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 THE STALAG III C CEMETERY IN ALT DREWITZ

 

The Nazi P.O.W. camp  - Stalag III C in Alt Drewitz (at present Kostrzyn-Drzewice) functioned in 1938-1945. It comprised one of the most important centre of the Nazi forced stay during World War II. It was a territory of the unprecedented example of breaking of the Hague and Copenhagen conventions from 1907 and 1929, respectively. The camp was destined for privates and N.C.O.'s. The prisoners of war of various nationalities were interned here: Czech, Polish, Belgian, French, Dutch, English, Yugoslavic, Greek, Russian, Italian and American. More than 70 thousand P.O.W.'s stayed there during the camp's functioning.

 

In October 1939 there came approximately 7 thousand Polish soldiers. In September 1944 some several hundred of Warsaw Upraisal fighters were imprisoned here. The Stalag III C had more than 30 branches, where prisoners of war were used to execute different kinds of work for the German economy, such as war industry, drainage works, country estates, individual farms, motorways and railways' construction, etc. The living conditions in the camp were inhuman; they were breaking all resolutions of the international conventions. The camp lacked the elementary social and living conditions. The prisoners of war were converted into forced  laborers and pressed into forced labor like slaves. The camp in Alt Drewitz comprised an inhuman example of P.O.W.'s treating during World War II. The prisoners were starved, nagged and beaten. There were a lot of examples of persecution, humiliation, lynch and public executions. As a result of the Nazi terror as well as the camp conditions almost 12 thousand people died, most of them French and Soviet prisoners of war. The Stalag III C cemetery was tidied up in 1962. The prisoners who were murdered and who died here were laid in six mass graves of a total length of 340 meters.

 

The cemetery is decorated by the monument presenting three busts of P.O.W.'s as well as the commemorative plate with the following engravement: " The cemetery of the P.O.W.'s from 1939 - 1945. The Nazi murdered 7 thousand allied prisoners of war here. Peace to their memory !"

In 1966 the French combatants, the camp's prisoners, founded the commemorative plate with the inscription: " The tribute to all our colleagues who died in bondage. The pilgrimage of French prisoners of war in 1962 and 1966."

 

In 1989 the Combatants' Society Circle from Kostrzyn nad Odrą founded the commemorative metal cross in the south-western wing of the cemetery. It is the tribute of the Kostrzyn society to the Stalag III C victims.

 

History