Stalag XVII B

Photos

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Photo of Barracks 36A (the one my father was in) taken by a prisoner with a camera he got by bribing a German guard.

On rare occasions, a prisoner might be able to bribe a German guard to get a camera and film. But it was dangerous, both for the prisoner and the guard, and both faced harsh punishment if caught.

The photograph above was taken by an American prisoner (perhaps Ben Phelper, who did manage to get a camera and film) and given to my father. The photo is actually only 2 inches tall and 3 inches wide. It shows Barracks 36A - the one my father was in. It was tucked into his diary. 

Below are some photos of the camp and prisoners. French prisoners arriving. Lining up for chow. Before permanent structures were built, the camp consisted almost entirely of tents, with piles of straw for beds. The building with most of the outside wooden slats removed was the latrine; prisoners would steal the outside wood for fuel for the single stove in each barrack.

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