A recent addition to my photo archive: STALAG XVII b. GNEIXENDORF 1940
Did PoWs receive some form of monetary allowance to enable them to pay the photographer for his time and for photoprints?
- Stalag XVII B Krems-Gneixendorf
In 1939, the Wehrmacht set up the prisoner of war camp »Stalag« XVII B in Gneixendorf close to Krems an der Donau. It was one of the largest prisoner of war camps within the borders of the German Reich.
During the war, there were up to 66,000 prisoners of war held captive in the camp at a time. The inmates were mainly from France, Belgium, Serbia, Poland, Great Britain, the Soviet Union as well as from Italy. Moreover, there were 4,000 members of the US Air Force in the camp. Most of them had to perform forced labour in one of the numerous labour detachments, which worked in local agriculture and forestry, mining, industry and trade or in construction. The mortality rate was highest among Soviet prisoners of war, who were subjected to particularly harsh conditions. About 1,640 were buried in the camp cemetery »Forest cemetery at Krems-Gneixendorf«. Several prisoners of war of other nationalities were also laid to rest here.
When the Red Army was approaching in April 1945, the guards chased all of the remaining prisoners who were able to walk on a march to the collection camp at Weilhartsforst near Braunau, about 300 kilometres away. On May 3, 1945, US troops liberated Weilhartsforst. The prisoners who had remained at Stalag XVII B because they were not able to march were liberated by the Red Army on May 9, 1945.