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The Liberation of Stalag IX-B POW Camp

On February 9, 1945, the State Department sent an urgent telegram to the Secretary of State. The message informed him that thousands of American soldiers, captured during the Battle of the Bulge, were being held at a notorious German POW camp. It stated that Stalag IX-B was “previously not (repeat not) known to be a large American camp.” The POW camp, also known as Bad Orb-Wegscheide, was located near Bad Orb in Hesse, Germany. After receiving reports of the horrific conditions in the camp, plans immediately got underway to liberate the prisoners. On April 2, 1945, an American task force broke through the German line and drove 37 miles through enemy-held territory to rescue the prisoners of Stalag IX-B.

Telegram informs military officials that Americans are held at Stalag IX-B

Stalag IX-B was a German Army training camp during WWI, but in 1939, the Wehrmacht seized it and converted it into a POW camp. The camp housed prisoners from at least eight countries, including Americans, which began arriving in December 1944.

During the Battle of the Bulge, some Americans were captured and sent to Stalag IX-B. The first group, numbering nearly one thousand, was taken prisoner on December 17, 1944. They were forced to march for four days, only receiving food and water once. Then they were packed into boxcars for the five-day trip to Stalag IX-B, again only receiving food and water once. Those that were wounded were denied medical attention and suffered tremendously. The prisoners finally arrived at Stalag IX-B nine days later, but camp officials were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of POWs. They lacked beds, food, and supplies. The appalling conditions of the camp were indescribable.

Report on Stalag IX-B

In January 1945, the International Red Cross visited Stalag IX-B and reported on conditions. They described 1,300 men sleeping on the floor and others sleeping on vermin-infested straw or mattresses. Many of the barracks had broken windows, and the POWs lacked blankets or coats. There were no washing facilities and insufficient toilets. They gathered a list of soldiers imprisoned there, noting some had already passed away. At another visit in March, a report noted conditions had gotten even worse, with prisoners suffering considerable weight loss, disease, non-existent hygiene, and small portions of food.

Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds

Included among the Americans held at Stalag IX-B were Jewish-American troops. During one daily line-up, the camp commandant ordered all Jewish prisoners to step forward. Roddie Edmonds quickly spread orders that his men should stand firm. He then responded with, “We are all Jews here.” For this act of bravery, he was awarded Righteous Among the Nations, the first American soldier to be so honored.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, a reconnaissance task force comprised of members of the 2nd Battalion, 114th Regiment, US 44th Infantry Division, the 106th Cavalry Group, and the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion broke through German lines and went ahead of the main body of American forces. They arrived at a hill overlooking the town of Bad Orb. When a German garrison opened fire on the American position, they answered with machinegun fire and artillery shells throughout the night. Finally, Germany withdrew its troops. The following morning Stalag IX-B was turned over to the Americans, many of whom wept when they saw the condition of the emaciated prisoners.

If you would like to learn more about Stalag IX-B or other WWII POW camps, see our collection of WWII records and search Fold3® today!

116 Comments

  1. James Pitts says:

    There was no 776th Tank Division. It was the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion that provided M-10 tank destroyers in support of this mission. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_IX-B for more details about this mission and the history of the camp.

    • Jenny Ashcraft says:

      Thanks James! I will edit the text and clarify.

    • James Pitts says:

      Glad I could help.

    • Willard says:

      Good point. I didn’t notice that myself. The US had a lot of divisions in WWII(a division is 20,000 men), but we didn’t get as high as 776.

    • James says:

      I recently met a gentleman at an assisted living in Cumming Ga. who was in this prison. He was 99 and would been 100 in September, sadly he passed away in May 2021. His name was Henry Freeman.

  2. lillie Gallagher says:

    Do you have the name and ordering information for a documentary re a POW who was rescued by Gen Patton. The General who was rescued was his son-in-law, General Watters. There is a documentary of the story re the rescue, but I don’t know where to find it and/or order a copy. Thanks. Lillie

    • Don Fox says:

      You can find a detailed account of Task Force Baum in the book “Final Battles of Patton’s Vanguard – The United States Army Fourth Armored Division”

    • Glenn Russell says:

      That POW camp was OFLAG XIII-B in Hammelburg. The name of the book about the failed attempt too free these men is “Raid” by Abraham Baum, etal

    • Patricia Martin says:

      Was it Stalag Lift III? My father was a POW there and it was liberated by Patton.

