Stalag IX-B

Stalag IX-B also known as Bad Orb was a World War II German Army POW camp at Wegscheide close to Bad Orb in the province of Hesse, Germany. It had the reputation of being one of the worst Stalags, especially when it was overcrowded in 1945. The camp was also the site of a segregation and removal of Jewish American troops, who once identified, were taken to the Labor camp Berga located in eastern Thuringia 12 km south of Gera

Timeline

* The camp was established in December 1939 and initially housed Polish prisoners sent to work in the area, especially the salt mines.
* June 1940 many French taken prisoner during the Battle of France arrived.
* In 1941 Yugoslavian prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign, mainly Serbs.
* 1942 and 1943 Soviet prisoners arrived and later Italians after the Armistice with Italy.
* Finally in late December 1944 Americans arrived that were captured in the Battle of the Bulge, approximately American 4,700 infantrymen were located here, far exceeding the capacity of the camp resulting in very severe conditions, even though officers and NCOs were later transferred to other camps.
* In January 1945 the commandant ordered all Jewish prisoners to step forward out of the daily line-up. At first none did. But after standing several hours 130 came forward. However the commandant had been requested to provide 350 for the transport. Troublemakers, including Pfc J.C.F Kasten, the elected camp leader (born in Hawaii of German-American parents), were then selected including anyone who "looked Jewish". The group were taken by train to the Berga labor camp.
* Early April the camp was liberated by the US 44th Infantry Division.

Labor camp Berga

The 350 men traveled in locked box cars, without food or water, for four days. The camp was under command of Lt. Hack and was a slave labor camp, totally contrary to the rules of the Third Geneva Convention. The POWs were put to work together with inmates of the Buchenwald concentration camp digging 17 tunnels for an underground ammunitions factory, some of them 150 feet below ground. As a result of the inhumane conditions, malnutrition and cold, as well as beatings, 47 prisoners died. The US military authorities never acknowledged the incident.

On 4 April the 300 surviving American prisoners were marched out of the camp ahead of the approaching American troops. After a 2½ week forced march they were finally liberated. During this march another 36 Americans died.

Prisoner escape

During an air-raid, while the camp lights were extinguished, Hans Kasten, Joe Littel and Ernst Sinner, wriggled under the wire and escaped from the Berga labor camp. Their freedom lasted only a few days. Trying to get food at the inn of a small town, they were arrested and taken to Gestapo headquaarters. After identification as POWs they were taken to Buchenwald and placed in detention cells. Most likely they would have been killed like many other escaped prisoners (see Stalag Luft III and Oflag VI-B). Fortunately for them the Buchenwald Camp was liberated by the US Army three days later.

ources

* "Forgotten Victims" ISBN 0-8133-3064-5 - by Mitchell G. Bard
* [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/vhp-stories/loc.natlib.afc2001001.12002/narrative?ID=pn0001 account of Pfc. Kasten]

ee also

* List of POW camps in Germany
* Stalag

External links

* [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/berga/beyond/camp.html PBS Overview of Stalag IX-B]
* [http://44thdivision.efour4ever.com/stalagix.htm 44th Infantry Division's Liberation]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/27/magazine/27PRISON.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5090&en=9629d5012ee0febb&ex=1267246800&partner=rssuserland The Lost Soldiers of Stalag IX-B in The New York Times Magazine]
* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/berga.html The Soldiers of Berga in the Jewish Virtual Library]
* [http://www.lonesentry.com/badorb/index.html Stalag IX-B Photos]
* [http://www.usd407.org/rms/windholz/StalagWebPage/index.html memories of Stalag IX-B]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stalag — Luft III. Stammlager (abreviado, Stalag) fue en el III Reich la denominación de un campo para prisioneros de guerra en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. La denominación exacta era Mannschaftsstamm und straflager. En los Stalags podían ser internados, de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Stalag IV-B — (or Stalag IV B) was one of the largest prisoner of war camps in Germany during World War II. Stalag meens the german noun Stammlager . The main camp was located 8km NE of the town Mühlberg in Brandenburg, just east of the Elbe river and about 30 …   Wikipedia

  • stalag — [ stalag ] n. m. • 1940; mot all., abrév. de Stammlager « camp d origine » ♦ Hist. Camp allemand, pendant la guerre de 1939 1945, où étaient internés les prisonniers de guerre non officiers. Stalags et oflags. « l une avait son fils et l autre… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Stalag II-B — was a German World War II POW camp situated one and a one half miles (2.4 km) west of the village of Hammerstein, now the Polish town Czarne, Pomeranian Voivodeship on the north side of the railway line, (53°41′N 16°58′E).ContentsTimeline* The… …   Wikipedia

  • Stalag ii-a — Le Stalag II A Neubrandenburg est un camp de prisonniers de guerre de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, situé à Fünfeichen, près de Neubrandenburg, dans le Land de Mecklembourg Poméranie occidentale, dans le nord de l Allemagne. Sommaire 1 Chronologie… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Stalag IV-G — (sometimes referred to as Stalag IVG or Stalag 4G)The administrative headquarters of Stalag IV G were in Oschatz, a town situated between Leipzig and Dresden in Saxony, Germany.At 11 16 March, 1945 there were 4457 British and 776 American… …   Wikipedia

  • Stalag ii-d — Le Stalag II D Stargard est un camp de prisonniers de guerre de l Armée allemande, pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, situé près de Stargard, aujourd hui Stargard Szczecinski, en Poméranie, à 30 km à l est de Szczecin. Sommaire 1… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 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… …   Wikipedia

  • Stalag XI-B — was a German Army POW camp near Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony, north western Germany. Timeline* Originally a work camp at the west end of the huge German Army training grounds Bergen, it was transformed into a POW camp at the end of 1939, to… …   Wikipedia

  • Stalag II-D — Stargard was a World War II German Army Prisoner of war camp located near Stargard, today Stargard Szczecinski, in western Pomerania, 30 km east of Szczecin. Timeline * The camp was established on military training ground in September 1939 to… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.