Much has been written about Stalag VIIIB/344 Lamsdorf, but nothing brings home the reality of what was experienced by the prisoners of war as forcefully as the words of those men themselves, often written at the time, or on their return home.
Lamsdorf Camp was huge and was a complicated and every-changing experience for each of its inmates. Nobody's experience was exactly the same as anyone else's, and many situations and events took place that some were aware of but that many others had no knowledge of at all. Lamsdorf was not just one camp of course, as there were hundreds of working parties that operated as individual camps where life was often quite different to that of the main camp.
What comes across in personal, first-person accounts are the real feelings, emotions, hopes and despairs, comradeships and enmities, achievements and failures, triumphs and disasters and so much else that can only truly be described in their own words.
Do you know of a former POW who was at Stalag VIIIB/344 Lamsdorf (and/or its working parties) who wrote (or recorded) about his experiences? Maybe he kept a diary at the time, or perhaps wrote about it afterwards or made a voice recording. I am looking for first-person accounts of these POW experiences that are in their own words – that is to say, not written by someone else.
I am already part-way through compiling a book entitled ‘Lamsdorf – in their own words’. If you had a relative who wrote such an account and you would like to contribute it to this anthology, please get in touch with me.
The subjects to be covered will include:
The journey to Lamsdorf
The Long March
After the War (eg the lasting effects of being a POW as experienced in later life)
What to send
It doesn't matter if the text you have is long or short. It doesn't have to cover all of the topics shown above.
Any relevant texts will be very gratefully received. Any text that is received might be used in full or in part. They will not be used as one continuous text but extracts will be included under relevant chapters (see the topics listed above). I hope to use all contributions that are received, but I cannot guarantee to use everything that is received, nor to use every text in full. If there is a large response, there might not be room for every contribution submitted, and of course it will be necessary to select extracts in a way that avoids repetition of similar facts or descriptions etc. and to exclude anything that is not particularly relevant.
Each extract used will show the name of the POW concerned, and the book will include a list of the names of everyone who has sent contributions.
What to include
When sending contributions, please include: The name of the POW who wrote the text (full name, not initials) His service (ie army, navy, air force etc), regiment, unit, squadron, ship etc) His nationality. If there is some crossover here, please explain: eg a US citizen serving with the Canadian forces; a French citizen serving with the UK forces, etc. Don't forget to include your own name and your relationship to the POW concerned.
It might be possible to include some photographs in the book, though this is not guaranteed. If you have a relevant photo you are welcome to attach it with your email. Please include some information about the photo.
It is assumed that by sending your contribution for this book, you are giving your permission for it to be used in full or in part for this purpose.
It is planned that publication will later this year (2019). Everyone who has contributed to the book will receive a free e-book copy.
How to send your contribution
You can send your contribution in the text of an email, or as an attachment: Word, .odt, or pdf.