The POW Stories
This page contains a collection of true short stories written by
POWs detailing their experiences during World War II, before and after their
being shot down and imprisoned. Some will make you laugh and some
will make you cry.
In reading these you are struck by the
incredible and horrific experiences of so many in the war and the common
exhibition of tremendous personal valor. They are the stories of brave young men
who defeated their fear and then defeated the cause of their fear.
The Photos -
This page has photos taken at Stalag Luft
I during World War II and photos from
Heinrich Haslob (aka "Henry the butcher"), a
German guard's personal photo album. They include photos of the tunnels the
prisoners of war dug in escape attempts, the guards at Stalag Luft I, prisoners
arriving at the train station, etc. Also the
photos, after liberation Ken Wilcox took over the photo lab at Stalag Luft I
and shares the photos he found there plus the ones that were taken after
liberation. Stalag Luft I Group Photos
- 60 group photo shots taken at Stalag Luft I.
The POW Roommates
- A listing of the Prisoners of War at Stalag Luft I by rooms in the camp. Note this
is not a complete listing and we depend on your information to help complete
Please let us know which compound, barracks and room you were held in. We
would like the names of any roommates that you can remember or have recorded in
your YMCA log book. Please
send to us at email@example.com
or inquire where to send by regular mail. Click for
South or West Compound -
North 1 Compound -
North 2 Compound -
North 3 Compound
The POW Art -
drawings, cartoons, sketches and carvings made by the prisoners of war at Stalag Luft
I during World War II.
- The poems found in the YMCA Wartime Logs kept by the Stalag Luft I POWs. Mostly
original poetry but the author frequently unknown. This page also contains
a small comic book on Roger Wilco's adventure as a prisoner of war Stalag Luft I
The POW Newspaper - POW-WOW (Prisoners Of War - Waiting On Winning) was the secretly
printed camp newspaper at Stalag Luft I. A single page newspaper (front and back) was
printed daily and smuggled between barracks in a hollow wristwatch. It
stated it was to be read "silently, quickly and in groups of three".
The POW Interrogators - Photos and information on the famous German interrogators at
Dulag Luft in Oberursel (the German intelligence center) where
captured Allied airmen were sent for interrogation, before being sent to the
transit camp at Wetzlar and then on to a permanent (stalag) prison camp.
POW Guards -
This page has photos and information on the
German administration and guards at Stalag Luft I. Also included is a
letter written by the Camp Commandant to his wife in 1944.
- The Russians liberated Stalag Luft I on May 1, 1945.
Vasily Bezugly was one of those Russians and this page contains some of his
thoughts and remembrances of that period and a few photos of him and his
comrades in the "Great Patriotic War" (World War II). Also we have a document from our National Archives describing the address by the
Russian Red Army Commander to the people of Barth on May 9, 1945.
The POW Evacuation
- Video, photos and stories of the
8th Air Force's evacuation of the Prisoners of War at Stalag Luft I on May 13 & 14, 1945 . The
tensions were building between Russia and the Allies and the fate of the POWs
was uncertain until the 8th Air Force flew into Barth and rescued the POWs in a
The Return - Reunion and Conference held in Barth on September 8, 2001.
Included is my report on the April 2000 return to Barth of the former
Stalag Luft I POWs and Concentration Camp Barth survivors 55 years after their
liberation. Photos of the Memorial site in Barth.
From Home -
The letters and V-mail received
by our father from his parents while in England,
prior to his MIA/POW status. We feel these reflect the general anxiety
felt by many parents facing similar situations with their loved ones flying
missions over enemy territory.
Various documents associated with being a prisoner of war in World War II
Germany. Scans of War Department/Military Intelligence
documents detailing the conditions at Stalag Luft I during the war. We also have
the instructions given to the airmen on what to do in the event they are
captured. A copy of the Prisoner of War Bulletin published by the
American Red Cross around Christmas 1944 for the families of the American
prisoners of war. An article citing the famous speech that Col. Spicer
gave to his fellow POWs that earned him a death sentence (fortunately the camp
was liberated one day before the scheduled sentence was to be imposed!), titled
"A Speech Worth Dying For".
The June 21, 1945
daily Newsletter of the U.S.S. Admiral H.T. Mayo - one of the Liberty
troopships carrying the POWs back to America.
And other interesting items.
Books & Videos
- Books written on Stalag Luft I
and other World War II POW camps. Also
listed are several good videos on prisoners of war.
The Kriegies -
This is what the POWs called themselves. It is short for Kriegesgefangenen
which is the German word for prisoner of war. Here we have individual
pages for some of the former POWs or "kriegies". The information varies on each
page. You never know what you will find on these pages. Each one is a
little gem - special and unique. Some contain photos of
themselves, their crew, their families, their crashed plane, or the Luftwaffe
ace that shot them down.
Memorials - Memorials to World War II aircrews and
former Prisoners of War in the USA and in Europe.
- Important information for Ex-Prisoners of war and their next of kin about
the Veterans Administration benefits for former POWs or their widows. Almost 2/3
of the surviving ex-POWs are unaware of and are not receiving these benefits.
Visit this page to learn how to obtain the services of an American Ex-POW
National Service Officer to help you file for your benefits! The POW monthly
amount is $2,527.00 (tax free) for someone rated 100%.
Mother (as the widow of an Ex-POW) is
receiving a monthly tax-free check of $911.00, as well as other VA benefits.
- America's Prisoner of
War Medal approved by Congress in 1985. Includes an application you can
print from your computer. This medal can be awarded posthumously.
and tips for doing research on World War II prisoners of war.
A speech written by Stalag Luft I ex-POW Dick Williams, Jr.'s
granddaughter, Allison, to her generation about the grandfather she never
knew and the gift he and his fellow POWs gave to us by losing their freedom in
order to secure ours.
Links & Rings -
Links to the American and British
Ex-POW sites, other Stalag Luft and POW sites, 8th Air Force sites, a link to
help you in your search for your Dad or loved one's World War II history.
- Sign our
guestbook or view our old Guestbook entries left by former POWs and their
What's New -
A listing of the new items added
to our website.
Hopefully it will
help you locate changes and additions since your last visit.