novara  

Also known as San Pietro Novara near to Milan.

P.G. 136 Bologna

On 8 September 1943, the day of the Italian Armistice, the gates at the Bologna POW camp were thrown open and those inside invited by their guards to break for freedom. An order, however, was almost immediately received from British HQ that none of the PoWs were to leave the camp – and would be considered deserters if they did so – but to await “liberation” by the Allied army a few days later when it reached Bologna.

 A few hours later the German army arrived at the camp and the inmates were marched to trains that were to take them to Germany. The following morning, one of those trains stopped outside the station of Modena and a number of the PoWs – in a variety of ways – took leave of the train and scarpered into the surrounding undergrowth. On that morning many were hidden by local Italian families and the ‘Modena Escape Route’, commenced which eventually helped some 250 escaping POWs.

This camp is recorded under WO224/10 in the national archives.

P.G. 145 Terramo (Campotosto / Montorio al Vomano) 

WORKCAMP

Had a subsidiary work camp located at Poggia Cancelli. 

Opened originally in July 1942.

P.G. 146 Mortara Pavia

 

Picture –San Bernadino working party.

250 POWs mostly Anzacs.

14 sub work camps also at isola della scala, Lazise, Mozzecane, Vigasio, San Bernadino, Montecchia di Crosara, Legnano, Vendagadizza, Zevio, San Matino buon Albergo, Bonavigo, Oppeano & Angiari.

Camp closed following a mass breakout of POWs after the armistice. 

P.G. 148 Pol di Pastrengo (Bussolengo Near Verona)

WORKCAMP 

1km east of the town of Campagnola.

Labour camp for 250 prisoners, mostly New Zealanders, but also English, Scottish, Egyptians, South Africans, Americans, Indians. 14 satellite work camps at Isola della Scala, Lazise, Mozzecane, Vigasio at San Bernardino, Montecchia di Crosara in the Cava Basalti stone farm, Legnago/Vangadizza at Rosta, Zevio at Villa da Lisca, San Martino Buon Albergo, Bonavigo, Oppeano in the Mazzantica Village, Mozzecane near the church, Angiari. Closed following the mass outbreak of prisoners in the days after the Italian Armistice was announced on 8 September 1943.

Reports from December 30th 1942 show 250 other ranks held here.

P.G. 156 C.A.R.E (Bologna)

WORKCAMP

Opened originally in October 1942 it was recorded as having 101 other ranks on December 30th 1942.

P.G. 339 Pisa

P.G. 454 Brindisi

Mar 1 Marina Maricamp

Location unknown

Nocere Inferiore Barracks

Although listed as 'under construction' the camp reported having 14 officers & 1337 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

It may have been attached or close by Hospital H206?

Hospitals

P.G. 201 Bergamo hospital (also listed as H 201) 

Postal code PM 3200

Originally opened in July 1942 the camp reported having 42 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

 

Postal code 3200

Situated in a previous almshouse, large and modern. 

P.G. 202 Lucca hospital 

Postal code 3200

Situated in a monastery in Bergamo district. 

Location 44N-10E

P.G. 203 Bologna hospital in Castel S Pietro

Postal code 3200

12 miles from the city. 

P.G. 204 Altamura hospital 

Postal code 3450

Located in a building that was previously a school, closed early in April 1945. 

P.G. 206 Teramo hospital 

Postal code 3400

P.G. 206 Nocera hospital near Rovello 

Postal code 3400

P.G. 207 Milan hospital 

Other hospitals where POWs were treated included:

Alberoni (Piacenza),  Al Celio (Rome),  Ascoli, Capua, Caserta, Modena, Morigi di Piacenza, Parma, Perugia, Teramo & Vescoville (Udine).

P.G. 339 Pisa  

Located close to Coltano, later part of a US camp until 1955.

P.G. 454 Brindisi 

9 miles west of the port of Brindisi, mainly Indian POWs.

Other camps found as listed but without designations (mostly civilian):

Perugia Instituto Magistrale

Jewish concentration camp/transit camp.

Ellera Corciano, Castiglione della Valle/Castel Serena & Pietraffita Tavernelle

Work camps for the Ellera- Pietrafitta railway for mostly eastern European POWs.

Colfiorito

Housed up to 2000 eastern European POWs, this was the biggest POW camp in Umbria.

Bastardo

Lignite mine work camp near Giano dell’Umbria.

Isola Maggiore 

A large (10 acre) island on lake Trasimeno in Umbria

From the end of February 1944 until 18 June 1944 the castle was used as an internment camp for Jews and political prisoners, sent there for their own safety by the Fascist Prefect of Perugia Armando Rocchi, who was under German instructions to send them instead to a concentration camp at Fosssoli, Carpi di Modena. After the Fascist authorities left Perugia and the British arrived at Sant'Arcangelo on 19 June they were eventually rowed to safety by the island's fishermen, to whom a monument has been erected in the open space next to the Lace Museum. The rescue was organised by the island's priest, Don Ottavio Posta.

H 202  Lucca Military Hospital

Postal code PM 3200

Originally opened in July 1942.

H 203  Castel S.Pietro (Bologna) Military Hospital

Postal code PM 3200

Originally opened in September 1942 the camp reported having 81 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

H 204  Altamura Military Hospital (Bari)

Postal code PM 3450

31 other ranks held here on 26/2/43.

H 206  Nocera Military Hospital

Postal code PM 3400

H207 Milan MIlitary Hospital

A  Ascoli Hospital (Piceno)

AC  Al Celio Hospital (Rome)

AM  Angelo Massa Hospital (Parma)

AP  Alberoni Hospital (Piacenza)

The camp reported having 298 other ranks on 26th February 1943.

AV  Aversa Psychiatric Hospital

B  Bari Military Hospital

BA  Bisceglie Hospital

BRIN  Brindisi Military Hospital

C  Caserta Hospital

M  Modena Military Hospital

MP  Morigi Hospital 

Opened June 1941, 186 other ranks were held here on 26/2/43.

P  Perugia Hospital

R  Reggio Hospital

T  Teratino Military Hospital

TOR  Torino Hospital

TR  Treviglio Hospital (Bergamo)

Opened July 1941, 119 other ranks were held here on 26/2/43.

U  Udine Hospital

V  Vescoville

X  Sforza Costa Liguria

A civilian hospital attached to Camp 53 (Sforza Costa Liguria) camp.

 

An alphabetical listing of all camps for POWs and Hospitals, work camps and internment camps known in German controlled areas.

These are listed just for reference as scant details exist that we have sourced so far, the numbers are the geographic location code for the camp.

Stalags, Oflags and Dulags are all listed above.

