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Stalag3c in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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    Those known to have been held in or employed at


    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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    Gustav C Brucker

    My father, Gustav C Brucker, was held in Stalag 3C. I am just now looking at a letter dated Nov 2, 1950 to GUSTAV C BRUCKER from the “War Claims Commission, Wash. DC” He received a payment of $178.00 for his imprisonment from 7 Aug 1944 to 31 Jan 1945.

    Kathy Brucker-Haywood

    Sgt. Walter Richardson

    My grandfather Walter Richardson was a prisoner of war in October 1944. He was a prisoner of Stalag 3c alt Drewitz in Brandenburg. If anyone has information about the camp or Sgt. Richardson please e-mail me.

    Jim Richardson

    S/Sgt. Thomas Gunton Budington 69 Inf.

    Our father Thomas Budington was captured in France, around Oct. 20 or so of 1944. He was shipped around Germany in box cars and ended up in Stalag 3c in Kristan Germany (now in Poland). On his German POW dog tags are the following numbers: ST- XII A, under which is: 93019.

    After the war he was a lawyer, Police Officer with NYPD and an NYS Court Officer, he died in 1990. Any information anyone might have would be appreciated.

    Tom Budington

    T/Sgt Joseph Benjamin Lewis 101st Infantry

    This was from the Hutchinson, Kansas newspaper after my dad returned from WWII.

    Russian Tanks Led by Woman Liberate Yanks

    When Russian tanks, spear-heading an armored column, roared into Stalag III-C, 50 miles east of Berlin, to liberate 4,000 American, Russian, French and Italian prisoners interned there, the Yanks rubbed their eyes in surprise—commander of the lead tank was a woman! T-Sgt. Joe B. Lewis, son of Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Lewis of Sylvia, has this woman patriot and other fighting Red troops to thank for his freedom today. They effected his release after five months internment, his camp being the first for enlisted men to be liberated in Germany. Looking fit as the proverbial fiddle, Sgt. Lewis is home on 60 day furlough. He shows few marks of his experience as enforced guest of the German government. The Nazis fed him little more than soup and bread during his imprisonment, but Red Cross parcels came through with surprising regularity and kept the prisoners alive. The pounds he did lose have been regained since his release, for, as he says, he had been living on “the fat of the land.”

    Taken Captive Last September Lewis was taken captive on September 10, after landing on the “Omaha” beachhead in France, July 5, fighting through the difficult St. Lo campaign and then south with the Third army to Nancy. That night his company was detailed to cross a German-held bridge over the Moselle river and to seize high ground on the other side where a beachhead could be established. “It looked like a dash to death,” the soldier said. “The bridge was covered with machine guns and artillery and had been mined. The first company started over about 9, we followed at 10:30. “We ran all the way, dodging the mines which we could see by artillery flares and the half-moonlight. One or two men were blown up by mines and some were shot, but all the time I was running the enemy never fired a machine gun. “Incidentally, they didn’t blow the bridge until 2 o’clock the next morning—why they were so slow we didn’t know, unless they thought they could finish us off after we reached the other side. Had To Set Up Defense “The first thing we had to do, when we got across, was to try to get our men together (Sgt. Lewis was weapons platoon sergeant) and set up some kind of defense. “My group made it about one-third the way up a hill, but the Germans were walking down a road firing at us, and it soon got too hot. We had to retreat back to a little drainage ditch and dig in there. “By that time, we were pretty disorganized. My machine gun section set up along the ditch and fired down the road at the advancing Germans. We killed some, but they kept coming. “We finally got them just about stopped, but small patrols of Nazis would try to infiltrate our positions. The fight went on until 3 o’clock in the morning, when they brought up their heavy tanks, the Mark VI. “We hadn’t been able to bring any tanks or tank destroyers across the bridge before it was blown up, because of the mines, nor could we get any more ammunition or supplies. It looked hopeless.

    Bazooka Knocked Out Tank “We did knock out one tank with bazookas, but the other Marks came up and started firing. They blew some of our men right out of their foxholes. “A German hand grenade went off about two feet from where I was standing in the ditch. Fragments hit me in the hand and the lip, although that didn’t bother me too much. “With such odds against us, there wasn’t anything to do but to give up. Some 200 of us were captured. The others were killed, wounded, or drowned while trying to swim back across the river. A few made it. Our bunch never had a chance to try. The Kraut-eaters were between us and the Moselle. “Our company commander surrendered his men. The Germans told us to throw down our weapons and come out with our hands above our heads. It was still dark then—about 4 o’clock. “All walking casualties were taken to a German aid station two miles away, but I went on into Nancy with the rest of our bunch.

