Anniversary of the evacuation of Stalag 344 Lamsdorf

In January 1945, it became obvious that in the face of the advancing from the east Red Army, the Germans would have to cease operations of the prisoners-of-war camps which are on the path of the approaching army. It was in accord with the international war law, but also so that the soldiers held there would not join the ranks of the Third Reich's enemy.

The sick, unable to march, prisoners-of-war left the camp first, as well as - in the last transport by rail - a 300 group of captured Warsaw insurgents, who reached Stalag X B Sandbostel only after 10 days. Those who remained at Lamsdorf faced with a very difficult ordeal - surviving the last stage of their prisoner-of-war journey: an evacuation march to the West. The first to set off were the British POWs - starting on 22 January 1945, 10,000 Commonwealth soldiers marched out of Britenlager over the next few days formed columns of about 1,000 men each. The British prisoners-of-war (more than 12,000 in total) from the working parties subordinate to the mother Stalag, scattered across the region, also joined the march. Immediately afterwards, other POWs set off on a similar journey: the Polish, Soviet, Yugoslav and Italian soldiers.

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