Aalsmeer Restricted Residence For Civilians Aalsmeer Holland

Air Corps Transit Camp Verona Italy 45-11

Amsterdam Restricted Residence For Civilians Amsterdam Holland 52-05

Bad Godesberg Lazarett (Serves Stalag XVII-A) Godesberg Rheinland, Prussia 50-07

Bad Soden-Salmunster Hospital (Serves Stalag IX- Bad Soden Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-09

Bad Sulze Hospital (Serves Stalag IX-C) Bad Sulze Saxe-Weimar 51-11

Bagno A Ripoli Florence (Firense) Italy 43-11

Bagnolo-Piano Civilian Internment Camp Bagnolo-Piano Italy 44-10

Benevento POW Camp Benevento Italy 41-14

Beujon Hospital For Civilians Clichy France 49-02

Branch Of CC 204 Bologna Italy 44-11

Bratislava POW Camp Bratislava Czechoslovakia 48-17

Brenners Park Hotel Baden-Baden Baden (Civilian Internment Camp) 48-08

Brens Civilian Internment Camp Tarn France 44-02

Brevannes Sanitorium For Civilians Paris France 49-02

Brides Les Bains Civilian Internment Camp Brides Les Bains France 45-06

Callithea Prison Athens Greece 38-23

Camp Chumen (Shumla) Chumen Bulgaria 43-27

Camp De Gurs Civilian Internment Camp Basses-Pyrenees France 43-01

Camp de Noe Civilian Internment Camp Noe France 43-01

Camp Leled, Near Esztergom, Hungary 47-19

Camp Number 1 Vienna Austria 48-16

Camp Number 364, Unstated, Romania 46-26

Camp San Tomaso Della Fossa Civilian Internment Camp Near Bagnolo-Piano Italy 45-11

Casablanca POW Camp Morocco North Africa 33-07

Compiegne Civilian Internment Camp (Subordinate to Frontstalag 122) Compiegne France 49-03

Concentration Camp Buchenwald (Near Weimar) Thuringia, Germany 51-11

Deutscher Luftwaffen Lazarett 203, Budapest, Hungary 47-19

Deutscher Luftwaffen Teil, Lazarett 201, Budapest, Hungary 47-19

Dressing Station Unstated

Egendorf Hospital (Serves Stalag IX-C) Egendorf Thuringia, Germany 51-11

Elsterhorst Hospital 742 (Serves Stalag 4-C & 4-A) Elsterhorst Saxony 51-14

Eppenhain Hospital Eppenhain Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 49-08

Feld-Post 07244 AC Unknown

Feld-post 31703 Unknown

Feld-Post 36433 Unknown

Festetich Street (Civilian Camp), Budapest, Hungary 47-19

Field Hospital 519, Raab (Gyor), Hungary 47-17

Field-Hospital 1244 ABT/2-D Bad Nauheim Rheinland, Prussia 50-08

Freising Hospital (Serves Stalag VII-A) Moosburg Bavaria 48-11

French Hospital Ferryville Tunisia 37-9

Frontstalag 122 Civilian Internment Camp Clermont France 45-03

Frontstalag 194, Vittel Civilian Internment Camp Vosges France 48-06

Frontstalag 221 Civilian Internment Camp St. Medard France 45- 0

Giromagny For Civilians Giromagny France 47-06

Haftanstald Kattowitz Upper Silesia 50-19

Hohe Mark Hospital (Serves Dulag Luft) Oberursel Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-07

Hospital #11 (Serves Stalag X-A) Schleswig Schleswig 54-09

Hospital 18-A (Serves Stalag XVIII-A) Villach-Karnten Carinthia, Austria 46-14

Hospital 3 B and 4 (Graz) Graz Styria, Austria 47-15

Hospital At Bilin (Serves Stalag IV-C) Bilin Bohemia 50-13

Hospital At Kosel Kosel Upper Silesia 50-18

Hospital at Muenstierel Lazaret(Serves Stalag VI-G) Bonn Rheinland, Prussia 50-07

Hospital at Stalag I-B Hohenstein East Prussia 53-20

Hospital at Stalag II-A Neubrandenburg Mecklenberg 53-13

Hospital Caserta Caserta Italy 41-14

Hospital Catania Catania Sicily 37-15

Hospital Franzis Kusplatz Prague Bohemia 50-14

Hospital Karoly Boulevard, Budapest, Hungary 47-19

Hospital Le Calvaire Pont-Chateau France 47-02

Hospital Meiningen #1288 (Serves Stalag IX-C) Meiningen Saxe-Meiningen 50-10

Hospital Perugia Perugia Italy 43-12

Hospital Ploesti, Ploesti, Romania 45-26

Hospital Sandbostel (Serves Stalag X- Sandbostel Schleswig 53-09

Hospital Unstated Toscano Italy 43-11

Hospital Wurzen Wurzen Saxony 51-12

Hosptial Lingen (Thuine) (Serves Stalag VI-G) Hanover Prussia 52-07

Internment camps for Civilians

Ilag (Civilian Internment Camp) Bergen-Belsen Hanover, Prussia 52-10

Ilag 18 Spittal Am Drau Carinthia, Austria 46-13

Ilag 7/H Laufen (Civilian Internment Camp) Bavaria 48-13

Ilag 7/Z Tittmoning (Civilian Internment Camp) Bavaria 48-12

Ilag 8/Z (Oflag VI/Z) Kreuzburg 

A SHAEF report mentioned this camp was moved to the former Stalag XVIII a/z Spittal by Train in February 1945.

Ilag A/H Tost (Civilian Internment Camp) Upper Silesia 50-18

Ilag Biberach Biberach/Riss (Civilian Internment Camp) Wurttemberg 48-09

Ilag Liebenau Near Tettnang (Civilian Internment Camp) Ravensburg 47-09

Ilag Wurzach Wurzach (Civilian Internment Camp) Wurttemberg 48-10

Indre Restricted Residence For Civilians Indre France 47-01

Innsbruck Hospital Tyrol Austria 47-11

Internment Camp Lekkende Seeland (Formerly Faarevejli High School) Copenhagen Denmark 55-12

