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Stalag Luft III
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Museum of Allied Prisoners of War Martyrdom

Since XIX century, the history of Zagan is inseparably linked with the existance of camps within its borders, meant for prisoners of war.

The earliest in the line - is the year 1813. Retained up to the present, is the devasted cemetery of soldiers of the armies of Napoleon.

The French-Prussian war has also marked its operations in a similar manner here. Consecutive armed conflicts did not occur without Zagan - hence also the cemetery of prisoners from the period of World War I exist up to this day. But the real tragedy for Zagan was the period of World War II. Here the Office for Prisoners of War started a prisoner camps complex. In the famous Stalag VIIIC and its branches, POWs of 30 nationalities were grouped, amounting to over 300 thousand), Many of them did not return to their families (about 120 thousand), who died of hunger, illness and bad treatment. Here, from Stalag Luft-III, the most daring escapes were conducted, ending in the murder of 50 of its participants. This historic episode of World war II met with rich response in literature and on the screen known worldwide as "The Great Escape".

The extent of the crime was documented at the end of the fifties. In 1961, a monument was raised on the terrain of the former camp (creator - Mieczyslaw Welter), and in 1971, the Martyrdom Museum of Allied prisoners of War was opened, accumulating the mementoes of the heros of World War II and evidences of crimes committed.




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