Stalag XX-A

Stalag XX-A

Stalag XX-A was a German World War II PoW Camp located in Thorn/Toruń, Poland. It was not a single camp and contained as many as 20,000 men at its peak. The main camp was located in a complex of fifteen forts that surrounded the whole of the city. The forts had been built by Prussians at the end of 19th century to defend the western border of Prussia.

Timeline

September 1939 some of the forts were used as P.O.W. 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 from the Allied campaign in Norway. Later about 4,500 arrived from Dunkirk. 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 February 1 1945 by the Soviet Army

ub-camps

In accordance with the Third Geneva Convention, POWs below the rank of Sergeant were required to work and were known as "Arbeitskommando". They were hired out to Military and Civilian Contractors. In the case of farm work, this was often carried out on State Farms. Sergeants and above could not be forced to work and if they did so were sent to non-working camps. Some of these camps were not the traditional POW camps we see on the films with lots of barbwire and Guard Towers but merely accommodation centers. Some camps were large and created particularly for a project.

* Camp 34 - Construction of a large housing project for German Colonists
* Elbing Camp
* Konitz Camp

ources

* [http://www.pegasus-one.org/pow/frames.htm Reports of British prisoners]

ee also

* Stalag
* List of German WWII POW camps
* Prisoner of war
* Prisoner-of-war camp

External links

* [http://www.wwiimemories.com/stalagxxphoto.htm Photos of Stalag XX-A]
* [http://www.B24.net B24.net]
* [http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141003887,00.html The Last Escape - John Nichol, Tony Rennell - 2002 Penguin UK]
* [http://www.gps-practice-and-fun.com/stalag-20a.html Stalag 20A Thorn on the map]

Bibliography

* "For You The War Is Over" by Sam Kydd - Futura, London, 1974. ISBN 0-85974-005-6


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