Jersey POW Camp Channel Islands 49-02

Klara Haus (St. Josef) Liebenau (Civilian Internment Camp) Ravensburg 47-09

Komarom POW Camp #4, Komarom, Hungary 47-18

Konigsberg Prison Konigsberg East Prussia 54-20

Konigswartha Hospital #744 (Serves Stalag IV-A) Konigswartha Saxony 51-14

Kopernikus Lazarett Thorn Poland 53-18

Kreigs Lazarett Apeldoorn Holland 52-06

Kreigs Lazarett Caen France (458) 49- 0

Kriegs Lazarett Amiens France 50-02

La Ciotat Civilian Internment Camp La Ciotat France 43-05

Lager Lazarett Stalag XI-B Fallingbostel Prussia 53-09

Lager Lazarett XI-A Tanger-Hutte Sachsen, Prussia 52-12

Lager Lazarett XI-B Wolfenbuttel Brunswick 52-10

Largarule Prizoiniero #2, 13,14, 18 Timisul de Jos, Romania 45-21

Lazarett at Breda Holland

Lazarett at Hildburghausen (Hospital #1251) Hildburghausen Saxe-Meiningen 50-10

Lazarett at Nuremberg-Langwasser (Serves Stalag XIII-D) Nuremberg Bavaria 49-11

Lazarett at Stalag II-B Hammerstein West Prussia 53-17

Lazarett at Stalag IV-B (Hospital #735) Muhlberg Sachsen, Prussia 51-13

Lazarett at Stalag VI-C Bathorn, Munster Westfalen, Prussia 52-07

Lazarett at Stalag XVII-B Gneixendorf Krems, Austria 48-15

Lazarett at Stalag XVIII-B Spittal Drau Carinthia, Austria 46-13

Lazarett Barth (serves Stalag Luft I) Barth Vogelsang Prussia 54-12

Lazarett Haid Haid Bohemia 49-12

Lazarett I Marrienhill Wurzburg Bavaria 49-10

Lazarett Memminger, Stalag VII-B Memminger Bavaria 48-10

Lazarett Rottenmunster/Rottweil (Serves Stalag V- Rottenmunster Wurttenberg 48-08

Lazarett Tubingen Tubingen, Wurttemberg 48-09

Lazarett Unstated

Lazarett Wollstein (Serves Oflag 64-Z Heilag) Wollstein Poland 52-16

Leonessa Civilian Internment Camp Leonessa Italy 42-13

Linz-Donau Hospital Linz (An-Der-Donau) Austria 48-14

Lorient POW Camp Lorient France 47-03

Ludwigsburg Military Hospital (Transit) (Serves Stalag V-A) Ludwigsburg Wurttemberg 49-09

Luft Lazarett Brussels Belgium 51-04

Luft Lazarett Leeuwarden Holland 53-05

Luftwaffe Lazarett Beauvais France 49-02

Luftwaffe Lazarett Paris France 49-02

Luftwaffen Hospital IV/XVII Vienna Austria 48-16

Luftwaffen Lazarett I/XVII ABT IIA Brunn Austria 48-16

Malmedy Belgium 50-06

Marine Hospital Emden Prussia 53-07

Marine Lazarett Cuxhaven Oldenburg 54-08

Marlag Und Milag Nord Westertimke (Tarmstedt) Hanover, Prussia 53-09

Military Hospital #75 Bari Italy 41-17

Military Hospital for Stalag III-B Fuerstenberg Brandenburg, Prussia 52-14

Military Hospital Siegburg Rheinland, Prussia 50-07

Military Hospital, Pecs, Hungary 46-18

Military Prison Graudenz Poland 53-18

Montechiarugolo Civilian Internment Camp Montechiarugolo Italy 44-10

Montolivet Civilian Internment Camp Marseille France 43-05

Obermassfeld Hospital #1249 (Serves Stalag IX-C) Obermassfeld Thuringia, Germany 50-10                                            

OPost Tettnang Liebenau (Civilian Internment Camp) Ravensburg 47-09

Perpignan Restricted Residence For Civilians Perpignan France 42-03

Perugia Civilian Internment Camp Perugia Italy 43-12

Piraeus Civilian Internment Camp Piraeus Greece 38-23

POW Camp and Lazarett Mostar Yugoslavia 43-17

POW Camp Hamburg Hamburg Germany 53-10

POW Camp St. Nazaire France 47-02

POW Camp, Turnu Margurele, Romania 43-25

POW Hospital (Serves Stalag III- Guben Brandenburg, Prussia 52-14

POW Lazarett (Serves Stalag VI-J) Dusseldorf-Gerresheim Rheinland, Prussia 51-07

Puget-Theniers For Civilians Puget-Theniers France 44-07

Regina Elizabeta Hospital, Bucharest, Romania 44-26

Regina Maria Military Hospital, Brasov, Romania 45-25

Riems Military Hospital Riems France 49-4

Rennes Military Hospital Rennes France 48-01

Reserve Lazarett (Serves Stalag IV-F) Hohenstein-Ernstthal Saxony 50-12

Reserve Lazarett (Serves Stalag VI-A) Hemer Iserlohn, Westfalen 51-07

Reserve Lazarett 101 (Serves Stalag III- Furstenberg Brandenburg, Prussia 52-14

Reserve Lazarett 102 (Serves Stalag III- Furstenberg Brandenburg, Prussia 52-14

Reserve Lazarett 11A-17A Vienna Austria 48-16

Reserve Lazarett 2 (Serves Stalag II-D) Stargard Pomerania, Prussia 53-15

Reserve Lazarett Biesdorf (Hospital #128) (Serves Stalag III-D) Berlin Prussia 52-13

Reserve Lazarett Burgsteinfurt Burgsteinfurt, Prussia 52-07

Reserve Lazarett Clausthalharz Clausthal Hanover, Prussia 51-10

Reserve Lazarett Dortmund Kirchlinde (serves Stalag VI-C) Prussia 51-07

Reserve Lazarett Eberswalde, Eberswalde Prussia 53-13

Reserve Lazarett Einbeck Prussia 51-10

Reserve Lazarett Gronau Hanover, Prussia 52-09

Reserve Lazarett Haid b/Traun dependent on Stalag 398 Pupping-Wels Austria 48-14

Reserve Lazarett II Halle Saxony, Prussia 51-11

Reserve Lazarett II Lubeck Schleswig 54-10

Reserve Lazarett III (St. Joseph's Stift.) Bremen Oldenburg 53-08

Reserve Lazarett Konstanzam Bodensee Konstanz Baden 47-09

Reserve Lazarett Leipzig Warren Leipzig Saxony 51-12

Reserve Lazarett Lyzeum Eschwege Prussia 51-10

Reserve Lazarett Marburg/Lahn Marburg Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

Reserve Lazarett Minden (Mil. #1)(Serves Stalag 326) Minden Westfalen, Prussia 52-09

Reserve Lazarett Nassaulahn Nassau Am Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

Reserve Lazarett Neukolln (Hospital #119) Brandenburg Berlin, Prussia 52-13

Reserve Lazarett Quedlinburg Sachsen, Prussia 51-11

Reserve Lazarett Rastatt Baden 49-08

Reserve Lazarett Reutlingen Wurttemberg 48-09

Reserve Lazarett Schmorkau (Hospital #745) (Serves Stalag IV-A) Schmorkau Saxony 51-14

Reserve Lazarett Weilmunster Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

Reserve Lazarett Wiesloch Heidelberg Baden 49-08

Reserve Lazarett Wilhelmspart-Magdeburg Sachsen, Prussia 52-11

Rivesaltes Civilian Internment Camp Pyrenees Orientales France 42-03

Royal Hungarian Hospital No. 11, Hospital #12-Gombos Gyul, Budapest, Hungary 47-19