    • The documentary is Oflag 64 A P.O.W. Odyssey
      Robert Galloway Media, LLC
      The story was featured on Public Television and used to be on Amazon Prime. I will see if I can find out where to purchase.

      My late father was a prisoner at this camp, as well as other P.O.W. camps in Germany and Poland. I heard many of the stories from my father.
      And yes, Lt. Colonel John Waters was one of the senior officers of Oflag 64 in Szubin, Poland. The P.O.W’s from Oflag 64 were marched west to Germany in January 1945. They ended up in the P.O.W. camp in Hammelburg, Germany, where the attempted rescue took place.

      For more information on Oflag 64, check out:
      oflag64.us
      friendsofoflag64.org (I am a board member of this foundation)
      and szubinpowcamps.org

      Thank you for the story! It is nice to know that others are interested in this.

  3. Angela Cohen says:

    The book Task Force Baum is available on Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/Task-Force-Baum-James-Shipman/dp/1496723864

  4. Tony Greiner says:

    In the early 1980s, I lived in Las Vegas, and met an older fellow, (Meaning maybe 65) an American who had gone over early and joined the Royal Air Force. I can’t recall his name, but I’ll refer to him as Mike. Mike ended up on the crew of Lancaster Bombers, big four-engine planes equivalent to B-24s and B-17. They mostly did night missions, but he told me of a time they had a raid deeper into Germany than usual, and so took over and gathered together earlier in the day. Looking out at the assembled mass of bombers, he thought to himself “Man, you are part of something here.” Later his plane was shot down and he was captured and put in a POW camp.

    I don’t know if it was Stalag IXB, but he did tell me it was Patton’s command that liberated the camp. He made an oath to himself that if he ever met someone in that command, he would pay them back. He had a contracting business in Las Vegas, and sure enough, was asked to use his backhoe to dig out a swimming pool for a fellow who turned out had been under Patton. Mike was so proud of being able to dig that hole, shake the man’s hand, and say “no charge, and I still owe you.”

  5. Julia says:

    My uncle is as a POW held in Germany. Is there a way to find out a list of soldiers who were held in that camp? He never talked about it

  6. Tammy says:

    My dad was one of those POW’s. As he was being marched to Stalag IX B, they spent one night in a jail. A prisoner already in a cell tried to strike up a conversation with him. My dad would only reply name, rank, and serial number. 40 years later, he was reading the 94th Division “Attack” magazine and a soldier’s account of that night. He contacted him. Sure enough, it was the same man, now an attorney in New York. 40 year old mystery solved.

  7. Kelly Geohegan says:

    My great uncle was liberated from Stalag IX-B. He was captured February 8, 1945 and was first sent to Stalag 12A, later transferred to Stalag IX B. He lost 35 to 40 pounds during his capture.

    • Katherine Quann says:

      Do you know which company your father belonged to? Was he captured in France? I am trying to obtain add’l information about my father’s capture. I do know it was in France where he was captured. There were only a handful who were captured in France held at the camp. He was captured after January 1, 1945. I do know that much. Thank you.

    • Martha Howell says:

      My great uncle was imprisoned there also. He made it through, but died in the mid-50’s from complications related to contracting TB in the camp, and also what we now call PTSD. Our elders just said “he was never the same.” He had never been out of Iowa/Minnesota before the war.

    • Richard Schwartz says:

      My uncle went underground in Greece when the Germans arrived. Eventually he was captured. When they were marched out for their weekly shower, the Greeks would stand around him so that the Germans would not notice something about him was different.

    • Jim Sotherden says:

      Kelly,

      My dad was captured December 19 in Luxembourg. He too was taken to Stalag XII A & later sent to IX B. Do you know what unit your uncle was in?

  8. Josie Marquez says:

    My dad was in this POW camp in Germany..He spent 129 days and caught frost bite and was treated really bad…He remembers the bad conditions ..The cell was a pill box and said he had to learn alittle bit of German so he would know what the Germans were saying…! Since being prisoner to his death in 1989 had problems with his feet due to the frost bite..
    He never said much cause I think he was suffered a small case of PTSD..!

    • Jim S says:

      Josie,

      My dad was in the camp as well. One of the very few things he shared about this experience was a time when allied bombers unloaded around the clock for 48 hours in the vicinity. He and many others were terrified that the bombs would hit the camp.

