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World War II - Prisoners of War, Stalags

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  • Walter Marshall Schwartz, Jr. (1908 - 1983)
    Walter Marshall Schwartz, Jr. In 1940, Walter purchased an airplane and learned how to fly. He enlisted in the RAF and fought in the Battle of Britain. In the first ten days of the North Africa Campaig...
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In Germany, stalag (German pronunciation: [%CB%88%CA%83talak]) was a term used for prisoner-of-war camps. Stalag is a contraction of "Stammlager", itself 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, these camps were only for prisoners of war, not civilians. Stalags were operated in both World War I and World War II and were intended to be used for non-commissioned personnel (enlisted ranks in the US Army and other ranks in British Commonwealth forces). Officers were held in separate camps called Oflag. During World War II, the Luftwaffe (German air force) operated Stalag Luft in which flying personnel, both officers and non-commissioned officers, were held. The Kriegsmarine (German navy) operated Marlag for Navy personnel and Milag for Merchant Navy personnel.

Stalag Projects

  • Stalag VII-A The largest German World War II prisoner of war camp was Stalag VII-A at Moosburg, Germany. Over 130,000 Allied soldiers were imprisoned there. It was liberated by the U.S. 14th Armored Division following a short battle with SS soldiers of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division on 29 April 1945. Wikipedia
  • Stalag Luft III a large prisoner of war camp near Sagan, Silesia, Germany (now Żagań, Poland), was the site of an escape attempt (later filmed as The Great Escape). On 24 March 1944, 76 Allied prisoners escaped through a 110 m (approx 360 feet) long tunnel. 73 were recaptured within two weeks. 50 of them were executed by order of Hitler in the Stalag Luft III murders. Wikipedia
  • Stalag III-C is notable for the escape of US paratrooper Joseph Beyrle, who subsequently joined a Soviet tank battalion commanded by Aleksandra Samusenko, which returned to liberate the camp. Wikipedia

Types of Camps

  • Dulag or Durchgangslager (transit camp) – These camps served as a collection point for POWs prior to reassignment. These camps were intelligence collection centers.
  • Dulag Luft or Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe (transit camp of the Luftwaffe) – These were transit camps for Air Force POWs. The main Dulag Luft camp at Frankfurt was the principal collecting point for intelligence derived from Allied POW interrogation
  • Heilag or Heimkehrerlager (repatriation camps) - Camps for the return of prisoners. Quite often these men had suffered disabling injuries.
  • Ilag/Jlag or Internierungslager ("Internment camp") – These were civilian internment camps.
  • 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.
  • Oflag or Offizier-Lager ("Officer camp") – These were POW camps for officers.
  • Stalag or Stammlager ("Base camp") – These were enlisted personnel POW camps.
  • Stalag Luft or Luftwaffe-Stammlager ("Luftwaffe base camp") – These were POW camps administered by the German Air Force for Allied aircrews.

List of Camps on Wikipedia

Prisoners of WWI Projects

Prisoners of WWII Projects