Salonika Civilian Internment Camp Salonika Greece 40-23

San Martino Civilian Internment Camp Monferrato Italy 45-08

Schuler Military Hospital, Ploesti (Ploesci) Romania 45-26

Serbian Hospital Zagreb Croatia,Yugoslavia 45-16

Siena Camp Siena Italy 43-11

Siklos Hospital, Siklos, Hungary 46-18

Sinaia Military Hospital #415, Sinaia, Romania 45-25

Skoplue Military Hospital Serbia Southern Yugoslavia 42-21

Sofia Military Hospital Sofia Bulgaria 42-23

Sofia POW Camp Sofia Bulgaria 42-23

Sospel Civilian Internment Camp Monaco France 44-07

Spitalul de Stat, Targoviste, Romania 45-25

St. Denis (Grand Caserine) Civilian Internment Camp Paris France 49-02

Stadtroda Hospital #1170 (Serves Stalag IX-C) Stadtroda Thuringia, Germany 51-11

State Hospital Trencin Czechoslovakia 49-18

Sub-Lagarule Timis, Timisul de Jos, Romania 45-21

Targu-Jiu POW Camp, Targu-Jiu, Romania 45-23

Teil Lazarett (Serves Stalag XVIII-A) Spittal/Drau Carinthia, Austria 46-13

Transit Camp 133 Unknown (probably located in Rennes, France as Lazarett 133)

Transit Camp and Hospital (Dulag 127) Zemun Slavonia 45-20

Transit Camp Feld Post #319797 Location Unknown

Val De Grace Hospital For Civilians Paris France 49-02

Vaucluse Restricted Residence For Civilians Vaucluse France 44-05

Vecchio Hospital Verona Italy 45-11

Venloo Restricted Residence For Civilians Venloo Holland 51-06

Vernet Civilian Internment Camp Ariege France 43-01

Vincenzo Civilian Internment Camp Vincenzo Italy 45-11

Von Kormend Civilian Hospital Szombathely, Hungary 47-16

Wartenburg Prison Wartenburg East Prussia 53-20

 

The International committee of the Red Cross

The Red Cross together with the order of St John joined forces during WWII just as they had in WWI to carry out extensive humane services for the sick and wounded, for POWs and civilians alike

 

RED CROSS FOOD PARCELS

The term ‘Red Cross parcel’ usually refers to packages containing mostly food, tobacco and personal hygiene items sent by the International Association of the Red Cross to prisoners of war during the First and Second World Wars, as well as at other times. It can also refer to medical parcels and so-called "release parcels" provided during World War II. The Red Cross arranged them in accordance with the provisions of the third Geneva convention  of 1929. During World War II these packages augmented the often-meagre and deficient diets in the PoW camps, contributing greatly to prisoner survival and an increase in morale.

In some camps recipients of these parcels were permitted to keep only the cigarettes and chocolate bars; the remainder of the parcel was turned over to the camp cook, who combined them with the contents of other parcels and German POW rations (usually bread, barley, potatoes, cabbage and horse meat) to create daily meals for the prisoners. 

Cigarettes in the parcels became the preferred medium of exchange within most camps, cigarettes were also used to bribe German guards to provide the prisoners with outside items that would otherwise have been unavailable to them. Tins of coffee, which was hard to come by in Germany late in the war, served this same purpose in many camps. Contents of these packages were sometimes pilfered by German guards or other camp personnel, especially toward the end of the war.

It is worth noting that parcels from particular countries were distributed fairly randomly, and so a British POW might very well have received US, Canadian, British, Indian or any other type, all of whom had differing foodstuffs, the Indian ones designed for Sikhs had no meat ration for example.

The New Zealand parcels were amongst the rarest and by virtue of their novelty perhaps, one of the most sought after in some camps.

At the end of 1943, and presumably because some high ranking Nazis had realised the war was not going so well for them, Red Cross parcels were also accepted for KZ (concentration camps), these consisted almost entirely of food and medical supplies, although there is little evidence these reached the desperate inmates.

Red Cross parcels were not permitted to be sent to the disarmed prisoners of the Axis forces after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945 as they were not classified as POWs at this stage.

As well as the food related parcels, there were also medical and sanitary supplies in specific Red Cross packages.

British food parcels

During World War II, The British Joint War Organisation sent standard food parcels, invalid food parcels, medical supplies, educational books and recreational materials to prisoners of war worldwide. During the conflict, over 20 million standard food parcels were sent. Typical contents of such a parcel included:

1/4 lb packet of tea

Tin of cocoa powder

Bar of milk or plain chocolate (often Cadbury's fruit and nut, or something similar)

Tinned pudding

Tin of meat roll

Tin of processed cheese

Tin of condensed milk (Klim—a Canadian instant milk beverage—or else Carnation or Nestle brand)

Tin of dried eggs

Tin of sardines or herrings

Tin of preserve

Tin of margarine 

Tin of sugar

Tin of vegetables

Tin of biscuits

Bar of soap

Tin of 50 cigarettes or tobacco (sent separately—usually Player's brand cigarettes or Digger flake pipe tobacco).

Approximately 163,000 such parcels were made up each week during World War II; after being assembled, they were shipped on special ships to Lisbon, Portugal or Marseilles, France, where they were loaded onto railway cars and shipped to Geneva, Switzerland. Here, the International Committee of the Red Cross arranged for their shipment to POW camps and other detention centres throughout Europe.

Sometimes, due to the shortage of parcels, two or even four prisoners would be compelled to share the contents of one Red Cross parcel.

American food parcels

One pound can of powdered milk

One pound can of oleo margarine

Half-pound package of cube sugar

Half-pound package of Kraft cheese

Six-ounce package of K-ration biscuits

Four-ounce can of coffee

Two D-ration chocolate bars

Six-ounce can of jam or peanut butter

Twelve-ounce can of salmon or tuna

One-pound can of Spam or corned beef

One-pound package of raisins or prunes

Five packages of cigarettes

Seven Vitamin-C tablets

Two bars of soap

Twelve ounces of C-ration vegetable soup concentrate.

Canadian food parcels

The Canadian Red Cross reported assembling and shipping nearly 16,500,000 food parcels during the Second World War, at a cost of $47,529,000. 

Contents of the Canadian parcel included:

Sixteen ounces of milk powder

Sixteen ounces of butter

Four ounces of cheese

Twelve ounces of corned beef

Ten ounces of pork luncheon meat

Eight ounces of salmon

Four ounces of sardines or kippers

Eight ounces of dried apples

Eight ounces of dried prunes or raisins

Eight ounces of sugar

Sixteen ounces of jam or honey

Sixteen ounces of pilot biscuits

Eight ounces of chocolate

One ounce of salt and pepper (mustard, onion powder and other condiments were also sometimes enclosed)

Four ounces of tea or coffee

Two ounces of soap. 

