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.*
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.
compounds were established for British, French, Italian and
Belgian prisoners of war.
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.
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.
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.
Mai: Kriegsgefangenen in Brandenburg, Stalag III A in Luckenwalde
1939 - 1945, Metropol Verlag, Berlin 1999, 239 Seiten.