  9. Dale Tracy says:

    Don Fox is correct in that this was not the same camp where Patton’s son in law was held. that was Stalag XIIIB. My father-in-law was held in that camp and told of the raid by American forces giving the prisoners a brief bit of freedom. My father-in-law also had trouble with his feet due to frostbite. The TV series Hogan’s Heroes was to have been based around Stalag XIIIB.

  10. Tony Greiner says:

    Permela is a troll. Even checking Wikipedia shows that the statement of mass starvation is false. Even the official history of the war written by the Germans has total deaths of German Prisoners in American hands “could not have been greater than 56,000, approximately 1% of the over 5,000,000 German POWS in Allied hands (exclusive of the Soviets.)

    It isn’t the media that lies- its the trolls.

  11. Colleen McCarthy says:

    Bacque does not make his case. If it is true, one would expect first-person documents stating so, including interviews with those who experienced it. Maybe he is correct in his assessment; if he is, he needs to prove it according to the standards of a scholarly historic work.

  12. Steve Blackburn says:

    My Uncle was there. Captured stringing phone lines.

    • Katherine Quann says:

      Can you share what unit your father belonged to when he was captured? Thank you if so. My father was part of Company 179; part of the 45th Division. He was captured in France and taken to Bad Orb – Stalag IX-B. We believe in early January 1945.

  13. Orie Thompson says:

    This is where my Father was a POW.

    Orie A. Thompson Sr.
    God rest his Soul

    • Garyesue says:

      Very sorry that you missed out on your life together. My brother and I had a dad that was in the Navy and was not captured.

  14. Richard Rosenzweig says:

    I studied the history of POWS Camp Barga I believe was in Germany in WWI. The story I heard at the State Department is similar to the program I heard at the State Department by a Medic
    with history of Camp Barga is very similar to the Stalag story.

  15. Justin says:

    My Grandfather was apart of the 107th infantry that surrendered I believe outside of St Vith on the first 2 days of the battle of the bulge and they spent the rest of the war at the POW Camp in bad orb. Wallace Brain .

    • Katherine Quann says:

      This is fascinating to note. I learned of the account of the surrender of the 107th outside of St. Vith and even visited the location in November of 2019. I did not know they were taken to Stalag IX-B.

    • Matt Wiedlin says:

      More likely the 106th Infantry, that was their fate. My dad was in that unit, and was also captured near St. Vith in that time frame.

    • Laurie Wolf says:

      My maiden name is Brain. Could we be any relation? My parents were born and raised in Wisconsin but moved to California after they married.

      Laurie Wolf

  16. Katherine Quann says:

    My family visited the campsite of Stalag IX-B in November of 2019. Today it is once again a Children’s Summer Camp. After the war, the buildings were torn down and new one built upon the same foundations. The buildings look just like the previous buildings so the camp has not changed. Even the stone walls are there along the main road.

    We stayed at an AirBNB in the area and the owner of the AirBNB, upon learning why we wanted to visit, obtained permission for us to go onto the campsite to see it in person. It is locked to the public otherwise.

    If you’d like to visit the camp, I can provide you with the name of the AirBNB where we stayed and the owner can make arrangements for you.

    When you look at the pictures taken the day of liberation; you will see pictures of the German Commander of the camp surrendering. That house behind him, where he had his command, that house still stands today.

    • Roy Orkins says:

      Katherine
      My Uncle died in the camp Jan 1945. His name George Edris is on the dollar bill with other men’s names who died are recorded. I visited the camp twice about 20 years ago but I couldn’t find anyone to let me see the camp or knew about the history. That was fortunate you found the AirBNB.

  17. Rich says:

    The author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was also captured at the battle of the bulge and was sent to Dresden where he survived the bombing and fire storm of that city in a underground meat locker where the prisoners were kept. He wrote about the experience in the book “Slaughterhouse- Five”. Besides being a novel, it is a very informative factual account.

    • Andrea Joscelyn says:

      My father, John Albert Swett of the 243, H was also in the same co as K. Vonnegut. My father was captured 12/17 and sent to Stalag 9b. Vonnegut would not attend the yearly reunions of the 106th. Bless them all.

