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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday May 27 11:36 PM

May 28th, 2016: Stalag IV-B

Stalag IV-B was Germany’s big one during the big one.
The camp, covering about 30 hectares (74 acres), was opened in September 1939. First inmates were 17,000 Polish soldiers captured in September 1939. In May 1940 the first French soldiers arrived. In 1941 British, and Australian soldiers arrived from the fall of Greece, and later in the year Russian. In September 1943, more British, ANZAC, and South African soldiers, previously captive in Italy. In October 1944 several thousand Poles of the "Home Army”. December 1944 about 7,500 Americans arrived from the Battle of the Bulge. Altogether soldiers from 33 nations passed through the camp. Many thousands died in that camp.
April 23rd, 1945, the Red Army liberated the camp, freeing all the prisioners… except the Brits and GIs. They were held another month.

But the story here is camp publications. Only one of each issue was made and circulated., or posted on a wall. Welsh soldiers created a periodical called Cymro between July 1943 and December 1944. March 1944 to December 1944 the Scottish prisoners were served with The Scotsman and The Scotsman Special Sports Supplement. The Brits published three for short periods, The New Times, The Observer, and the Flywheel.

Tom Swallow organized The Muhlburg Motor Club and created the Flywheel for busy work.

The Flywheel was founded by Tom Swallow, and comprised pages from school exercise-books that carried hand-written articles with colour illustrations from whatever inks the editorial team could produce from stolen materials, like quinine from the medical room; these were stuck into place with fermented millet soup, kept from the meagre camp rations. One copy per issue was produced, to be circulated among members throughout the camp. When extracts were published in hardback format in 1987, the book ran to two reprints.

These guys did an incredible job under impossible conditions, working from memory and scuttlebutt from new prisoners. Tom Swallow had his colon and ileum removed as a result of the camp.

I found a number of pages from different sources, way to many for IOtD, so I made a thread for them here.

I highly recommend taking a minute to read about Tom Swallow and PC Harrington.

DanaC  Saturday May 28 05:22 AM

That's amazing. Thanks for posting.

Gravdigr  Saturday May 28 12:50 PM

Yes, Bruce, thank you for this post and the pic thread companion. Considering the conditions and circumstances...impressive.

Your reply here?

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