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.

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Stalag Luft I - E-mail us

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A Request for help from Barth:

Dear Mary and Barbara,
Helga and all of us are happy to have the contact  now. And we are happy too to know you will help us.
From the town of Barth we received an old apartment for our "Dokumentations- und Begegnungsstätte".
We intend to create a great exposition, archives and a library on the theme KZ Barth and Stalag Luft 1
moreover a room for seminars.
We need new windows and doors, an electric installation, floor and show cases for the exhibits and we need also precious copies.
Maybe You can help us a bit to finance all this.
Take care, best regards
Our international banking number:  DE 20150505000570005957
                                    Identifier:  NOLADE21GRW 


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 Barth. 


An Open Letter from the Chairwomen of the Documentation and Dialogue Center of Barth Association:

Dear friends,

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 well.

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 "peacemaker".

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 it.

I hope you are all well and send you best wishes


Sigrid Götsch
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 Kriegies.

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, heating  etc.

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 peaceful world.

Kind regards



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