One of the last liberated POW camp was Oflag VII A Murnau in Bavaria, Germany, were over 5 thousands officers of Polish armed forces were held. It was considered by Germans to be a model camp.
Those who were detained there took up different artistic and sport activities – there was a POW theatre, workshop were conducted, lectures given. There was an extensive library and mutual aid organizations existed. Also escapes took place. The attempt of one of them, made with the use of a 40-meter dug up tunnel, became the groundwork of the film's script , directed by Marek Wortman - The Big Dipper (1987).
At the end of April 1945, on the news about approaching Allied troops, the Germans left the camp and handed over the control of place to one of the prisoner, General Juliusz Rómell. 75 year ago, on 27th of April 1945, American soldiers from the 12th Armored Division liberated the camp. All of it happened in very dramatic circumstances. On the same day, in the afternoon, from direction of the town, German military cars in charge of higher SS officers whose orders were to murder the POWs, turned up. Shoots were fired at the camp direction. Fortunately, from the other direction, American tanks appeared, from which fire was opened to the attackers, thus saving the prisoners.
In 2015, we published a monograph on the camp, Captivity in the shadow of the Alps. Oflag VII A Murnau, written by prof. Danuta Kisielewicz, and the history of this camp, recorded in photographs from the collection of Olivier and Alain Rempfer, was presented by us at the exhibition.
CMJW jest instytucją kultury Samorządu Województwa Opolskiego,
współprowadzoną przez Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego