Stalag_IVb_Muehlberg_Saxony_Germany.jpg

Stalag IVb, Muehlberg, Saxony, Germany

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Location: Muehlberg, Saxony, Germanymap
Surnames/tags: Stalag_IVb POW WII
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The goal of this project is to ... Chronicle and document the history of Stalag IVb during World War II, including those intrepid men who called themselves Kriegies before it fades from memory and history, as those who knew of them and their plight ( sons & daughters) pass from the scene also. At the time the camp opening in 1939 the bulk of the prisoners were French, Moroccans, Serbs Belgians and one Australian. It was also used as a Transit Camp for processing prisoners to other work areas. An International Red Cross report stated that, there were seventy-thousand POW’s in the camp, at the time of liberation. Official German records though indicated the total number of prisoners at Stalag IVb, at being just below twenty-thousand. The number of POW’s could have risen to seventy-thousand in the camp. Because as the Allies advanced into Germany, many camps in the west and east were evacuated and prisoners moved. The camp official records indicated that permanent detainees included: (917) French and Moroccans, (779) Dutch; (2,569) Italians soldiers incarcerated when Italy switched sides, (1,604) Danish freedom fighters and political prisoners (9) Belgians, (205) Poles, (which included women freedom fighters captured during the Warsaw Uprising), (497) Serbs, (7,262) British, which included English, South Africans, Canadians, Indian, Burmese, Gurikas, Australians and New Zealanders, (2,753) Americans, (4000+) Russian. More than 6,700 people would die in this camp

Stalag IVb was operated by the German Military from 1939-1945. From 1945 -1948 it became Special Camp No. 1 operated by the NKVD ( The Soviet Secret Service) for the incarceration of discontents. ( see images for more information of Stalag IVb)


Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Lawrence Bailey.

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Identify individuals both Prisoners and Guards

History and back ground of the camp, including liberation by the Russians The connection to the aftermath of the Dresden Firebombing

  • The holding of the Stalag Ivb prisoners in the city of Resia after the war.

Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!





Memories: 9
Enter a personal reminiscence or story.
My father, Clinton H. Hutton, was a private in F Company, 2nd Battalion of the 329th Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division during WW II. His regiment landed in Normandy on June 23, 1944 and he was captured by the Germans on July 4th, 1944, just south of Carentan, France. His mother received a letter from the U S Government in January, 1945 stating that he was a POW in Stalag 4B and his prisoner of war number was 81592. the following is a personal account from my father of his time as a POW, including a reference to Stalag 4B. " We were marched across France, our feet frostbitten, before being loaded on boxcars for transport to Germany. During the trip, the trains were often hit with friendly fire, forcing us to take cover. During one of these raids, one of the other captives ran too far and was killed by the Germans, who thought he was trying to escape. We were moved among many different Prisoner of War camps, and finally placed at Stalag IVB. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, my son Walter had been born on July 4th, the same day I was captured. I would later look back on that day and note that my wife and I both went through hell that day. However, as I had requested Blanche was not notified of my MIA status until July 15. Later she was also contacted by several strangers, some outside of the US, who had heard me identify myself as a POW on a Ham radio broadcast. The government notified her in November that I was indeed being held as a POW. She knew I was alive, but not if or when I would ever be returning home for her and my child. I was held in the POW camps for 10 months. We were not tortured, though the Germans forced us to stand at attention for hours in an attempt to get us to divulge information. I was given only 3 Red Cross packages during my imprisonment, though often German villagers would leave food for us as they passed by. Though Blanche tried to send me several letters, I only received two or three. At least I was reassured that she and Walter were doing well, and that they missed me terribly. I attempted to escape on one occasion with 3 or 4 other prisoners. We were able to simply walk away from the camp when the guards were not looking. We walked through several small German villages before being stopped by a Nazi general who promptly returned us to the camp.Eventually it became clear that the war would soon end and that the Germans would be defeated. On May 7, 1945, the German guards changed into civilian clothes and told us that we were free. They walked with us toward the American lines until they turned to go one direction and pointed us in the other. We were overjoyed when before long we came upon American soldiers, who greeted us with much celebration and even cigarettes. Sent from Debra A. Pratt
posted 8 Sep 2019 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
Standing there, remembering, looking back across time, I see the past rising again. The stark frame of the arched gateway is there, the clock, the armed guard staring down. Main Street stretches away beyond, running straight between the gray-walled huts. - Tony Vercoe; Survival at Stalag IVb
posted 19 Aug 2019 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
Reaching Stalag IVb they found the oppressive atmosphere generated by the massively bridged entrance, double barbed wire fences, the uniformed guards, and searchlights towers manned by machine-gunners. The drab barrack buildings only emphasized the reality of their situation.

From: Survival At Stalag IVB by Tony Vercoe

posted 19 Aug 2019 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
When we got to Stalag IVB, just a few miles south of Muhlberg on the Elbe, the Commandant welcomed us and told us, "For you, the war is over" and told us about the warning wire and what would happen to us if we stepped across it. Stalag IVB was a transit army camp. The camp contained 240 or more acres and was surrounded by a page and barbed wire fence on 10 foot posts, 4-6 feet apart. Security on the camp consisted of watch towers around the perimeter manned by armed guards and in between patrolled by guards on foot. Sixteen feet inside the perimeter fencing was the warning wire and if you crossed it you were shot. The 240 or so acres were subdivided and cross fenced sometimes with a double fence into 8-10 compounds or more. I am not sure whether I saw them all. These compounds were occupied by the different nationalities in the camp, and there was the British compound of which we were part, and the Italian, French, Dutch, Russian, etc., and then there was a recreational compound used for soccer, football and rugby, and just to walk around for exercise. There was every nationality of Europe in the camp, from time to time, including two hundred Danish police. The buildings were wooden frame, single story structures, 40-50 feet wide and 150 feet long, with lined interior walls and ceiling with inlaid red brick floors, running water and electrical power. Down the one side and half way up the other were a double set of tandem triple bunks, which would cover an area approximately 12' x 7' and accommodate twelve prisoners. The buildings were hot in summer and cold in winter and I had a top bunk. I remember in summer, laying there and in the morning my toes would be covered in blood. What had happened was that during the night the bed bugs had dropped down from the ceiling and I had squashed them between my toes. At the one end was some washing facilities, running water and a large vat for brewing up tea, coffee or cocoa and at the other end near the entrance to the hut a single toilet: used for emergencies only. The balance of the floor area, approximately 25%, was used for the dining eating area and cook stove. The cook stove was made of brick with a sheet metal steel plate top, more of a grill than anything. The Germans supplied us with a ration of coal and wood for heat and cooking. The toilets were outside in a one-story frame building about 30' x 10' and was ten or twelve holes and there was no privacy. I don't think there was even any doors on the building. The septic tank was pumped out once a week into a tank wagon and was pulled away by the Russian prisoners and taken out to the fields.

William E. Rowbotham, RCAF

posted 3 Apr 2017 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
The German Guards of Stalag IVb

Stalag IVb had ten officers assigned to it and about forty guards. Generally, the permanently stationed guards were elderly or unfit for front-line men drawn from the Volkstrum (Civil Guard) or Ersatzwehr (The Reich Home Army). Others were transients serving as prison camp guards while they were recuperating from war wounds. When they were significantly healed, they were sent back to the front lines. Some perimeter guards were Hitlerjugend (adolescence trainees). These were the guards, some young as 14 years, which present the most danger to the P.O.W.s. Generally, they were more abusive to the prisoners than the more permanent older camp guards were. Some of the most memorable Guards were: Subaltern Oberefreiter (Lance Corp.) Heis, Sr. Guard Unterfeldwebel (Sgt.) Von Pflugh, Oberefreiter (Lance Corp.) Esterman, Oberefreiter (Lance Corp.) Legner, Oberschutze (Pfc.) Gneuss, Oberefreiter (Lance Corp.) Lammerich, Unteroffzier (Corp.) Inhof, Obergeschutze (Pfc.) Renthe, , Jehle The worst of permanent guards were; Stabugefreiter (Corp. 2nd Grade) Hertzel, Schutze (Pvt.) Gugelmann, Oberefreiter (Lance Corp.) Suter, Unteroffizier (Corp.) All three of these had shot and killed at least one prisoner.

