|Sagan, Lower Silesia|
|Controlled by||Nazi Germany|
Stalag VIII-C was a German World War II prisoner-of-war camp, near Sagan, Germany, (now Żagań, Poland). It was adjacent to the famous Stalag Luft III, and was built at the beginning of World War II, occupying 48 ha (120 acres).
The camp was built in September 1939 to house several thousand Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. In a ruthless breach of the Third Geneva Convention most of these prisoners were deprived of their P.O.W. status in June 1940 and transferred to labor camps.
French and Belgian soldiers taken prisoner during the Battle of France took their place, many of them from Algeria, Morocco and Senegal. In 1941 more prisoners arrived from the Balkans Campaign mostly British, Canadian, Greek and Yugoslav. These were followed by Soviet prisoners from Operation Barbarossa. In late 1941 nearly 50,000 prisoners were crowded into space designed for one third that number. Conditions were appalling, starvation, epidemics and ill-treatment took a heavy toll of lives. By early 1942 the Soviet prisoners had been transferred to other camps, particularly to Stalag VIII-E, Neuhammer.
In mid-September 1943, further numbers of British, ANZAC, and South African prisoners began to arrive by train from Italy. Most of these men had been previously been captured during the course of the Western Desert Campaign in North Africa, and had since been detained in Mussolini's Italy. However, upon news of the Italian armistice, German forces were directed to seize administration of the Italian prison camps, and within weeks, began the process of entraining allied p.o.w's. for transfer north, into Germany; many were sent to Stalag VIII-C.
Evacuation and repatriation
In early February 1945, many of the prisoners, particularly British and Commonwealth, were marched westward ahead of the Soviet offensive. The German camp command destroyed all documentation and evidence of the crimes committed. 14 February the Red Army entered the camp. They later used the camp to house German prisoners. In 1961 a monument was erected at the cemetery in remembrance of the thousands who died and are buried here. In 1971 the "Martyrdom Museum of Allied Prisoners of War" was established on the site of the camp to house mementos and records of both Stalag VIII-C and Stalag Luft III.
- "Camps (POW) in Zagan". Serwis Muzeum. 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- Sorsby, John Lesley. "Account of forced march from Stalag 8C : 8 February—10 March 1945". BBC WW2 People's War.
- Stalag VIIIC recent video footage
- Stalag VIIIC and Stalag Luft 3 POW Camps Museum in Zagan, Poland