collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I
If you are a former Prisoner of War or a next of
kin of a POW, we invite you to sign and leave your email address so others that
come may find you. Please mention camp, compound, barracks and room numbers if
Our international banking number: DE 20150505000570005957
The "Documentation and Dialogue
Center of Barth Association" is composed of some 25 members and was founded
in November 1998. Their aim is to initiate and support research and
educational work in the field of local history of National Socialism, the
Second World War and injustice between 1945 and 1989. The Association is
trying to establish contact with survivors of the Concentration Camp Barth,
Stalag Luft I and the Forced Labor Camps and has sponsored several
conferences on these subjects. Currently they are experiencing some
financial difficulty and are seeking assistance from anyone that would like
to help them in their efforts to keep the memory of the POW camp alive in
An Open Letter from the Chairwomen of the
Documentation and Dialogue Center of Barth
I'm writing this letter to you as the chairwoman of the association
Förderverein Dokumentations- und Begegnungsstätte Barth. That means this is
a quite official letter but you'll find some personal remarks in it as
First of all I'd like to say thanks to all of you who
came to our conferences in the past. We've had a wonderful time with you.
Your visits have enriched our lives in many ways. By letting us know about
what you experienced during the last war in Germany and giving us an idea
of what it was like being a young
man shot down from the skies, you've given us a deeper understanding.
To speak for the "East Germans" among us: Having contact with you - as
representatives of the capitalist part of the world during the "Cold War" -
was an experience they do not want to miss. They could put ideology aside
and discover human beings from the other side of the world.
Speaking for the "West Germans" among us: They were more use to the western
way of life during the last 50 years and to them the efforts of the western
alliance during the war means the end of Nazi dictatorship in Germany and
big parts of Europe.
Though there always have been critical voices mainly among younger people in
Germany - drawing the picture of an "imperialist cowboy" with his
In our association are "Easterners" and "Westerners". But for all of us
meeting you was finding human beings who had a lot to give. Thank you!
The association Förderverein Dokumentations- und Begegnungsstätte Barth is a
poor little thing if you look at it's bank account. What I've got to do
today is ask you for donations. We haven't got rooms for our work. Now we
have got the opportunity to get rooms near the High School (former
Headquarter of the Flak school). Getting money from German governmental
institutions or foundations is not easy but we are working on it very hard.
WE also need money for office equipment - things we need for documentation,
for instance a copy machine and computer.
You might think: Why couldn't she get to the point earlier in this letter?
The answer is: To Germans the idea of sponsoring still is somehow
"strange". I think Americans for instance are much more relaxed about it.
For them it's probably more "normal". I personally think asking you for
money somehow is like knocking at the wrong door. German institutions
should spend more money in our work because dealing with history the way we
try to do is essential for democracy. But to be honest: Our
association and our themes -as: prisoners of war, prisoners of the
concentration camp, slave workers, prisoners of the Soviet "Filtration and
Screening Camp" etc. - are much less popular than the affairs of the local
"Rabbit Breeding Association". *
From what I`ve written you can see that I`m not really good for this sort of
campaign. If you think me a silly German girl writing in English in a rather
German way, that means writing sentences almost without an end but, if you
consider our word being necessary and okay and if you have got some money
left over to donate we would be grateful and happy if you gave us some of
I hope you are all well and send you best wishes
Chairwoman - Förderverein Dokumentations- und Begegnungsstätte Barth
P.S.: Apology for my funny English.
* Our effort is to have our share in changing this attitude but we have to
consider that this is a long-term job.
A Message from Helga Radau
In May 1945 inmates of Stalag Luft I saved my life and helped many young
German women not to be raped by soldiers of the Red Army. When the
Kriegies were evacuated the local people were indeed very sad and full of
fear. What would happen to them now?
In 1985 the first American Kriegies visited Barth to celebrate the 40th
Anniversary of Liberation. The town's square was crowded with thousands of
citizens and they welcomed very warmly the former prisoners of Stalag Luft
I. At that time an American Kriegie wrote to Phil Gibbons - the leader
of the first large group - that it would be nice to create a museum at
Barth to document the history of Stalag Luft I.
Since 1991 I've collected a lot of material on Stalag Luft I, first of all
reports of British, Canadian, Australian and - last but not least - American
Thanks to you and others I have gotten a lot of books on this subject, there
are a lot of photos, other items and there is the wonderful model of the
camp and another one of the concentration camp. It would be so important to
make a permanent exhibit. As Sigrid already said, we could get a large room
from the town, and we don't need to pay for it. But we need some
furniture, the room has to be renovated, we have to pay for electricity,
In June 2002 another small group of Kriegies will visit Barth. They will
stay at Zingst at a weekend, and of course, they would like to see the
model, photos, books etc. All these things are on different places at
the moment. I wished we could show our dear guests a professionally created
documentation in the large
room near the old Flak School. Every year former Kriegies or their
next of kin visit Barth. It is my greatest desire to make the stay at
Barth for them as interesting and comfortable as possible.
Unfortunately it is not possible without your support. We need not
only money but also all kinds of material for a fascinating exhibit.
"Nobody And Nothing Has Been Forgotten" - that's also the title of the book
I wrote on the history of the concentration camp. I guess I have
corresponded with more than 200 former inmates of Stalag Luft I and. their
families since 1992. And I am in contact with former prisoners
of the concentration camp as well.
I am trying to give all of them the feeling that their imprisonment and
suffering, the death of their camp fellows at my beloved hometown Barth
will never be forgotten. We are fighting for understanding, friendship and a