  18. Katherine Quann says:

    This is video footage taken on the day of liberation of Stalag IX-B .

    http://lonesentry.com/badorb/list/prisoners.html

  19. Jim Sotherden says:

    My dad was in this camp. He was captured in the Bulge on December 19th. He was in HQ Company of the 707 tank battalion. Thankfully, he made it home.

  20. Katherine Quann says:

    Pictures taken of the memorial to the Russian POWs from the camp. Most of the Russians were horribly tortured, had dogs sic’d on them until dead, horrible horrible deaths – and the POWs were forced to watch. These pictures were taken in recent days of the memorial. I hope this site works:

    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x47bd2c86dce28715%3A0xd7cc1fa59f191a4a!3m1!7e115!4shttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.tracesofwar.com%2Fsights%2F78888%2FRemains-Stalag-IX-B.htm!5sStalag%209B%20Bad%20Orb%20Hessen-Nassau%2C%20Prussia%2050-09%20-%20Google%20Search!15sCgIgAQ&imagekey=!1e1!2shttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.tracesofwar.com%2Fupload%2F6823160128232141.jpg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjIu6GZo8TgAhUkm-AKHbneD3EQoiowCnoECAIQBg

  21. Joanne says:

    My dad’s cousin was in this camp, according to the excerpt from his obituary below. Thanks to the people who posted the list of POWs, which verifies that. I am grateful to see this information so I can learn more.

    “He achieved the rank of captain while serving in the 106th Division 422nd Infantry H Company. Mr. Albertson was captured during the Battle of the Bulge and held prisoner by the Nazis in stalags 9B, 13B and 7A until he escaped with the Ill-Fated Baum Expedition.”

    • Joseph P Bohner says:

      I’m sure my uncle Sgt. Paul W Bohner was probably interred here. He was a sentry on duty on December 16, his birthday, when he was captured, and marched to a prison camp.

  22. Sou de Natal RN, Brazil
    Foi construída a maior base aerea dos USA, durante a 2 guerra mundial (II WWW) (Parnamirim FIeld), 1940/1945
    Sou estudante de Historia, gostaria de receber qualquer material deste período, na minha cidade.
    Gratidão

    Manoel Gentil Marinho Pessoa Neto
    Rua Jose de Alencar, 878 Bl B apt 101
    Cep 59025-140
    Natal RN
    Brazil

    [email protected]

    • FRichard Rosenzweig says:

      The Camp was not a registered POW location until after the other POW locations became overcrowded because the number of POWS exceeded capacity from the German surge to the West. However, that camp was operating as a location the Germans opened previously to place roundups of Jewish persons
      from Hungary and other jurisdictions as well as other dissidents. It was also mentioned in the presentation that the other prisoners already there
      were amazed that the POWS were in good physical shape and did not recognize their uniform!
      It did not take long for the forced labor the POWs were forced to perform to see them lose weight and over a few months to see their decline.
      by the time the Camp was liberated only about 1/3 of the POWs were rescued alive. Again this was U.S, POWs who were transferred to this location
      thought to be Jewish.

    • Katherine Quann says:

      Você terá que procurar no Google por essas informações – ou no Fold 3. Não faz parte desta página. Não temos essa informação. Boa sorte.

  23. Sou Estudante de Historia da II WWW,
    Procuro fotos, vídeos, filmes sobre
    ROAD PARNAMIRIM /NATAL
    PARNAMIRIM FIELD,
    NATAL CITY,

    Qualquer material de Natal City e Parnamirim Field durante 1940/1945

    Gratidâo

    Manoel Gentil Marinho Pesso Neto
    Rua Jose de Alencar, 878 BL B Ap 101
    Cep 59025 – 140
    Natal RN
    Brazil

    [email protected]

  24. Donna says:

    I don’t believe no such thing about Eisenhower or any American Commander intentionally or not.
    Just because a Canadian writer wrote an article/book doesn’t make it true.
    Ever hear of the Geneva Convention?

  25. Sallie Hobbs says:

    My father in law Louis Hobbs — Louie — from Odessa, MO. — was a P.O.W. at Bad Orb. He was captured at the Battle of the Bulge. When the US troops liberated the camp, one of the tanks contained a buddy of Louie’s from his home town! His name was Mack Green. Louie climbed aboard the tank and they spent some time driving around the countryside. Don’t know if you would spell that A.W.O.L. or what. 🙂 It was reported in the Odessa newspaper.
    One Sunday afternoon in the 1990s, Louie was riding with me to visit his grandson at camp. Louie spent almost 2 hours telling me about his capture and time as a P.O.W. What a gift that was. He had never told his family anything about being a P.O.W. I was wishing for a tape recorder the whole time.