Unlike the American and British parcels, Canadian Red Cross parcels did not include cigarettes or tobacco.

Other ‘Red Cross’ parcels

Home organisations and families could also send parcels either directly or by organisations set up to aid POWS via the Red Cross containing all manner of items from sports and games to books and some clothing.

Tobacco could actually be bought in bulk and sent directly via Switzerland via the tobacco companies themselves also.

Escape kits in ‘Red Cross’ parcels

Despite the fact that using the neutral Red Cross parcel to send items (usually disguised or hidden) in the parcels which would aid would be escapees would contrive the Geneva Convention, MI9 (the British military intelligence section specifically set up for escape and evasion) did fix ‘special parcels’.

These contained inks, clothing dyes, German currency, maps, compasses and other useful items and could be hidden in almost anything from replacement uniform to sports equipment and books.

It is uncertain whether official ‘red cross’ food and medical supply parcels were ever tampered with by MI9, however, up to 10% of ‘organisations’ listed who donated clothing/sports equipment and books were in fact a ‘front’ for MI9.

‘The prisoner of war’ magazine

We have a large collection of these magazines within our source material and these are available to view online via our documents collections pages.    

All of the photos of individuals from camps in this tutorial were taken from this collection –unfortunately none of the mens names are recorded in these articles.

‘Prisoner of War’ was a magazine published and distributed by the International Red Cross during World War II - it was a joint venture between the British Red cross and the Order of St John.

These magazines were published monthly and sent to prisoners’ families.

Whilst these magazines make a naïve but charming read and often gave some useful information on what to put into a prisoners’ parcel and various other questions of concern to the POWs families, they did not portray an accurate reflection of camp life in almost all circumstances.

Some POWs had a brutal and life threatening time from day to day particularly as the war dragged on into 1944 and 1945, the magazines tended to concentrate on keeping families morale up rather than giving accurate news, whether this accuracy was possible or not is arguable however.

On reflection these sources do show some relevant information and surprisingly confirm that Red Cross inspection visits were made to selected far east camps, although the integrity of these visits is debatable.

Further research

On the web

If you are researching a particular POW camp it is well worth completing a ‘Google’ web search for the camp name: try this method - both in numbers and in roman numerals with the abbreviated camp name and also the camp name and location as search text.

I.e. Stalag 17 b, Stalag XVII b Stalag 17, Stalag XVII, Krem POW camp etc (these are all the ‘same’ camp!)

It’s also worth noting that some camps were very large and split into compounds where little ‘mixing’ was permitted between their respective captives, hence it is quite possible that an inmate from one compound however long they were incarcerated would not have met another inmate of a separate part of the same camp.

The more search options you place, the more websites you have a chance of finding.

Some larger camps will have dozens of websites that you can investigate, always look at the links pages from these sites also –a ‘spider’s web’ of information can often be discovered.

The National archives

The most comprehensive nominal listings of British and Commonwealth PoWs are those in WO 392/1-26. 

These are all available within our fully searchable POW lists.

They include: prisoners of all services and the merchant navy held in Germany or German-occupied territory; prisoners of all services and the merchant navy held in Italy. 

(These are the sources for the German/Italian camps information contained on this site -they are hand transcribed and are fully searchable).

These records do not cover the entire war, the dates being: 

Germany - September 1944 and March 1945. 

Italy - August 1943. 

The lists of 169,000+ POWs were probably originally sent to the Casualty (PW) Branch of the Directorate of Prisoners of War in London, and also form the basis of the public record office documents.

They give details of name, rank and service/army number as well as regiment/corps, prisoner of war number and, presumably, the camp location when the register was made.

The lists are described as being corrected generally up to 30 March 1945. 

If you fail to find a name, it is unlikely, although still possible to find details from the ICRC archives (see below), if you have confirmed a name and camp but wish to know a little more,  the ICRC may, again, be able to assist.

As always when directed to ‘the national archives’ on researching we recommend that you initially do an online search on the archives website, this should allow you to ascertain whether there is a likelihood of the data you require being stored.

Most data files are not currently available online however and would need either a personal visit by yourself or a professional researcher to seek these files out.

We offer the services of a professional accredited researcher who visits the archives daily, should you wish to seek this assistance.

Please click on the ‘hire a researcher’ button on the left hand side navigation bar for more information.

Prisoners held in Italy: post-armistice escape reports

There are four primary sources for post-armistice escape reports for Italy: WO 208/3343-3345 and WO 208/5393-5404 contain reports made by escapers who travelled south to Allied lines; WO 208/4238-4276 and WO 208/4368-4371 hold reports made by those who made it to neutral Switzerland. It is clear that other reports were produced, for example those with a reference starting PW/REP/IT. However, the current whereabouts and indeed survival of these documents is uncertain.

Escape and evasion reports

Nominal card indexes to the principle series of escape and evasion reports in WO 208/3298-3327 (pre D-Day) and WO 208/3348-3352 (post D-Day) can be search on findmypast.co.uk. Researchers should note that these reports mostly relate to the European, Mediterranean or North Africa theatres of war.

Other nominal card indexes are located in the Document Reading Room at The National Archives. Indexed by name sequences, WO 208/5405-5436 consists of the original loose-leaf documents upon which the reports in WO 208/3348-3352 are based. These are less 'sanitised' than the latter and sometimes include additional documents, annotations to the narrative, interrogators notes and Appendix B (see below). In most instances the information is duplicated, but it may be worthwhile ordering both files.

All of these reports were made by officers and men of the armed forces and merchant navy and usually provide: service details; when and where captured; home address and civilian occupation. For Royal Air Force personnel details can include: where based, type of aircraft, when, where and how the aircraft was lost, and the presumed fate of the other aircrew.

Every report includes a narrative, of variable length, which describes an individual's experiences as an escaper, evader or prisoner of war. In addition, many reports include appendices which can provide the names and addresses of civilian helpers, nature of help given, and relevant dates; details of the escape method and fellow PoWs who assisted in an escape; the usefulness of officially provided escape aids, which ones were used, and suggested improvements and/or additions.

Please note that the surviving appendices for WO 208/3298-3327 are held separately in nominal card indexes WO 208/5582-5583 which can be searched on findmypast.co.uk by name.

Due to various adverse factors, there were few successful escapes in the South East Asia theatre of war.

Chiefly it was quite impossible for White Europeans to blend in with the native peoples!

Explanation of appendices A-D

Many escape, evasion and liberation reports (see below) include one or more Appendices. The purpose of these is as follows:

Appendix A (TOP SECRET). 

