• Łambinowice Memorial
A memorial in the small Polish town of Łambinowice (German: Lamsdorf) in Silesia commemorates the victims of the prisoner of war camp, which existed here between 1939 and 1945, as well as the victims of the Polish internment camp, which was located here in 1945/46.
Image: Lamsdorf, undated, POW camp barrack, Yad Vashem
Lamsdorf, undated, POW camp barrack, Yad Vashem

Image: Łambinowice, 2006, »National Commemoration Monument«, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Łambinowice, 2006, »National Commemoration Monument«, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Prussian authorities set up a POW camp in Lamsdorf (today: Łambinowice) near Oppeln (today: Opole) already during the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71. During World War I, prisoners of war were again brought to Lamsdorf, primarily Russian soldiers. About 7,000 prisoners of war died of hunger and illnesses. After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Lamsdorf once again became the site POW camps. In the course of the war, the following camps were set up in Lamsdorf: Stalag VIII B, Stalag VIII F/318, and Stalag 344. This was once of the largest POW camp complexes, holding an estimated 380,000 prisoners. About 200,000 prisoners of war held at Lamsdorf came from the Soviet Union. Some 42,000 prisoners lost their lives in Lamsdorf due to strenuous labour, diseases and hunger. In March 1945, the Red Army liberated the POW complex.
Image: Lamsdorf, undated, POW camp barrack, Yad Vashem
Lamsdorf, undated, POW camp barrack, Yad Vashem

Image: Łambinowice, 2006, »National Commemoration Monument«, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Łambinowice, 2006, »National Commemoration Monument«, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
The prisoners of war who were held at Lamsdorf came from many different European countries. Among them were Poles, Frenchmen, Britons, Greeks, Belgians, Yugoslavs and Italians. However, the majority of prisoners came from the Soviet Union. The death rate was highest among soldiers of the Red Army: of the 42,000 fatalities at the Lamsdorf POW camp, over 40,000 were Soviet soldiers.
Image: Łambinowice, 2006, Remains of buildings at the former Stalag 318/VIII F (344) camp, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Łambinowice, 2006, Remains of buildings at the former Stalag 318/VIII F (344) camp, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu

Image: Łambinowice, 2006, »National Commemoration Monument« and cemetery for Soviet POWs, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Łambinowice, 2006, »National Commemoration Monument« and cemetery for Soviet POWs, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
After the Second World War, the Polish authorities set up a labour camp for Germans from Silesia in Łambinowice, as Lamsdorf has henceforth been called. Between the autumn of 1945 and their expulsion from Silesia, several thousand Germans were forcibly held at the labour camp. It is estimated that 5,000 men, women and children were imprisoned at the camp in 1945 and 1946. Between 1,000 and 1,500 died of hunger, illnesses and as a result of abuse; 48 people were shot by the guards during a fire on October 4, 1945. There were also isolated cases of prisoners being killed by the guards. The publication of Heinz Esser's memoirs - Esser was a doctor at the camp - entitled »The Hell of Lamsdorf« led to trials against the former camp commandant in both West Germany and Poland in 1956. The pointed and at times exaggerated report by Esser made the camp infamous in West Germany. Expelled Germans used the history of the camp at Łambinowice as proof for systematic crimes committed by Poles against Germans. On the other hand in Poland, the history of the camp was kept silent for a long time, and crimes against Germans and fatalities at the camp were denied.
A memorial site has been in place in Łambinowice since 1968. It consists of several memorials, cemeteries, and a museum. In the 1990s, a memorial to the victims of the Polish labour camp was set up. The permanent exhibition at the museum presents information about the history and victims of the various camps.
Image: Łambinowice, 2006, Reconstructed guard tower of Stalag 318/VIII F (344), Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Łambinowice, 2006, Reconstructed guard tower of Stalag 318/VIII F (344), Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu

Image: Łambinowice, 2005, Granite memorial to the victims of the Łambinowice labour camp, cemetery for the victims in the background, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Łambinowice, 2005, Granite memorial to the victims of the Łambinowice labour camp, cemetery for the victims in the background, Centralne Muzeum Jeńców Wojennych w Łambinowicach-Opolu
Name
Miejsce Pamięci Narodowej w Łambinowicach
Address
ul. Muzealna 4
48-316 Łambinowice
Phone
+48 (077) 434 34 75 ‎
Web
http://www.cmjw.pl/www/index.php
E-Mail
cmjw@cmjw.pl
Open
The memorial is always accessible.