posted 25 Mar 2017 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
The German Commanders of Stalag IVb

Most prisoners thought the Commandant was Senior Camp Officer (Lagerführer) Hauptmann) Markus Koenig. He was the Officer with whom the prisoners communicated complaints, concerns and coordinated activities. Hauptmann Koenig had been captured in Flanders and while a British prisoner picked up enough English to communicate in an understandable manner. “It was Koenig’s restraining influence which prevented the vile and inhuman treatment that occurred in some of the other German Prison of War Camps, especially those run by the SS. He was considered to be fair-minded and one willing to listen,” Robert Harding wrote in his 2001 book Copper Wire. In direct contrast to Koenig was the Oberfeldwebel (Master Sergeant) Rudolf Schroder who was responsible for the Anglo/American compound. The prisoners called him “Blondie”. Harding’s described Schroder as “cold and aloof with haughty Aryan superiority. He had as little to do with us (the P.O.W.s) as possible.” Robert Harding, Copper Wire, 2001. ( See: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Schroder-866)


Kommandantur (Commandant) Oberstleutnant (Lt. Col.) Strossier 1941-2/45 ,Kommandantur (Commandant) Oberst (Col.) Luchrsen 2/45-4/45, Asst. Commandant (Major) Krall 1941-2/45, Asst. Commandant Obersteultnant (2nd Lt.) Grallert, 2/45-4/45, Abwehr (Intelligence Officer) Major Heinrich 1941-2/45, Abwehr (Intelligence Officer) Hauptmann (Capt.) Grahl 2/45-4/45, Laugerfuher (Camp Commander) Hauptmann (Capt.) Koenig 1941-4/45, Chief Medical Officer (Civilian) Dr. Schmied 1941-4/45, Under Officer Obereldwebel (M/Sgt.) Schroder 1941-4/45, Sr NCO Feltwebel (Sgt.) Liebich 1941-4/45, Security Officer Unteoffzier (Corp. ) Sperling 1941-4/45, Sr Office Clerk Unteoffzier (Corp.) Pinthauser, 1941-4/45, Unteoffzier (Corp.) Sperling 1940-1945

posted 25 Mar 2017 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
To a POW barbed wire is the one unchanging feature of his life. It is always there from morning till night and from day to day, through interminable weary months and years. The mere presence of the wire is a persistent irritation . Not only does the barbed wire shut the prisoner out from the world of activity it also shuts them in with the herd of fellow prisoner, where there is no privacy and no solitude.

From: Copper Wire by Robert Harding

posted 13 Feb 2017 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
Stalag IVb was the first WWII POW camp open in Germany proper, in fact the first British flier shot down in 1939 was taken there. At the time of Stalag IVb's opening in 1939 the bulk of the prisoners were French, Moroccans, Serbs, Belgians and one Australian. It was also used as a transit camp for processing prisoners to other camps and work areas. An International Red Cross report stated that there were 70,00 POWs in the Camp at the time of liberation in April 1945. Camps in the west and east that were evacuated moved prisioners into Stalag IVb in the closing days of WWII.

