Stalag 3A. Two hundred thousand prisoners of war passed through its gates during World War II, beginning in 1939. Those remaining in the camp at the close of the war were liberated by the Russians in April 1945. Approximately 5,000 died from disease, starvation, cold, brutality and neglect.*

In April 1945, the Stalag held approximately four thousand American POW's in a compound separated from other nationalities. Crowded four hundred men to a tent, the day to day routine was an exercise in misery, hunger, cold, and lice. A chief preoccupation involved tediously removing individual lice from one's garments. Showers were a rarity and only two outdoor faucets provided fresh water for the prisoners. Survival for American prisoners was largely contingent on the erratic receipt of Red Cross parcels. Indeed, if the war had continued for another season, many prisoners would have succumbed from malnutrition and associated diseases.

Separate compounds were established for British, French, Italian and Belgian prisoners of war.

The same was true for other nationalities. An especially large compound housed Soviet POW's, who numbered in the thousands. Since the Soviet Union was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention, which enacted rules for the treatment of prisoners of war, Soviet prisoners were subjected to especially harsh and brutal treatment. Indeed, it is likely that Soviet prisoners accounted for the vast majority of deaths in the camp.

Stalag 3A prisoners served the German war industry and provided labor for households of civilians in the town of Luckenwalde, a picturesque town approximately thirty miles south of Berlin, which had been largely untouched by the ravages of the war.

This website is dedicated to the thousands who were incarcerated in this infamous Nazi POW camp, to those who survived its horrors and to those who perished. It is our intent to provide as broad a picture as possible of Stalag 3A, and to invite those who were fortunate to survive as well as those who were in any way acquainted with it to contribute their stories, eyewitness accounts and documentation for the sake of posterity.

*Uwe Mai: Kriegsgefangenen in Brandenburg, Stalag III A in Luckenwalde 1939 - 1945, Metropol Verlag, Berlin 1999, 239 Seiten.

To view images and Diary as written by Flight Sergeant David Berrie, RAF. POW in Stalag 3A near Luckenwalde in Germany. Click Here

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Leo Finegold - Publisher of this website and a former POW at Stalag 3A