  26. Roy Orkins says:

    Katherine
    My Uncle died in the camp Jan 1945. His name George Edris is on the dollar bill with other men’s names who died are recorded. I visited the camp twice about 20 years ago but I couldn’t find anyone to let me see the camp or knew about the history. That was fortunate you found the AirBNB.

  27. Vernon Schmidt says:

    A very interesting story of Stalag 1XB. My brother, Glenn Schmidt, A-242 of 42nd Rainbow Division was wounded & captured on Jan. 9, 1945 near Hatten, France,liberated April 2, 1945 & lists the 44th Inf. as his liberator. Junior F. Chester, AT-242 states his liberation same as Glenn, but states tanks from 2nd. Cavalry was his initial contact with his liberation on same day. These are 2 stories in the Book “Hold At All Costs” published in 2004, stories of men of the 42nd Division who tell their stories of combat, wounded, & captured in early 1945. Glenn’s story appears on pages 442-446, & Junior’s on pages 65-67. I was a soldier of the 90th Inf. Division during combat in Germany in 1945, then in late 1945 was transferred to the 2nd Cavalry. During my 9 months with this Armored Unit a member of the 2nd Cav .told me about their tanks breaking down the fence of Stalag 1XB near Bad Orb, Germany on either April 1 or April 2 of 1945. I recognize that stories of WW!! can sometimes be the way or time a GI remembers his particular day, & I find that a woman named, Katherine Quann,has done a lot of research on this prison camp as noted in several places in this dialogue of Stalag IXB which is very interesting. Vernon N. Schmidt, 90th Inf. Div. WWII

    • Katherine Quann says:

      I am honored to read your story. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your service.

      My father, Harvey Franklin Yates, served with the 179th attached to the 45th Division and was also captured in early January 1945 in France – near the Rhine. He was part of the Rhineland Campaign as opposed to the Battle of the Bulge. He came in during Operation Dragoon at the south of France and moved north to northeast – and was then captured and shipped to Bad Orb – Stalag IX-B.

      I have searched diligently for stories of his capture and my family has traveled to France – following the footsteps of his journey – ending at the Prison Camp in Bad Orb – where we were provided the opportunity to tour the camp. Today it is a Children’s Camp – which is what it was prior to being a POW camp. The original buildings were razed following the war and new building that look identical, were built on the same foundations. The stone wall seen in many of the pictures taken by the photographer embedded with Patton’s men, the stone wall still stands today – making it easy to note exactly the location the pictures were taken. It was a very moving visit for sure.

      The day of liberation is noted as April 3rd – but the U.S. Military arrived prior to that – encountering fire power from the Germans. But the official records state his day of liberation as being April 3, 1945 – having been part of the ‘France’ campaign.

      May God Bless You and Thank You for your service.

      Katherine Yates Quann
      Daughter of Harvey Franklin Yates
      179th Company – 45th Division

  28. Ralf says:

    I can’t speak for the mass starvation of German troops after World War Two. However, my father was in the German Luftwaffe from 1942-1945. At the conclusion of the war, he turned himself in to the Allies. The Americans placed him in camp with thousands and didn’t feed them for five days while Red Cross food packages were left to rot outside the prison gates. After a few weeks, he was sent to a Belgian coal mine where he stayed until 1948. During those three years, my father was the only one of his original group to survive. His parents thought him to be MIA as they weren’t informed of his capture for over eighteen months (until Christmas of 1946). The Americans’ attitude towards the Geneva Convention was that it only applied during times of war. Since the war was concluded, these German POWs were classified as convict labor to make them exempt from protections afforded by the Geneva Convention. Nevertheless, I’m glad that my father eventually immigrated to the US. He always referred to himself as a German by birth but an American by choice.

  29. Vernon Schmidt says:

    Dear Katherine, enjoyed your comments, you found my e-mail so use it & we’ll get more acquainted as I’d like to share a bit of the 45th & 42nd Divisions as
    both had distinguished service in WWII, as did the 90th & 2nd. Cav.