From: Copper Wire by Robert Harding

posted 9 Feb 2017 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
Stalag IVb was a German Prisoner of War Camp located on the eastern bank of the Elbe River near the town of Muhlberg, Saxony. It was south of Berlin, east of Leipzig and slightly north of Dresden. The Camp was divided into French, Russian and English compounds.The Camp was made up of long buildings were POWs were barracked. There was a chapel located in the back of a building behind some British barracks. A bare brick building contained the showers and delousing unit. The camp was surrounded by two rows of fencing, electric wires, mines and guard towers. The barracks were unheated and housed 200 prisoners per building. inside there were rows of double bunks, where there was just room for men to lie down. The only thing on the flat horizon were the endless rows of squat barracks in most directions and a thin row of trees across a flat field flat field which lay beyond the nearest edge of the Stalag. in winter there was little snow on the ground although the sun seldom shone and the sky maintained a perpetual Baltic grayness.
posted 9 Feb 2017 by Lawrence Bailey   [thank Lawrence]
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My uncle, George F Donnahoo was a POW in Stalag IV Muhlberg, from 1944 -1945. He was private first class army USA. He was 19 years old at the time of his capture. From his time in camp he suffered frostbite on his feet that troubled him the rest of his life. He was in the camp when it was "liberated" by the Soviets. After repatriation and for the rest of his life he would not talk about his time in the camp. He is listed in the National Archives Database as a POW Stalag IV Muhlberg camp 006 Sachsen 51-13. That's really all I know. Rebecca Oliver
posted by Lawrence Bailey
edited by Lawrence Bailey
Specific books on life in Stalag IVb included: Copper Wire, by Robert Harding (Dublin, Ireland: Chess Mail Lmtd. 2001) and An Arnhem Odyssey: Market Garden to Stalag IVb, by Jim Longsom, & Christine Taylor, (London: Leo Cooper 1991) and Survival at Stalag IVb by Tony Vercoe, ( Jefferson N.C.: McFarland Publishers) Other sources included A.J. Barker’s Prisoners of War (New York: Universe Books 1974), Kriegie: An American POW in Germany, by Richard Oscar (Baton Rouge LA, Louisiana Press 2000) and Life as a POW, by John F. Wukovits (San Diego CA. Lucent Books 2000), World War II Prisioner-of-War Records,by Jennifer Davis Heaps (Genealogy Notes Fall 1991). Company Commander, by Charles B. McDonald (History Book Club 2006). Stalag IVb, by A.W. Ishee (Bloomington IN, Author House, 2004) Specific books on life in Stalag IVb included: Copper Wire, by Robert Harding (Dublin, Ireland: Chess Mail Lmtd. 2001) and An Arnhem Odyssey: Market Garden to Stalag IVb, by Jim Longsom, & Christine Taylor, (London: Leo Cooper 1991) and Survival at Stalag IVb by Tony Vercoe, ( Jefferson N.C.: McFarland Publishers) Other sources included A.J. Barker’s Prisoners of War (New York: Universe Books 1974), Kriegie: An American POW in Germany, by Richard Oscar (Baton Rouge LA, Louisiana Press 2000) and Life as a POW, by John F. Wukovits (San Diego CA. Lucent Books 2000), World War II Prisioner-of-War Records,by Jennifer Davis Heaps (Genealogy Notes Fall 1991). Company Commander, by Charles B. McDonald (History Book Club 2006). Stalag IVb, by A.W. Ishee (Bloomington IN, Author House, 2004) Major sources for the description of the interrogations and transport to a permanent prison camp, as well as the prison camp life came from: The Army Weekly Magazine Yank, How The Germans Kill, by Ed Cunningham, (18, May 1945; Vol. 3; No.48), World War II Is Not Over, by Frank Yarosh, (New York: The Akashic Press Inc 1992), The Longest Winter, by Alex Kershaw ( Cambridge MA, Da Capo Press) 2004, Soldiers And Slaves, by Roger Cohen( New York, Alfred A. Knopf- 2005); The Last Escape: The Untold Story of Allied Prisioners of War In Europe 1944-45, by John Nichol and Tony Rennell (New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.-2002) and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House Five (New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, Inc 1966), World War II Magazine, Secrets of the Nazi Interrogators, by James S. Corum, (March 2008; Vol. 22; No. 10) Also the PBS documentary, Berga: Soldiers of Another War, Film by Charles Guggenheim (2002) and The USAAF Training Film, Resisting Enemy Interrogation (1944)
posted by Lawrence Bailey
edited by Lawrence Bailey