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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Stalag Luft I - E-mail us

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   Lt. Roland H. Martin

Shot down 10/14/43

Stalag Luft I POW

E-mail Roland at


My name is Roland H. Martin. I was a POW in Stalag Luft 1 from November 1943 to evacuation in 1945. I was in the North compound during that time and have a memory which I will share with you. Upon reading "Speeches at a Conference in Barth", Sept.8,2001, I was stuck by the short narrative by Irvin Stovroff: the separation of Jewish POW's at Stalag Luft 1 in 1945. This is my experience on that date.

We were ordered out of the barracks but not for the usual snap role call.  At one end of the parade ground several small tables, as I recall card table size, with an orderly seated and an officer flanked by an armed guard standing behind each table. We were formed into lines facing each table and one by one each man at the head of the line was ordered to take four or five steps forward and clearly sing out name, rank and religious affiliation(!). This was then checked against our dog tags: C-Catholic, P-Protestant, H- Jewish (how many religious designation we had I don't know).  As we stepped up the C's the P's the others, were ordered to stand in a group to the left. H's responding Hebrew or Jew were put in a group to the right. In my line, several men behind me was a Jewish officer, tan as a lifeguard, shaved head and his most distinguishing feature was a long flowing mustache which oiled or waxed into upcurling ends.  It was one of those things you could do with time on your hands and little better to do.  By the time he got to the head of the line he had figured out what the line was for, as had the rest of us, and we waited for him to be marched to the forlorn group marked for nothing good. His name I have forgotten but it was unmistakably Jewish and was indelibly printed on his dog tags; let me call him Morgenstern, also imprinted on his tag was that same letter "H" which all his Jewish comrades had been required spoke out. Morganstern stepped up and never missing a beat called out Morganstern, Captain, Hindu.  At least three Germans listened to him, looked at him and the one at the desk checked his dog tag and ordered him to join the group on the LEFT!   As Irvin Stovroff told the little known or remembered story of the "separation of the Jews" we know they were held in a separate barracks but the war came to a close before Hitler's orders could be carried out. To my knowledge this story has never been told, except by "Morgenstern" who must have recited it more than a few times to friends and family.




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