  30. Ron Carroll says:

    Do you also think The Holocaust never occurred?

    Do you believe The Big Lie?

    Facts matter. A link to a wiki article summarizing a book, not written by a historian, is not a primary source. Did you even read the ‘Reception and criticism’ part of the wiki article?

    Your definition of a lie seems to be anything that you do not want to believe.

  31. Rich says:

    I believe that the Jewish holocaust and the treatment of German prisoners in the Rhine Meadows camps both occurred. It is a documented fact that the German POWs were deliberately re-designated as “DEF” (Disarmed Enemy Forces) for the only reason of circumventing the Geneva Convention and keep the IRC or any other aid from the prisoners. Whether you believe either one actually happened is dependent on the facts. Only the numbers are suspect.

  32. Barbara H Franz says:

    Check with your local library to see if they offer Ancestry as one of their free on line data bases. All you need is a library card, which you can sign up for on line. They will be glad to give you the information on signing up & how to use Ancestry from your home.

  33. Nancy Brandon says:

    My father-in-law was liberated from this camp. He was only there for a few months so he was emaciated but not dead as some of his fellow soldiers who were there for longer were. We have pictures of him feeding men after liberation. Some ate so fast on canned peaches they got sick so he had to take care in feeding them. He had horrible stories my husband documented.

    • Katherine Quann says:

      Hi Nancy, Is there any way to get in touch via email (or other). I’d like to learn more of the stories of the camp.

      My father was held there; but I do not have many stories. I do know he shared that the reason they lived is b/c the “German Fraus” [ladies] would sneak food to them. I only know this from my father.

      Thank you,
      Katherine Quann

    • Nan Brandon says:

      I’ll see if my husband has any more stories. This was his father that was the POW. Despite the depredations and horrible living conditions, he did tell me that by the time he was sent to Stalig IX-B it was close to the end of the war, even the German soldiers at the camp were low on food. He surprisingly didn’t seem to hold much hate for any individual German soldier. He did have nightmares the rest of his life though. The fear held on.

  34. Paul A Smith says:

    PFC Merle Leroy SMITH, age 21 died as a German Prisoner of War during a forced march. He died in transit and was buried in a single grave in Topen, Germany. 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, Company M. Captured on December 20th, 1944 at the Battle of the Bulge near Luxembourg. Marched to Bad Orb POW camp and then to Bad Sulza near the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp. In March 1944, he and a number of other prisoners were marched toward Bavaria as the Americans closed in on the camp. He died on April 9th near Topen, Hof, Bavaria, Germany. The cause of death is listed as malnutrition. Patton’s 6th Armored Division liberated Bad Sulza on April first. When Merles body was found, it was first reburied in the Lorraine Cemetery near Saint Avold in France. PFC SMITH was permanently buried in Dysart, Iowa. He was my uncle.

    • Jim S says:

      Paul, thank you for sharing this about your uncle. A true American patriot and hero. One of the class of the greatest generation.

  35. Jack H. McCall says:

    Knoxville, Tennessee just recently dedicated (two days ago, in fact) a marker in honor of MSG Roddie Edmonds. See: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/columnists/georgiana-vines/2021/08/09/downtown-marker-commemorates-knoxville-wwii-hero-roddie-edmonds/5516551001/ . Also, when I was stationed in the Army near Bad Orb circa 1983-85, I recall seeing the marker that Katherine Quann mentioned in memory of the Soviet POWs who were murdered there in 1945. What a grim and ghastly place Bad Orb was, for both GIs and also for Russian POWs. May the souls of these men rest in peace.

  36. Richard Schwartz says:

    When the Wehrmacht siezed Stalag IX-B in 1939, who did they sieze it from?

    • Jenny Ashcraft says:

      Richard, the prison was first built to house German/Prussian troops. Later it was turned into a children’s summer camp. Then the Wehrmacht seized the camp.

    • Katherine Quann says:

      The camp was originally a children’s summer camp. The German Nazi Military then confiscated it and used it for training soldiers. From there it became a holding station – accepting POWs prior to their being transferred. Once the numbers became so great, it became a POW camp in and of itself and no longer just a layover holding station for POWs. My father was also held here.

      We visited the camp in November 2019, and it looks very similar to what it looked like then. They razed the buildings and built new ones using the same foundations and the buildings look the same. The roads are still there including the stone wall seen in many of the pictures taken on the day of liberation. We were able to match up the stone wall to the exact location a picture was taken – by looking at how the stones were lain in the wall.

