World War II prisoner of war camp - Stalag Luft I


World War II - Prisoners of War - Stalag Luft I 

A collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I


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The Wilcox Photos of Stalag Luft I

Recently I made contact with Ken Wilcox who along with a Lt. Baber (see first photo below) took over the photo lab at Stalag Luft I after the liberation of the camp by the Russians.  They obtained a camera and began taking pictures around the camp and developing and printing them in the POW camp lab.  Mr. Wilcox recently sent me the following photos.  Some of these photos they acquired in the lab and the photos had obviously been taken prior to liberation, others were taken after liberation by them while awaiting the evacuation by the 8th Air Force.  On some of the photos he has added text to explain them.


Ken Wilcox and John Baber at photo lab at Stalag Luft I Lt. Baber and Len Putnam at photo lab at Stalag Luft I Looking over the contents of a red cross parcel
North Compound I - Block 14 men at Stalag Luft I. Officer Room Kitchen Stalag Luft I
Stalag Luft I Stalag Luft I Electrified barbed wire fence - WWII POW camp
Stove and Klim Cans for venting at Stalag Luft I Typical Barracks at Stalag Luft I Basking in the sun - waiting at Stalag Luft I
Shower room at Stalag Luft I POWs at Stalag Luft I Red Cross food parcel
Stalag Luft I American, British and Russian Flags at Stalag Luft I Fox holes dug at Stalag Luft I
Len Putnam at Stalag Luft I Guard Tower at Stalag Luft I At long last - a stroll outside the barbed wire at Stalag Luft I
John Bills daydreaming of Nashville, Tenn in POW camp Former POWs turn out to watch for American Planes On the way to a welcome shower
Mixing Klim and cutting bread in POW camp North 2 Officers club - after liberation at Stalag Luft I Col. Zemke and the Russians after liberation at Stalag Luft I

Photos of the Russians at Stalag Luft I below: 

Russian officer arrives at Stalag Luft I in jeep American and Russians at Stalag Luft I  
Believed to be Lt. Elroy Wyman's funeral and casket in chapel.  He stepped outside the barracks not knowing an air raid siren had sounded.  He realized his mistake and turned around quickly to return but was hit and killed. 
Lt. Wyman's funeral at Stalag Luft I   Lt. Wyman lying in state at camp chapel

Photos of some of the German aircraft left at the airfield in Barth.  

German bomber at Barth airfield German plane at nearby airfield - Stalag Luft I.

The photo below show a family murder suicide.  Suicide was chosen as the war was lost and the Russians had arrived in Barth.  After the POWs were liberated many of them were very disturbed by the sight of  the bodies of 5 dead Germans
(three women and two children) near the camp, including a baby in a baby buggy.  All had been shot.  Helga Radau in Barth has recently discovered who they were and the story of the murder-suicide by a Mrs. Schmidt.  She says they were not Barth citizens but rather were people whose houses had been bombed and they had left their city in the spring of 1945.  They were staying in the hotel in Barth.  Mrs. Schmidt was a  fanatic Nazi and her husband was an SS officer.  She had gotten a revolver from her husband, which she had hidden in the baby buggy.  She killed her relatives and then herself.  The three women were Mrs. Schmidt, her mother (the older lady) and her cousin, Mrs. Kalkbrenner. The older lady tried to convince her daughter (Mrs. Schmidt) not to realize her terrible plan.  The answer was:"Stay in the hotel if you want."  They all had a room in the" Hotel zur Sonne" (Now the  "Stadt Barth"). The older lady replied that a life without her family would be senseless for her.  The baby, a little girl named Rosemarie, was Mrs. Schmidt's and the boy (10-12 years old) was the son of her cousin Mrs. Kalkbrenner.

The photo below is incorrectly identified.  It is of Mrs. Schmidt and the son of her cousin, Mrs. Kalkbrenner. 
murder suicide at Barth, Germany - Stalag Luft I

These photos were taken at the concentration camp in Barth located close to Stalag Luft I.
The newly liberated POWs found the concentration camp and were shocked and saddened by what they found there.  

Barth, Germany concentration camp survivor of Barth, Germany concentration camp Barth, Germany concentration camp - 1945

Thank you Ken for sharing these photos with the world!

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