These can contain names and addresses of helpers, nature of help given, and relevant dates. This information was intended to help IS9 (D) - Intelligence School 9 (D), a division of Military Intelligence 9 (MI9) - and, eventually, the sections responsible for tracing and rewarding of helpers, IS9 (AB). In addition, so-called 'Black List' foreigners were also included. For security reasons Appendix A had a very limited circulation

Appendix B (TOP SECRET later SECRET). 

Consists of military information and intelligence which was distributed to the Armed Forces and other interested departments. Nevertheless, it was recognised that in most instances an evader/escaper had little opportunity of observing enemy activities due to the normal practice of 'hiding-up' during the day. Useful intelligence was more generally obtained from naval or air force personnel by studying the reasons for their capture or failure of equipment and so on

Appendix C (TOP SECRET). 

This continued the report narrative from the point where the escaper or evader came under an escape organisation within a POW camp. It can give details of the escape method and allied personnel who assisted in an escape. Names and addresses of helpers and their descriptions (where necessary) were included. To some extent this overlapped with Appendix A and where the distinction was negligible they may even have been merged into one

Appendix D (TOP SECRET later SECRET). 

Gives details of the usefulness of officially provided escape aids carried by pilots and others, which ones were used, and suggested improvements and/or additions

The escape and evasion reports in AIR 40/1545-1552 include internal indexes, although these documents appear to be duplicates of the reports found in some of the WO 208 files described at the start of this section. Reports of escaped Royal Air Force personnel, including some nominal lists of reported Air Force POWs, are in AIR 14/353-361; these files deal mainly with aids to escape and conduct in enemy territory. Similar material, with reports on German interrogation methods, is in AIR 14/461-465. Additional reports are dispersed among various record series.

A number of duplicate, and possibly some original, interrogation reports and citations for awards for escape, evasion and activities while a POW are dispersed among the microfilms WO 373/60-64 and 87 parts 6 and 7.

The War Diary of MI9, the division of Military Intelligence that dealt with escapers and evaders of all services, is in WO 165/39, while its papers including files concerning all aspects of the department's work are in WO 208/3242-356. The file WO 208/3242 is particularly informative.

Merchant Navy prisoners of war

There is an extensive collection of records in the series BT 373, giving the circumstances of capture and the eventual fate of UK and Allied Asian merchant seamen captured during the Second World War. Details of ships captured or lost due to enemy action are in BT 373/1-359, searchable in Discovery, our catalogue, by ship's name. These contain miscellaneous papers relating to the circumstances of loss/capture.

There are document pouches for individual seamen in BT 373/360-3716. These are searchable by surname and sometimes by forename as well. Each pouch typically contains the name of the ship lost; a card or form containing circumstantial details (including PoW camp, PoW number, surname, forenames, date of birth, place of birth, discharge A number, rank or rating, name of ship, ship's official number, date of loss of ship, next of kin, relationship, address and country of detention); Prisoner of War Branch PC 96 (postal censorship) forms vetting messages to and from family and friends; Envelope RS3 which usually has notes of release from captivity/repatriation written on it where appropriate, containing many of the details from the PoW card and additionally a National Service AF Account Number. Some of the pouches may also contain personal letters to and from prisoners of war. Collective alphabetical listings of POWs (as opposed to individual pouches) are contained in BT 373/3717-3722. 

For details of POWs who died in captivity in Japan and Germany, try BT 373/3720-3721.

The files BT 382/3232-3249 consist of an alphabetical series of printed cards relating to merchant seamen POWs of all nationalities. The cards normally give details of: camp and POW number; surname and full forenames; date and place of birth; discharge A number and rank/rating; name of ship, official number and date of loss; next-of-kin and relationship; home address. In addition, some include dates of death, exchange, repatriation and arrival back in the United Kingdom. Access to full details of seamen born less than 100 years ago may be restricted.

More general correspondence on British merchant seamen POWs is in MT 9 (code 106).

Over 5,000 Allied merchant seamen were captured by German forces during the Second World War, most of whom were at some time held at the camp Marlag und Milag Nord, Westertimke, near Bremen, Germany, (Marlag held Royal Navy personnel and Milag Merchant seamen). A camp history is in WO 208/3270. Other mainly administrative and policy files on merchant navy PoWs are dispersed among FO 916, MT 9 (code 106), FO 371, WO 32 (code 91A).

Liberated prisoner of war interrogation questionnaires

The record series WO 344 consists of approximately 140,000 Liberation Questionnaires completed by British and Commonwealth servicemen, with a few from other Allied nationals and merchant seamen. While the plans to question all liberated POWs never materialised, these records still represent a large percentage of those still in enemy hands in 1945. They are arranged alphabetically by name sequences with separate sections for those held by Germany and Japan.

Although the German and Japanese questionnaires differ in appearance and format, the information they might provide is similar. As well as giving personal details, name, rank, number, unit and home address, these records can include: date and place of capture; main camps and hospitals in which imprisoned and work camps; serious illnesses suffered while a prisoner and medical treatment received; interrogation after capture; escape attempts; sabotage; suspicion of collaboration by other Allied prisoners; details of bad treatment by the enemy to themselves or others. In addition, individuals were given the opportunity to bring to official notice any other matters, such as courageous acts by fellow prisoners or details of civilians who assisted them during escape and evasion activities. Consequently, additional documentation is sometimes attached.

Both questionnaires also enquire whether the prisoner witnessed or had any information about war crimes. If so they were required to complete a form 'Q'. These documents were not kept with the main report, but passed to the appropriate Allied authorities investigating alleged war crimes. While no discrete record holds these forms, they are occasionally found in War Crimes files. 

The files WO 208/5437-5450 contain the second, more specific, 'pink' questionnaire that followed on from those in WO 344. They were made by individuals identified by MI9/IS9 lists as having been directly involved with an escape organisation or who had some other significant function within the POW camp's internal organisation. The form consists of 25 questions relating to topics such as: the work of escape committees; escape aids and their usefulness; German censorship; receipt and dissemination of coded messages; collection of geographical information that might assist future escape attempts; and internal communications.

A card index to additional more comprehensive Liberation reports in WO 208/3328-3340 is located in the Document Reading Room at The National Archives. While these two series of reports are duplicates, researchers are advised to order both copies as the second series in particular can include Appendices. Additional detailed Liberation reports for camps in Germany are held in WO 208/3341-3342; an incomplete nominal index is contained in the first of these files.

Army record offices

On our databases you will often see a record office number referred to, these record offices were the collection points in 1945/6 for returning POWs documents and are noted on our records for information only as most would have closed shortly after the war.

For completeness however they are listed below, where no address is listed it is probable that the local barracks also housed the records office.

1 - Household Cavalry, Combermere Barracks Windsor, Berks

3 - RAC and Reconnaissance Corps, The Drill Hall, Barnet, Herts

5 - RA (field) Foots Cray, Sidcup, Kent 

6 - RA (LAA) Ibex House, The Minories, London EC3

7 & 8 & 26 & 27 - RA (coast & searchlight) MP corps, Savoy Hotel, Bournemouth. 

