Stalag 1B Details

Stalag 1B was another German POW camp of WW II, situated roughly at 53° 35′ N and 20° 15′ E in Ostpreussen (East Prussia), only 2km West of Hohenstein (now Olsztynek in Poland).

But where was it situated exactly?

We have projected the plan of Stalag 1B onto a 1:25.000 topographic map from 1937. The squares on the map are 1 x 1 km.

Map extract from Messtischblatt 2487.

© Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie 2006.

In the following table we have entered the latitudes and longitudes (WGS84) of some interesting places (not all on the map).

Where the entrance of Stalag 1B was situated is now a com’memorative monument. The fields behind the monument are prairies without any trace of the former camp.

Google Earth

Unfortunately we are not allowed to reproduce how this area looks like in Google Earth. Despite the low resolution image, we can recommend you to launch the program anyway, as most points on the above map can clearly be distinguished in Google Earth.

Important Remark

Long time after we finished this page we found out that it is much easier to enter the co-ordinates of a point in the “Fly to” box in Google Earth. Enter “53 34 54 N, 20 14 55 E” (without the quotes) for this camp and zoom out far enough to see the whole picture.

Original text

Start Google Earth. In the upper left box “Fly to” type “Olsztyn Poland” (without the quotes). This is the former Allenstein, not Hohenstein, which is now Olsztynek. With the wheel on your mouse choose an “Eye Alt” (lower right corner of the screen) of about 100 mi. Move the cursor in SW direction till the pointer in the lower left corner of the screen reads about 53°35′ N 20°15′ E. Drag this point to the center of your screen and zoom in till an eye alt. of about 23000 ft. Now you will clearly recognize the street and railway pattern of the above map.

Who were the “guests” of Stalag 1B?

Stalag 1B housed 157.000 Polish(in 1939), 90.000 French(1940), 800 Belgian(1940), an unknown number of Soviet, and an unknown number of Italian prisoners. About 50.000 prisoners died in the camp. When the war was over the bodies of the French and Belgian prisoners of war were brought back to their native countries, while the bodies of the Italian prisoners were exhumed to the Italian cemetery of Warsaw. Probably the cemetery at Sudwa exists mainly of graves of Polish prisoners.

The End

The prisoners of Stalag 1B were forced to stay too long in the camp. In March of 1940 there were 28 prisoners killed by German and/or Russian artillery fire on the camp. Then a group of French and Belgian prisoners were sent to the North East. The 26th of June they had arrived somewhere between Insterburg (Cernjahosk) and Gumbinnen (Gusev). There they were ordered to return. Back to Allenstein (Olsztyn), where they came from. Finally end of July they reached home again.

Others have reached home via Belarus, through Ukraine to Odessa, the Black Sea port. There they were evacuated by boat via the Black Sea, the Bosphorus and the Mediterranean Sea to Marseille, France.

Visit to the grounds of Stalag 1B

As we have decided to stay a couple of days in Olsztyn (see our visit to Stalag 1A), we will have plenty of time to also visit Stalag 1B at Hohenstein. It is only 25 km from Olsztyn (Allenstein) to Olsztynek (Hohenstein). See map below.

Map extract from Polen, Südliches Ostpreussen (Masuren) 1 : 200 000.

© Höfer Verlag 2006.

From Olsztyn we take the route 51 to Olsztynek. Just after route 51 becomes route 7 with a right turn to Ostroda (Osterode) and straight on to Nidzica (Neidenburg), we take a small road to the right in the direction of Krolikowo (Königsgut). Just before entering Krolikowo, there is an even smaller road to the right, which leads us directly to the monument at the former entrance of Stalag 1B.

Cemetery of Stalag 1B

To visit the cemetery of Stalag 1B we have to drive back to Olsztynek. There we take route 7 (E77) in the direction of Ostroda. About 1km outside of Olsztynek we find Sudwa at our right. Here is the cemetary. We don’t know exactly where, but as Sudwa is so small, we probably will find it rather easily.

Map Source: Höfer Verlag 2006, Article Source