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Stalag VIII-B / Stalag 344 / Stalag Luft VIII-B
Lamsdorf, Germany
Stalag VIII-B / Stalag 344 / Stalag Luft VIII-B is located in Germany
Stalag VIII-B / Stalag 344 / Stalag Luft VIII-B
Stalag VIII-B / Stalag 344 / Stalag Luft VIII-B
Coordinates 50°32′20″N 17°33′31″E / 50.53884°N 17.55872°E / 50.53884; 17.55872
Type Prisoner-of-war camp
Site information
Controlled by  Nazi Germany
Site history
In use 1939–1945
Garrison information
Occupants Allied PoW

Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf was a notorious German Army prisoner of war camp, later renumbered Stalag-344, located near the small town of Lamsdorf (now called Łambinowice) in Silesia. 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.

Timeline[edit]

It was opened in 1939 to house Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. Later approximately 100,000 prisoners from Australia, Belgium, British India, British Palestine, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, the United States and Yugoslavia passed through this camp. In 1941 a separate camp, Stalag VIII-F was set up close by to house the Soviet prisoners.

In 1943, the Lamsdorf camp was split up, and many of the prisoners (and Arbeitskommando) were transferred to two new base camps Stalag VIII-C Sagan (modern Żagań and Stalag VIII-D Teschen (modern Český Těšín). The base camp at Lamsdorf was renumbered Stalag 344.

The Soviet Army reached the camp on 17 March 1945.

Later the Lamsdorf camp was used by the Soviets to house Germans, both prisoners of war and civilians. Polish army personnel being repatriated from POW camps were also processed through Lamsdorf and sometimes held there as prisoners for several months. Some were later released, others sent to Gulags in Siberia.

Stalag Luft VIII-B[edit]

By 1943, the famous camp for Allied flight personnel in Sagan - Stalag Luft III - had become so overcrowded that about 1,000, mostly non-commissioned flight personnel, were transferred to Lamsdorf. A part of Stalag VIII-B was separated by building new barbed-wire fences, designated Stalag Luft VIII-B. Thus a camp within a camp was created. However all food was provided from kitchens operated by army personnel in the camp proper.

Medical facilities[edit]

The hospital facilities at Stalag VIII-B were among the best in all Stalags. The so-called Lazarett was set up on separate site with eleven concrete buildings. Six of them were self-contained wards, each with space for about 100 patients. The others served as treatment blocks with operating theaters, X-ray and laboratory facilities, as well as kitchens, a morgue, and accommodations for the medical staff.

The lazarett was headed by a German officer with the title Oberst Arzt ("Colonel Doctor"), but the staff was made up entirely of prisoners. They included general physicians and surgeons, even a neurosurgeon, psychiatrist, anesthesiologist and radiologist.

Evacuation and repatriation[edit]

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 through the port of Odessa on the Black Sea.

Arbeitskommandos[edit]

There were more than 700 subsidiary Arbeitskommandos (working parties outside the main camp). In the second issue of The Clarion (the camp magazine) in February 1943, the RC Chaplain Father John Berry says that "...there are about 600 Working Parties and ..... you will be able to guess why so many of you will have not yet had a visit". Arbeitskommandos were set up to house lower ranks that were working in the coal mines, quarries, factories and on railways. Among them were:

  • Schalkendorf in the Kreis (Area of) Opole
  • Stauverder
  • E1 Laband
  • E3 Blechammer
  • 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[1]
  • 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
  • E303 Petersweiler [Pietrzykowice], sugar beet factory
  • 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
  • E587 Czelads Piarski
  • E593 Beuthen Schonberg
  • E594 Konigshutte Ost
  • E596 Jaworzno
  • E603 Hindenburg
  • E701 Tichau Czulow (paper factory)
  • E702 Klimontow coal mine[2]
  • E706 Coal mine near Jaworzno, mostly Australians and New Zealanders
  • E707 Sosnowitz
  • E708 Laband
  • E711A Heydebreck, chemical plant
  • E714 Blechhammer, Upper Silesia
  • E715 IG Farben chemical factory in Monowice. Set up in September 1943, it housed about 1200 prisoners, mostly British.
  • 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
  • E746 Königshütte
  • E748 Brorek
  • E749 Peiskretscham
  • E750 Kattowitz
  • E753 Graumanndorf
  • E754 Czelads
  • 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

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Arbeitskommando E119, Stalag VIIIB, Mankendorf". The Wartime Memories Project. 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "The camp for prisoners of war from Great Britain in Klimontow near Sosnowiec, Poland". klimontow.na12.pl. 28 December 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
Bibliography

External links[edit]



Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_VIII-B — Please support Wikipedia.
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22 news items

 
Western Telegraph
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:56:15 -0700

Mr Watts was kept in the Stalag VIII-B POW camp for more than two years and described his time there as “bloody awful." He staged his very own great escape during the Big March, when hundreds of prisoners were marched through the snow towards Berlin.

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 00:41:15 -0700

He was taken to Lamsdorf camp, known as Stalag VIII B, where he remained a prisoner of war (POW) for the next five years in "very harsh conditions" and along with his fellow POWs was forced to do heavy manual work, with little food. "We only had a ...

Krakow Post

Krakow Post
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 02:46:30 -0700

Blatch was captured by the Germans, imprisoned at Stalag VIII-B at Lamsdorf in Silesia, but managed to escape and then made contact with the Polish resistance. He subsequently went on various sabotage missions, including the destruction of German road ...

The Independent

The Independent
Sat, 04 Apr 2015 10:23:21 -0700

He was transported to Germany via Greece and Italy, then to the notorious Stalag VIII-B at Lamsdorf near Krakow in occupied Poland, near to the infamous concentration camp Auschwitz. The main gate entering the Nazi Auschwitz death camp He was a ...

Express.co.uk

Express.co.uk
Fri, 02 Jan 2015 16:28:39 -0800

Transported back to Germany via Greece and then Italy he was eventually taken to the notorious Stalag VIII-B (later Stalag 344) at Lamsdorf near Krakow in southern occupied Poland and not far from the concentration camp of Auschwitz. There, as he was a ...

Orillia Packet & Times

Orillia Packet & Times
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:22:30 -0800

Of the 524 Canadians landing at Blue Beach (Puys), 65 returned to England. Poolton was not one, and, as told in the book Destined to Survive, he was captured and taken to Stalag VIII B Lamsdorf, near Envermeu, now in Poland. Even on the German train in ...

Famagusta Gazette

Famagusta Gazette
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 03:49:45 -0800

Many soldiers were taken prisoner especially at the beginning of the war and were interned in various POW camps, including Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf, Stalag IV-C at Wistritz near Teplitz (now in the Czech Republic), and Stalag IV-B near Dresden. The ...
 
Timaru Herald
Mon, 01 Apr 2013 15:13:34 -0700

From Timaru to Stalag VIII B: A Kiwi Airman's Wartime Story is an account of life as a POW in the notorious Stalag VIII B. It was first published in 1991 and reissued in 2009. "Over the years I found there were several mistakes in the first edition and ...
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