9 - RE Ditchling Road, Brighton, Sussex

10 - Royal Signals, Caversham, reading, Berks

11&13 - Grenadier Guards/Scots Guards, 25/28 Buckingham Gate, London SW1

12 - Coldstream Guards, 75 Ashley Gardens, London SW1

14 - Irish Guards, 71 Ashley Gardens, London SW1

15 - Welsh Guards, 16 Wilton Crescent, London SW1

16 - Infantry, Perth

18 -  Infantry, The public hall, Lune street, Preston

19 - Infantry, Shrewsbury, Salop

20 & 35 - Infantry & AEC, York

21 - Infantry, Warwick

22 - Infantry, Exeter

23 - Infantry & APTC, Stanwell road school, Ashford, Middx

24 - Rifles, Winchester

28 & 37 & 38 - Pioneer Corps/Intelligence Corps, Non Combatant Corps, The Dunholme Manor, Bournemouth

29 - RASC, Ore place, Hastings, Sussex

30 & 31 - RAMC & ADC, Colet Court, Hammersmith, London W6

32 - RAOC, Atlas House, Blackwells Court, Granby Street, Leicester

33 - RAPC, F9 The War office, 18 Finsbury Circus London, EC2

34 - RAVC, Thoinhill, Aldershot

36 - Small Arms school Corps, Bisley Camp, Brookwood, Surrey

41 & 45 - AAC & ACC, Drill Hall, East Claremont Street, Edinburgh 9

43 - RA (HAA), St Maries Hall, Dunchurch Road, Rugby

44 -  REME, 2a Titchborne Street, Leicester

 

Awards to civilian helpers

As the Second World War drew to a close, two organisations were formed to investigate the help given by individuals and organisations to Allied escapers and evaders. Their task included settling financial claims and making recommendations for awards to helpers, the latter being done in conjunction with the Americans and the Intelligence Services of the countries concerned. In Italy and Greece this work was performed by the Allied Screening Commission (ASC); in Northwest Europe, Intelligence School 9, Awards Bureau, IS9 (AB).

The files WO 208/5451-5460 contain the detailed recommendations for honours and awards made to foreign civilians and military personnel who assisted Allied escapers and evaders. An incomplete nominal card index to these records is located in the Document Reading Room at The National Archives. It is subdivided by nationality as: Belgium, Chinese, Czech, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Poland and Greece. Take a note of the number on the top left of the card and this will determine which file to order. It would appear that the records are incomplete as the number sequence of the first file - WO 208/5451 - starts at 238.

Less informative, WO 208/5461-5480 lists in tabular form individuals who assisted Allied escapers and evaders in Belgium and Luxembourg, Denmark, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary and Yugoslavia, Italy (includes some more detailed cases), and Poland. While the information is limited it does include: name and address, type of reward, amount of financial compensation and any remarks.

Researchers should note that in 1948, at General Eisenhower's request, the records of the Allied Screening Commission were transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC. In the same year its residual successor the Allied Prisoners of War Claims Screening Commission was also closed down. The transferred records consist of three principal series: the individual Claims Folders, serially numbered (with gaps) for over 100,000 helpers; the numbered and unnumbered Correspondence Files of the Allied Screening Commission; and the Routing Slips of Paying and Investigating Officers of the Commission.

Records of the ICRC are in FO 916, continued in WO 224. Other reports on POW camps are held in CO 980 and HO 215. Although individuals are rarely mentioned by name, a speculative search of files in these record series may still prove fruitful.

Medical reports on conditions in POW camps, with some reports on escapes, are among the Medical Historian's Papers in WO 222/1352-1393. It should be noted that the Japanese did not allow inspections of their camps in Malaya or Singapore. Nevertheless, a few reports made by former POWs are held in CAB 101/199 and WO 32/14550.

Records concerning Royal Air Force and Allied Air Force prisoners will be found in the correspondence of the Air Ministry in AIR 2 (code B 89), as well as in the Unregistered Papers (PoWs) in AIR 20 (code 89). An alphabetical list of British and Dominion Air Force PoWs in German hands in 1944-1945 is in AIR 20/2336. Nominal rolls of prisoners in German camps are in AIR 40/263-281, and AIR 40/1488-1491. Nominal rolls for some Japanese camps are among papers prepared for a history of the RAF services in AIR 49/383-388, but they are generally disappointing. The roll for Changi is fuller and is in AIR 40/1899-1906.

A substantial quantity of material concerning British and Commonwealth PoWs - mostly Air Force personnel - can be found in the Headquarters Papers of Bomber Command (AIR 14), and in the Air Ministry's Directorate of Intelligence Papers. Aerial photographs of camps are in AIR 40/227-231. Location lists and additional aerial photographs of POW camps in Germany, Italy and Occupied Europe, including reports on transfers, are in AIR 14/1235-1240, and similar documentation on German camps occurs in AIR 40/227-231. Reports on many individual Royal Air Force servicemen taken prisoner in occupied Europe, detailing the circumstances of their capture, are in AIR 14/470-471. Reports on the condition of British and Dominion PoWs in German and Japanese camps towards the end of the war occur in AIR 40/2361 and 2366.

Royal Marines

A list of Royal Marines known to have been imprisoned in German camps between 1939 and 1945 is to be found in ADM 201/111. Lists of Royal Navy personnel interned in enemy camps may be found in many of the files in ADM 1 (code 79) and ADM 116 (code 79), although the exact files are not identifiable from our catalogue.

War crimes

Records concerning war crimes committed against Allied PoWs have mostly been preserved in WO 235, WO 309, WO 310, WO 311 and WO 325 with other material in FO 371, WO 32 (code 94), TS 26 and among the Foreign Office records of the Control Commission for Germany (CCG). In addition, Papers dealing with the treatment of British PoWs in German hands are in DEFE 2/1126-1128. Colonial Office files on British prisoners and internees in the Far East, and British Colonial prisoners in Europe, occur in CO 980 and CO 537/1220-1221. For further information on war crimes see related research guides.

The War Office Registered Files (WO 32 (code 91)) and the Directorate of Military Operations Collation Files (WO 193/343-359) both contain material on Allied PoWs. The Military Headquarters Papers: SHAEF (GI Division) contain files relating to the organisation of the Prisoners of War Executive and reports on Allied PoWs (WO 219/1402, WO 219/1448-1474).

Internment & British POW camps

The Prisoners of War and Internment Files in the Admiralty and Secretariat Papers ADM 1 (code 79) contain documentation on many aspects of the Royal Navy's involvement with the capture and internment of enemy and Allied PoWs, naval and other services.

Some notifications of deaths of POWs during the Second World War are included in RG 32.

