Stalag VIII-D was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp (Stammlager) located at the outskirts of Teschen, (now Český Těšín, Czech Republic). It was built in March 1941 on the grounds of a former Czech barracks. It was later known as Stalag VIII-B.
The camp was created in 1941 as the base camp for a number of work-camps (Arbeitskommando) for prisoners of war working in the mines and industries of Upper Silesia. By early 1942 they housed 7,000 prisoners from Belgium, France, Poland and Yugoslavia. In June 1943 it was placed under the administrative control of Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf and was renamed Stalag IV-B/Z. In November 1943 there was another reorganization, Lamsdorf was renamed "Stalag 344", and a large number of prisoners were transferred to Teschen, which became Stalag VIII-B. Because of these organizational and number changes there is considerable confusion in accounts of prisoners, even in official German records.
At the end of 1943 within Stalag VIII-B Teschen there were about 50,000 Soviet prisoners, and another 10,000 from other countries, including Great Britain, the Commonwealth and Italy. In general, the conditions in the main Teschen camp and in all the sub-camps were deplorable.
Among the sub-camps of Stalag VIII-D Teschen were:
- Kommando E535 - Coal mine at Milowitz, mainly New Zealanders.
- Kommando E715 - IG Farben's Buna Werke, Monowitz, 1,400 British prisoners from the North Africa campaign.
Evacuation and repatriation
From 21 January 1945, many of the prisoners, particularly British and Commonwealth, were marched through Nazi-occupied Czech lands to Stalag XIII-C in Bavaria or Stalag XIII-D Nürnberg. The march, in temperatures of -15 °C to -20 °C, caused great distress and many prisoners died. The Czech people in the villages and towns, through which they passed, passed food and clothing to them. Many prisoners managed to escape and were sheltered in private homes. The men were marched along country roads towards the Oder, first north towards Dresden, then when the Germans changed their mind, south towards Bavaria, eventually reaching Stalag XIII-D near Nuremberg.
- Wawreczka 2001, p.82.
- Nichol & Rennell 2002
- Novák 1990, p.130.
- "List of POW Camps ("Kriegsgefangenenlager Liste")". Moosburg Online. 2012. http://www.moosburg.org/info/stalag/laglist.html. Retrieved 30 April 2012. (German)
- Novák 1990, p.131.
- Nichol, John & Rennell, Tony (2002). The Last Escape : The Untold Story of Allied Prisoners of War in Germany 1944-1945. UK: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780141003887. http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141003887,00.html.
- Novák, Jiří (1990). Český Těšín ve staré fotografii. Český Těšín: Městské kulturní středisko.
- Wawreczka, Henryk; Irena Adamczyk, Vlasta Byrtusová and Janusz Spyra (2001). Cieszyn wczoraj i dziś / Český Těšín včera a dnes. Český Těšín: Wart. ISBN 80-238-7590-6.
- White, Joseph Robert (2001). ""Even in Auschwitz... Humanity Could Prevail": British POWs and Jewish Concentration-Camp Inmates at IG Auschwitz, 1943-1945" (PDF). UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 266–295. Digital object identifier:10.1093/hgs/15.2.266. OCLC 474014078. http://www.csub.edu/~mbaker2/white.pdf.
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