After the end of the war campaign, a part of the territory of the conquered Poland, mainly its Western and Northern territories, was incorporated into the Reich (eingegliederte Ostgebiete). New civil, military and police administration units were established on October 26, 1939. Pomorze Nadwiślańskie (Vistula Pomerania) and Kujawy (including also the area of the former Free City of Danzig and a part of East Prussia) became a part of the new 20th Military District (XX Wehrkreis) while Wielkopolska and the Land of Łódź (1940-1945: Litzmannstadt) – of the 21st Military District (XXI Wehrkreis). The remaining territories, i.e. the Upper Silesia and also the Land of Ciechanów (Zichenau) and the Land of Suwałki (Sudauen) were incorporated into the already existing military administration units – respectively the 8th (VIII Wehrkreis) and the 1st Military District (I Wehrkreis). In the year 1941 came also the new administrative unit – District Bialystok (Bezirk Bialystok).
In autumn 1939, new structures of the prisoner-of-war system, including new camps, command units and guard units (party based on the already existing structures which were formed as early as the Polish campaign), began to be formed on the Polish territories incorporated into the Reich. The system was basically formed by the end of 1941.
Prisoners of war became an important source of cheap labour force needed by the Reich economy during the war time. The first to stay on the Polish territories incorporated into the Reich were the Polish prisoners of war (until spring 1940) who were then replaced with the prisoners of war from Britain and the British Commonwealth, the French prisoners (including those from Alsace, Lorrain and the North Africa) and finally the Belgian (Walloons and the Flemish) and Norwegian prisoners. A year later, there came also prisoners of war from Yugoslavia, mostly Serbs. Some of the American POWs were kept here too - mostly at Oflag 64 in 21st Military District.
The most important events which took place later include the arrival of many thousands of Soviet prisoners of war (most of all, in summer and autumn 1941) as well as the ”interned Italian soldiers” (September-October 1943). A separate category included interned sailors from military and commercial fleets (French, Soviet and Finnish) or, for example, Slovak insurgents (1944). Some of them were sent to concentration camps instead of prisoner-of-war camps in violation of the war law.
The structure and the number of the prisoners of war on the described area significantly changed in the second half of 1944, one of the reasons for that being the evacuation of prisoner camps located in the eastern territories.
The purpose of the research is to publish a possibly comprehensive monograph of the prisoners of war in German captivity that stayed on the Polish land incorporated into the Reich in 1939-1945.
Areas of research:
- Formation, development and functioning of the German system for administration of prisoner-of-war camps
- Camps, sub-camps and prisons for prisoners of war:
Stalags: XX A Thorn, XX B Marienburg, XX B/Z Danzig-Bischofsberg, XX B/Z Danzig-Oliva, XX C (312) Thorn-Süd, XXI A Schildberg, XXI B Schubin (Altburgund), XXI B Thure, XXI B1 Schokken, XXI B2 Schubin, XXI C Wollstein, XXI D Posen, XXI E Grätz, 301 Schieratz, VIII D Teschen, I F Sudauen
Oflags: Thorn (a part of Stalag XX A Thorn), XXI A Schokken, XXI B Schubin (Altburgund), XXI C Schildberg, XXI C Schokken, 10 Hohensalza-Montwy, 64 Altburgund, 68 Sudauen
Dulags: 202 Deutsch-Neuwelt, 240 Litzmannstadt
Ilags: 21 Chludow
Heilags: XXI Schildberg
Stalags Luft: 2 Litzmannstadt, Sonderlager Ost Sudauen
Marlags (including Marlags-Dulags): Gotenhafen
Military prison for convicted prisoners of war: Wehrmachtgefängnis Graudenz
- Number, location and nationality of the prisoners of war
- Forced labour of prisoners of war
- Supervisory system, layouts of prisoner-of-war camps and sub-camps, guard units
- Escapes and underground activity by prisoners of war, relations between civilians and prisoners of war
- Healthcare, sanitary conditions, death rate, prisoner-of-war cemeteries
- Cultural, sport, scientific, publishing, educational and religious activities carried by prisoners of war
- Crimes committed on prisoners of war (including the judicial crimes)
- Evacuation of camps at the beginning of 1945
Statements, memories and documents of former prisoners of war which have been published or kept in private archives are extremely valuable for studying these issues. If you happen to have such sources, I would be extremely grateful for contacting me. For my part, I am ready – to the best of my abilities – to help you find answers to whatever questions you may have regarding e.g. a location of a specific prisoner-of-war camp, its detailed history etc.