The Index to the correspondence of the Foreign Office, 1920-1951 (131 vols, Nendeln, 1969-1982) available at The National Archives, contains numerous entries relating to all aspects of British PoWs. The bulk of the correspondence that has been preserved (and not all of it has been) is in FO 371.

Interned in Switzerland

The address for those interned after escaping from Germany/Italy into Switzerland is:

Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports,

Bundeshaus Ost

CH3003.

BERN

POW exchanges and repatriations.

Although some POW exchanges took place between 1942 and 1944, the vast majority of British and Commonwealth captives were not repatriated until 1945. 

Files concerning this complex subject are dispersed over various record series and, although not exhaustive, any search should include ADM 1, ADM 116, AIR 2 (code B 89), AIR 14, AIR 20, CO 980, FO 369, WO 32 (code 91), WO 170, WO 203, WO 204 and WO 219.

Books

Highly recommended for further background and some specific camp research:

POW Allied Prisoners of War in Europe 1939-1945 by Adrian Gilbert

Very comprehensive book detailing all aspects of camp life, escape attempts and the process of both capture and release, uses a lot of ‘first hand’ accounts and stories with factual information.

The Last Escape John Nichol & Tony Rennell

A harrowing account of the forced marches from some of the eastern most POW camps during the last days of the war. 

The man who broke into Auschwitz - Dennis Avery

2011 Bestseller with good reason – a detailed ex PoWs account of being assigned to the little known E715 Monowitz POW sub camp and it’s infamous sprawling next door neighbour -Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The Colditz Story – Pat Reid

The most famous camp of them all, the book written by the escape officer and one of the men to successfully escape Oflag IVc.

Escape and evasion –Ian Dear

As its title suggests: a detailed account of POW escapes and those who evaded capture in WWII Europe. 

The Histories of Auschwitz IG Farben Werk Camps 1941-45- Piotr Setkiewicz

Published and available (only?) at Auschwitz/Birkenau itself this book is a definitive work on the various camps including all the work details. 

Facism's European Empire -Davide Rodogno

Italian occupation of Greece/Balkans etc -some useful information on internment and POW camps all gleaned from the notoriously difficult to access USSME Italian Army archives.

 

Other research organisations

The International Committee of the Red Cross

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva keeps incomplete lists of all known POWs and internees of all nationalities for the Second World War. Searches are only made in response to written enquiries, and an hourly fee is usually charged. The contact address is: International Council of the Red Cross (ICRC), Archives Division, 19, Avenue de la Paix, CH-1202 Geneva, website: ICRC Archives.

Please note that the ICRC research section will not be undertaking research requests until early in 2014 as they are digitising WWI records.

Research is carried out free of charge when it has been requested by the individual concerned himself/herself or by his/her next of kin (brother, sister, wife, husband, father, mother, children, grand-children). Other than the aforementioned, a fee of 100 Swiss francs (currently £67) is charged per hour per research, this only applies to records over 60 years old.

It can take a year or more to receive information back, however the ICRC archive records are usually also cross referenced against the original German records and a copy of the original record is supplied which confirms all details held, these can range from a single A4 sheet to a few pages depending on whether a complaint was placed with the ICRC during the war.

The report also confirms which permanent camps the POW was held in, making this record fairly definitive.

 

Our databases

These contain every name officially recorded for March/April 1945 for German camps and August/September 1943 for Italian camps.

The sources: Records held at the National Archives under reference WO392/1-26 and Air40/1488-90 amongst many others.

Included are PoWs of all services and Merchant navy held in Germany or German occupied territory and also in Italy.

The German records were taken between September 1944 and March 1945, the Italian records August 1943 and were recorded by the ‘Casualty (PW) Branch of the Directorate of Prisoners of War’ in London during the war.

The Italian camp nominal rolls are sourced directly from WO392/12.'Imperial Prisoners of War held in Italy dated August 1943.

The database will include British and commonwealth forces only and is cross referenced for the most part with records for German camps which were made later in the war for those unfortunate enough to be recaptured after the Italian armisitice.

They give details of name, rank and service/army number as well as regiment/corps, prisoner of war number and their final camp location (in Italy/Germany/both). The German lists are described as being corrected generally up to 30 March 1945.

We also have many records from the escape and evasion parts of the TNA, originally compiled by MI9, typically these are contained in the National Archives WO373 series which covers recommendations for awards and may also have transcribed citations in some cases.

 

Can you help?

Forces war records gratefully acknowledge individual contributions towards our databases and information sources: we would like to work with anyone who feels they have camp or individuals POW data which would be of interest.

We are particularly interested in lists of names and individual photographs, letters and diaries of this period.

 

Acknowledgments

Data and factual references were sourced from:

The national archives, Wikipedia, The International committee of the Red Cross, POW Allied Prisoners of War in Europe 1939-1945 by Adrian Gilbert and various other books mentioned in the tutorial where possible.

WWII POW and internment camps by Derek Tomlin –this was particularly useful for adding numbers of POWs held to the data of many camps.

The previously marked ‘Secret’ files from SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) 254-1 files held at the National Archives (1,036 pages long) under reference WO229/5/0/1.

Any camp coordinates using the ‘old’ system of dgrees & minues etc were taken from these reports directly.

There may be more up to date location references via Wikipedia articles however.

(Much of the information from the Wo229 SHAEF reports was directly from the Swiss Red Cross representatives who had visited the camps and work commandos themselves).

Some of the material on this page was partially derived from < en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag> and <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oflag>,<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_V-A>

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isola_Maggiore> <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lager_Sylt>

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_VI-C>

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_VIII-A>

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulag_luft#Dulag_Luft_.28Oberursel.29_Escape>

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_Luft_VI>

<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen-Belsen_concentration_camp>

 

Which are released under the terms of the creativecommons.org/licenses/by-s/3.0/.

Some of the more detailed POW camp locations (Particularly in Italy) were gleaned from (amongst others):

The booklist above, particularly ‘POW’ by Adrian Gilbert and also small snippets were found on an Italian site by Alberto Stramaccioni regarding camps in Umbria.

The book 'Facisms European empire' (Italian Occupation during the second world war) by Robert Rodogna which originally used the USSME (Italian Army archives) for camp listings.

The maps were taken from Wikipedia for the German camps only ‘Wehrkreis’ and from publications, which can be seen in our own historic documents collection on this site.

 

Notes on this tutorial

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to ensure accuracy and completeness if you notice anything that you feel is missing or incorrect we’d be very happy to hear from you.

I have attempted to include every camp, however some have very few details even then, if you notice anything missing please don’t hesitate to contact us, it’s worth noting that many camps could/were known by location and locations were often misheard and then mis-transcribed due to the language barrier in many instances.

Even today the locations of some of the smaller camps is unknown.

Last amended TH 11/12/13

 

 

 

 

 

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