      Katherine

    • Jenny Ashcraft says:

      Love reading all of your comments Katherine. Thank you!

    • Richard Schwartz says:

      I would like to see my uncle’s house in Salonika some day. During the war, it was occupied by Christians, and after the war my uncle was unable to recover it. (There was a civil war in Greece after WW II, with the Fascists battling the Communists as usual.) Eventually he emigrated to Mexico and did very well there, eventually retiring as a language professor. His last instruction to me there was, “Don’t ever try to speak French to me again!” I did much better in German and Spanish.

  37. Kyra Schuster says:

    Regarding the Jewish-American POWs, many of them were asked to identify themselves and in mid-January 1945 they were moved into separate barracks at IX-B. A few weeks later, in early February there was a selection of 350 GIs who were chosen for forced labor and sent to Berga, a sub-camp of Buchenwald, near Bad Orb. Only about 75-80 of the men were Jewish. I have been researching this specific camp and the 350 POWs for a number of years, so if anyone is seeking information about them, or has info they would like to share, please feel free to contact me.

    Kyra Schuster
    Curator, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Washington, DC
    [email protected]

  38. David Christie says:

    Jenny,
    My father was in Stalag X1B Fallingbostel. Do you know records of the prisoners released from there.
    He was in British Army…David Christie Service # 3187188. Captured in Holland…His POW # 118589
    He never spoke of this. Only when researching past 10 years did I know of any of this. Please help if you can.
    Thank you
    David Christie
    Arroyo Grande, CA. (I was born in Scotland like my father who did survive this awful camp)

  39. Tom H. says:

    Getting back to the original article, the task force that is mentioned in the article was composed of 2nd Bn 114th Infantry Regiment with the following attachments:

    1 platoon, Co. B, 772nd Tank Bn
    1 platoon, Co. C, 776th Tank Destroyer Bn
    1 platoon, Co. B, 63rd Engineer Bn
    Co. B, 119th Medical Bn.

    The 106th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron made first contact with Stalag IX-B at Bad Orb. The mission of the task force was to secure the town of Bad Orb and the POW camp. This is all taken from copies of 44th ID, 106th Cav Recon Sqn, 114th Infantry, and 776th TD Bn documents from the NARA in College Park and the Eisenhower Presidential Library WWII US Army Unit collection.

    The reference made to the “2nd Cavalry” was probably the 2nd Cavalry Group to which the 106th Cav Recon Sqn was attached during the period of 1-5 April 1945.

  40. I know the Germans were generally meticulous record keepers. My father (now deceased) was a POW in Stalag VII-B, having been captured during the “Battle of the Caves” at Anzio, 23FEB44. I have many of his records and even his POW ID bracket. Over the years he related to me stories of his 3-4 escape attempts. I’m interested in finding German records of POW’s in the hopes of gleaning a few details of his time as a POW from the German perspectives – if such records exist. Is anyone aware of if and where one might find these records?

    • Michael D. Garcia says:

      Randy Patrick greetings I have a great uncle we believe was captured at Anzio during the fighting that took place in that region. We also believe he died in German custody but have been unable to locate him as we’re unsure of the exact name he used for enlistment. If you should discover any records for Anzio related POW’S and could share the information I would greatly appreciate it my email is [email protected] Thank You

  41. Joyce Nelson says:

    Have you heard of Aliceville AL?? My husband & I discovered it over 10 years ago while driving across the state from North Carolina to Dallas. It is a very small rural town off the main highways BUT at a crossroad for 2 rail lines. It was where a German POW camp was placed for the US. The buildings were put up, the towns people worked at it with the help of the Army. One train brought the POWs the other the supplies. It was an amazing place. Locals were employed and the POWs survived. There is a book about it ‘Guests behind the Barbed Wire’ by Ruth Beaumont Cook. I bought it in the small gift shop museum in the town. It was run according to the rules of war. They provided the proper calories, officers were not required to work. Most of the German soldiers were NOT Hitler lovers. Bottom line the POWs became close to the towns people. They also learned to like peanut butter which they were given to supply them with the required daily calories! Our government gave each some money per day that they were incarcerated. The money was saved for them until they were released. They were kept in the camp for several years after the war as Europe was a mess. After they were returned home many organized & came back to Aliceville for a reunion with the town members, bringing wives & children. It is a remarkable story. Of course the United States did the honorable thing with the POWs, certainly NOT the Germans nor the Japanese. I knew nothing about Aliceville until we drove to it from an article I read in a AAA travel book.