    Sgt. Lewis Questioned “We were taken to German headquarters and searched, then certain of us were interrogated. I was one. They tried to bribe me with food, cigarettes, coffee and wine, but I never told them anything. However, they already knew our outfit and division. “Afterwards, I was given first aid at a hospital. That took some time, so I missed being shipped by train to Lemburg, Poland, with the other prisoners. Instead, several of us had to stay two days in a schoolhouse in Nancy. “About 75 of us were finally assembled and walked from Nancy to Saarbrucken. The first night we stayed in a cow barn and the second at a Brown Shirt headquarters. We weren’t mistreated on the way. “At Saarbrucken we were put on a train and taken to Lemburg, arriving there on Sept. 18 and staying until the 23rd in the transit camp. Were registered, had our clothing checked and got our German dog tags.

    Worked On Railroad “Some of the fellows had to sleep out in the open—on ‘starvation hill’ we called it—and they nearly froze, but I was lucky and got to sleep in a barracks for that privilege, I had to work on the railroad at Lemburg. We filled in bomb craters, fixed the rails and cleaned up. Worked from 8 to 6, but it wasn’t too hard because we GIs would lean on our shovels whenever the Jerries weren’t looking. “Sanitary conditions at the camp were very bad, and so was the food. For breakfast we had tea or coffee, for dinner soup. In addition, six men were allotted one loaf of bread a day. No Red Cross packages had arrived, and we nearly starved. “After five days there, we were moved to Stalag III-C by boxcar. The first Americans ever in that camp had been interned only two weeks before. There were many men from our other Allied armies, but we weren’t allowed to mingle with them. However, we would talk to the Russians through the fence and trade them cigarettes for bread.

    Never Had To Work “At this camp, we didn’t have to do any work. We sat around and talked—mostly about food. It got rather cold, and we didn’t have enough fuel, but a Red Cross representative from Geneva and a YMCA man from Berlin visited us and found out the conditions. After that, things were better. We got clothing, equipment, toilet articles, etc., from the Red Cross. “The Germans allowed us to shower once a month. We had to wash our clothes at a pump. As for the food—it was about the same as before, but the Red Cross parcels began coming rather regularly. “When Christmas finally rolled around, we decorated our barracks with crepe paper, made icicles out of tin cans and fixed up a Christmas tree. We had special programs and sang carols at the hospital. For dinner that day, there was a treat—potatoes, compliments of the mess sergeant and his gang who had snitched them from the Germans.

    Russians 12 Miles Away “On the thirtieth of January, we learned that the Russians were only 12 miles away. The following day the Germans tried to evacuate the camp. “At 10:30 that morning, we were made to walk about six miles, but the Russians fired on our troops, thinking we were the enemy. They killed 27 Americans, I heard, and wounded twice that many. Our column turned around and headed back to camp. A few of our men, however, broke away and ran to the Reds to tell them who we were. “Again at 1 o’clock that afternoon, the Germans tried once more to move us. The Reds turned us back again, but this time no one was hurt. “After that, there wasn’t anything to do but stay in the air raid shelters at the camp. It was hot around there—German planes were in the sky, and artillery was pounding.

    Camp Not Defended “The Germans had no defenses set up at the camp, so there was no opposition when the Russian tank column came rolling up. Several German guards at Stalag III-C had surrendered to the Americans that morning in order to escape the Russians but the next day the Reds took them out and shot them. “The Red spearhead went driving on. We stayed in camp three days until the mail body of their troops came up. On Feb. 3, the Russians moved us to a town about five miles away, and from then on we were on our own. “We lived off the fat of the land. Ransacked deserted German houses for food. There were few natives around. “In small groups, we rode bicycles, walked, hitch-hiked and even rode in wagons until we reached Lublin, Poland. There we came across some Yank officers who had been liberated, and we were given some semblance of order.

    Polish People Helped “The Russians provided us with a building to sleep in, and the Polish people divided what little they had with us. We were visited by Red Cross workers, who helped a lot. “We stayed in Lublin for five days and then were taken by train to Odessa, Russia. After that the Reds took pretty good care of us. We were in Odessa about a week, before we boarded a British transport for Port Said, Egypt. There we lived like kings, drew three men’s rations, had ice cream and attended shows. Then we were taken by boat to Naples, where we joined our own forces.

