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


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 possible.

 Sign or view our Guestbook

Visit our
Online Store




If you would like to
  help us keep this website online, please click on the above PayPal link, where you may make a monetary contribution to this site using your credit card.  Thank you.



Stalag Luft I - E-mail us

Click to send us e-mail

Luft Magazine - published at Stalag Luft I - Volume 2 - May 1943














I do not intend to write a Foreword to "Luft" each month, but I feel the Camp would like me to express our appreciation to the editors and staff of our magazine for the excellence of the first num­ber produced last month. Although we have a duplicator, the actual process of running off the cop­ies is by no means as simple as it sounds, and the editing, typing and binding, not forgetting the hand painting of the 100 first copies, entailed much hard work for all the staff.

We have now moved into the other Compound, and with our Theatre well on the way towards completion, and the expert musicians newly arrived from Sagan, I hope this will be the sign for plenty of activity from the Entertainments branch.

We are opening very soon a Reference Library and Quiet Room in the Church Building. This has proved extremely popular in other camps, and I hope everyone here will help to ensure that this room is not misused but kept for quiet private reading or study.

As the Commandant has kindly given permission for us to send a copy of our magazine to the British Red Cross in England and also to Sagan, I take this opportunity of letting them know we are in good heart and sending them our best wishes.


J.C. MacDonald
Group Captain
Senior British Officer





















In our last issue we pointed out that it is not our primary ob­ject in this Magazine to supply amusement for the Camp although if the camp wishes to be amused in our pages it is up to them as individual contributors to provide material of this nature: and we shall take great pleasure in publishing it. We do not intend however, to devote our pages entirely to humorous sketches and we shall not allow them to occupy valuable space to the exclusion of those of a more serious nature.  

The main objective of this magazine is to provide a medium through which individuals can give expression to their own ideas, and bring to bear upon the ideas of others a spirit of intelligent criticism. Many people either through a. desire to please or a reluctance to offend others are unwilling to express an opinion and still more afraid of contesting the opinions of others. The difficulties are easily understandable, There are always two sides to an argument and a great deal to be said for both and we feel that the ultimate issue will be in no way affected if we simply ­repeat arguments which are contrary to what we believe or allow them to be expressed without stating how inconclusive we find them.  

It is however most paralyzing for the mind to await the judgment of others before venturing to state one’s own and to follow the opinions which are considered fashionable and which prevail in those circles in which one is accustomed to move. It is particularly easy when politics or social problems are being discussed to find oneself in a hostile circle and timidly accept without criticism what it said. On these occasions the man who has no conviction usually falls out while he who has an op­inion, however disagreeable, and is not afraid to express it, commands respect.

It is the spirit of intelligent criticism which creates the intellectual atmosphere of an age; and today in particular with the mass of material at our disposal, both written and spoken, it is even more necessary that form should be imposed upon chaos.  There was never a time when criticism was more needed than it is today, for it is only by its means that humanity can recognize the road upon which it is traveling. 

Our educational system fills the memory with laboriously acquired facts and crams it like an overflowing portmanteau with all the equipment which we consider necessary for the journey through life. It teaches people how to remember but neglects to teach them how to think. It is criticism which takes this un­wieldy mass of knowledge; connects its miscellaneous elements, co-ordinates them, and gives it form. It throws a spotlight upon the dark recesses of the mind and develops in it a keener apprehension and discernment; thus things which have been lying latent and forgotten acquire meaning and are revealed in clearer outline. It is a cheap jest which that a critic is just an artist who has failed, for in the hands of criticism lies the thread which guides us through the labyrinth of material ideas manufactured around us every day.

Finally, we repeat, it is not the editors who write this magazine; and it rests with the camp either to amuse or bore themselves through the medium of its pages. We, the editors, have the pleasure and privilege of publishing those articles sub­mitted to us and only exercise our discretion in refusing those we consider too badly written.


Per Roy Kilminster:

The German authorities had granted permission to use their duplicator to produce copies of the magazine. To do this, we were escorted into the German part of the camp, with an armed guard always in attendance. On one occasion, myself and the NCOs camp leader at the time, 'Tom' Kevin May, were doing the actual duplicating. Having finished the procedure, Tom had a brainwave - he placed all the printed sheets on top of the duplicator, which hid it from direct view. Tom lifted both the printed sheets and the duplicator and carried all into our own compound without the guard noticing anything amiss.
Unfortunately, when the guard returned to his office he immediately saw that the duplicator was missing and rushed back to the prisoners' compound demanding its return, otherwise there would be serious reprisals. Tom tried to bluff it out, but eventually realised that it was useless and returned the duplicator. Fortunately for our forging activities, the guard did not realise that some of the duplicating ink was also missing. It was this special ink that enabled me to put the police stamps onto the forgeries.  The duplicator base being replaced with the table jelly as described in "Secrets of the POWs"...
Rather naturally, I think that was the end of the Luft Magazine.




This site created and maintained by Mary Smith and Barbara Freer, daughters of Dick Williams, Jr.