    • Joanne says:

      I believe there was also a POW camp for German prisoners in Louisiana. I recall an exhibit at the WWII Museum in New Orleans and they said that the Germans were treated so well at the camp that many of them stayed in the US and became citizens.

    • Rosemary Iacovella says:

      There were several German POW camps across the Unites States. I was doing research regarding my father’s service at Camp Blanding, Florida and found out that Camp Blanding was the major German POW camp in Florida along with several smaller camps around the state. The German POW’s picked fruit, harvested sugarcane and other things as replacements for the American civilians gone to war. Some had fond memories of their time here and came back to visit in later years. If you’re interested in reading more about the German POW’s in Florida, read Hitler’s Soldiers in the Sunshine State by Robert D. Billinger, Jr.

  42. I want to learn more

  43. The Germans were horrible to everyone and anyone who stood in their way. Terrified of Hitler.

  44. Richard Rosenzweig says:

    to Joyce and others who are interested

    The U. S. government program for captured Axis prisoners was to follow the Geneva Convention protocols which were to treat them humanly,
    not as the Axis powers treated our soldier POWs!

    To add salt to the wound our Black soldiers returning Stateside either for R & R or end of enlistment were treated as less than second class citizens!
    placed in separate cars with less comfort extended to our enemies! And food don’t ask!

  45. Matt Wiedlin says:

    To Jenny Ashcraft

    Thank you for the video link documenting the liberation of Stalag 9B. I was surprised to see how healthy the POWs looked. I suspect the film is somewhat misleading. My dad was a POW at Stalag 9B. He entered camp on Christmas Eve 1994 and was there when the Americans liberated the camp. Fortunately he wrote a detailed memoir of his WWII experience. I know that he suffered from hepatitis, frostbitten feet, lice infestation, and starvation. Prior to the Battle of the Bulge, I expect my dad weighed around 150 lbs. When he was liberated he weighed less than 100 pounds. From what he told me, his was not a unique situation. He mentioned that when they got trucked out of Bad Orb, to an American encampment, perhaps in France, they got to take their first shower in months, get sprayed with DDT, and I presume got some clean clothes. He said when the next truck of POWs came in, he almost gagged at their stench. Of course, that same day he smelled just like them!

    • Jim Sotherden says:

      Jenny, I would love to read your dad’s record of his experience. Is that even a possibility? My dad also came home weighing about 100 lbs. according to what I heard growing up.

    • Nan Brandon says:

      I missed where the video link is Would love to see IXB liberation

  46. Matt Wiedlin says:

    To: Laurie Brain Wolfe

    Are we related? I’m fairly certain there are no Brains in the Wiedlin Clan! I’ve not hear of a family connection. But our parent may well have known each other, especially if your Dad was in Stalag 9. My mother was raised in Wisconsin and that’s where Mom and Dad started their family. We moved to California in the 1960s.

  47. Brenda Lehmberg says:

    There was a prisoner of was camp at Brady , Texas
    My father was in the 36th devision and was captured 3 different times. He managed to escape each time.

  48. Lynn Cooper says:

    Tomorrow, 8/25, a Memorial Service is being held at Fort Logan Cemetery, for our dear WWII veteran friend, Clayton Nattier. He was a B-17 Pilot who flew many missions until his plane was shot down over Germany. In spite of a tremendous fire in the cockpit, Lt. Nattier continued flying the plane to give his crew more time to bail out. He suffered severe burns on his hand and face. Most of them survived, three didn’t make it out in time. He spent a couple years as a POW in Stalag Luft 1. Nearing starvation, Col. Zemke finally convinced the Commandant to let the Red Cross parcels through, which saved many POW lives. Please say a special prayer for Clayton Nattier, as we say our goodbyes to a true hero that endured so much! Thank you. – Lynn Cooper / Colorado Eighth Air Force Historical Society

  49. Paul Field says:

    I collect WWII POW tags. The British have a list which match the German issued POW tag (Serial Numbers) to a British combatant. Is there such a list for US personal?
    Thank You

    Paul.