|Controlled by||Nazi Germany|
|Occupants||Polish, British, French and Soviet prisoners|
Stalag XX-A was a German World War II prisoner of war camp located in Thorn/Toruń, Poland. It was not a single camp and contained as many as 20,000 men at its peak. The main camp was located in a complex of fifteen forts that surrounded the whole of the city. The forts had been built at the end of 19th century to defend the western border of Kingdom of Prussia.
History[edit | edit source]
In September 1939 some of the forts were used as POW camps for Polish prisoners, specifically those captured after the surrender of the Polish fort at Westerplatte at the mouth of the river Vistula and on the Hel Peninsula. In June 1940 additional forts were added to the camp to accommodate British soldiers. The first to arrive were 403 men from the Allied campaign in Norway. Later about 4,500 arrived from Dunkirk and subsequently from the British 51st (Highland) Infantry Division captured at Saint-Valery-en-Caux. In 1941 and 1942 Soviet prisoners arrived. At the peak there were about 10,000 prisoners at the camp. However many of them were located in sub-camps. The camp was liberated on 1 February 1945 by the Soviet Army.
Sub-camps[edit | edit source]
In accordance with the Third Geneva Convention, POWs below the rank of Sergeant were required to work and were attached to Arbeitskommando ("labour units"). They were hired out to military and civilian contractors. In the case of farm work, this was often carried out on state farms. Sergeants and above could not be forced to work and if they did so were sent to non-working camps. Some of these sub-camps were not the traditional POW camps with barbed wire and guard towers but merely accommodation centers. Some camps were large and created for a particular project.
- Camp 34 - Construction of a large housing project for German colonists.
- Elbing camp
- Konitz camp
See also[edit | edit source]
- List of prisoner-of-war camps in Germany
- Peter Conder
- Okey Geffin
- Sam Kydd
- Tommy Macpherson
- Frank McLardy
- Airey Neave
- Brian Paddon
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- "Stalag XXA POW Camp". The Wartime Memories Project. http://www.wartimememories.co.uk/pow/stalag20a.html.
- "Stalag XXA". The Pegasus Archive. http://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/pSt_20A.htm.
- "Prisoner of War Experiences". 51st Highland Division. http://51hd.co.uk/pow.
- "Stalag 20A Thorn on the map". gps-practice-and-fun.com. http://www.gps-practice-and-fun.com/stalag-20a.html.
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Kydd, Sam (1974). For You The War Is Over. London: Futura. ISBN 0-85974-005-6
- Morrison, Charles (1989). We've Been A Long Time Coming Boys. Haddington: Albyn Press. ISBN 0-284-98840-5
- Longden, Sean (2005). Hitler's British Slaves. London: Constable. ISBN 978-1-84529-519-6.
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