    Source: The Hutchinson News Herald Hutchinson, Kansas Sunday, May 6, 1945

    Jeanne Owen

    S/Sgt. Richard Carl Morris 36th Armored Infantry Regiment

    My great grandfather was a POW at Stalag 3c from 27th September 1944 to 31st January 1945. His name is S/Sgt Richard C Morris. He was taken POW on 17th of September 1944 on a reconnaissance mission in Aachen, Germany. He was wounded in the shin with shrapnel, a British doctor (who was taken POW during the battle of Dunkirk in 1940) removed the shrapnel from his shin with out anesthetics. He was part of the 3rd armored division during the war. After the Russians liberated the came he walk to Odessa, Russia. When he got to Odessa he was reading a magazine and one of the pages was about a factory right around the corner from his house in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Know what the odds of that are. When he was in the camp he met a man by the name of Sgt Louis Anderson. Well come to find out he lives on the east side of Cuyahoga falls and that they did not know each other but they both knew the same people. They both stayed by each other all the way home. They walked to Odessa took a ship to Naples, Italy and than took the USS. Wakefield to Boston, Mass. I am not sure how they got home from there. I have read some of they great grandfathers war diaries and a couple times he talks about how he never would take about the war ever, he never did my papa witch is Richard son said that he never told his story no mater how many times he asked. The only way I know about his story is going through his war trunk, and finding his diaries and his letter he wrote home through the Red Cross postcards. I am a WWII buff my self and I am believe that if my grandfather did not join the army of even fought in any war I don’t think I would know who he is. I am proud of his serves for ower country. I really wish I could have met him I don’t think he would have ever told me his story but you never know tell you try. So thank you for taking your time to read this short story.

    S/Sgt. Forrest H. Monroe 64th, Coy C Infantry Replacement Training Center

    My father, Staff Sergeant Forrest H. Monroe, was in the US Army, Company C, 64th IRTC Battalion in WWII. He was a POW in Stalag 12A and Stalag 3C between October 1944 and February 1945. He passed away on 2nd October 2004. He had a wartime log with pictures that he drew of Stalag 3c and some comics, cartoons and poems. If anyone is interested, I will send them a copy. If anyone has information concerning him please contact me.

    Timothy J Monroe

    Paul E. Larson 83rd Infantry

    My father was a POW in Stalag 3C from July 1944, through to the liberation by the Russians, which was sometime after the first of the new year.

    Kevin Larson

    S/Sgt. John W. Jackson

    I am looking for information about POWs in Stalags 3c or 12a from 7th July 1944 to 31st January 1945. My father was interned in these camps during this time. He enlisted through Jefferson Barracks, MO (near St Louis) and lived in Quincy, IL after the war, until his death in 1993.

    John Jackson

    Dale Thatcher

    My father, Dale Thatcher, was a POW in Stalag 3C until liberated by the Russians on 31st January. I would welcome information about the camp.

    Larry Thatcher

    Derwood Vititow

    My grandfather and his identical twin brother were both POWs at Stalag 3C, Alt Drewitz Brandenburg, Prussia. My grandfather's name is Derwood Vititow. They were both there until the camp was liberated by the Russians. Unfortunately, my grandfather would never talk about the war and he passed away in 1996. I am very proud of his sacrifices and would like to pass along some history to future generations. I am having a difficult time finding out much about this camp. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Lindy Vititow

    Vernon Lee McGuire

    My brother, Vernon Lee McGuire, was a POW in Stalag 3C for about nine months in 1945. He was a paratrooper and jumped behind enemy lines during the Normandy invasion. He and eight or nine other troopers were captured by a German motor patrol several days later. Sometime after that, they were loaded into a small rail boxcar with 30 or more other men, many of whom were wounded. They were on this train for 28 days before reaching a prison camp. One night during the train ride they were in the heart of Berlin as it was being bombed by the Americans. Luckily there were not hit. He may have been in more than one camp, but was in 3C shortly before they were freed by three Russian tanks. At that time they were being marched to another camp when the tanks came upon them. He told me that the tank commander of those three tanks was a buxom blonde Russian woman. After they were freed all of the POWs scattered and slowly worked their way back to the American lines.

    Harold McGuire

    Kennard Rummage

    My grand uncle Kennard Rummage was a POW in Stalag 3C. He only told the story once when he got stateside, and refused to speak of it again. I believe he escaped from the camp before the Russians liberated it. His story, as passed through my grandmother, relates how he and two other POWs escaped through Poland. Uncle Ken said he would not be alive today if it wasn't for the bravery of the Polish underground. One of his two comrades did not make it out of Poland. Ken and his other comrade made it to the Russian lines, hitched their way south and eventually ended up in a US military hospital in Italy. The two men were flown to Miami and put on a train to Washington DC to be debriefed. On this train trip the other main either fell or jumped to his death off the train. Uncle Ken was unclear on how that happened. Any information about this story would be much appreciated.

    Kevin Bostwick

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