AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR IN GERMANY

Prepared by MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, WAR DEPARTMENT   15 July 1944

 

STALAG 3B

 

STRENGTH: 3,190 NCOs and privates, all Ground Force. Of this number 1,928 are in the base camp and 1,262 in work detachments.

 

LOCATION: Pinpoint 5207'30" North latitude, 1440' East longitude. Camp is situated mile southwest of the railroad station in Furstenberg on the West bank of the Oder River.

 

DESCRIPTION: Camp area, 800 x 800 meters, is surrounded by a triple barbed wire fence. Single barbed wire fences divide camp into compounds, 2 of which are occupied by the Americans. Five work detachments are supplied with personnel from this camp. Barracks are large brick buildings with concrete floors. Within the enclosure are sports fields, infirmary, chapel, theater and canteen.

 

TREATMENT: Relations between Americans and Germans recently have deteriorated. On 2 March 1944 50 German civilians were permitted to search the American compounds and POWs were forced to stay outside the barracks 12 hours. Articles were confiscated according to each individual's desire. Four Americans are held for court martial because they threw food to Russians in a neighboring compound. Other U.S. POWs have been court-martialed for refusing to work under reasonable conditions.

 

FOOD: Major portion of POWs' food comes from weekly Red Cross parcels and until lately it has been satisfactory. Recent reports state parcels en route to this camp are being stolen in wholesale lots. Some POWs now report that food is insufficient. Food on work parties varies, some POWs doing heavy work praising it and others complaining.

 

CLOTHING: Red Cross and next-of-kin parcels furnish POWs with an adequate supply of clothing.

 

MEDICAL: General state of health is very good. A fair stock of medicines is on hand and relationship between American and German doctors is good. At base camp 2 American doctors are assisted by U.S. orderlies. Only 15 POWs were under treatment at the Revier and Lazaret. Bathing facilities are insufficient. Many prisoners have not had a hot shower for 5 weeks.

 

RELIGION: There is complete religious freedom. No American chaplain is in camp but Americans may attend Catholic services conducted by a French priest.

 

PERSONNEL:

American Senior Medical Officer:

American Assistant medical Officer:

American Man of Confidence:

German Commandant:

Interpreter:

At work Detachment #255:

American Medical officer:

American Man of Confidence:

Capt. Louis Salerno

Lt. Henry W. Hughes

M/Sgt. Clyde Bennett

Oberst Blau

Pvt. Kenneth Geriach

 

Lt. Stanley M. Awranik

S/Sgt. John Tinner

 

MAIL: In recent months transit time for mail to and from camp has improved. Airmail letters from America have arrived in 5 weeks. Surface mail to and from camp averages 4 months transit time. Camp censors are 2 weeks behind in their work.

 

RECREATION: Recreation includes football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, cards, and checkers. POWs also go on parole walks usually on Sunday, in groups of 10 under guard. They also have a camp orchestra, choir, glee club, semi-weekly quiz contest and plays produced by talented camp personnel. The library contains 4,000 modern books. Classes conducted by POWs in a number of subjects were stopped in early March.

 

WORK: Privates are forced to work. NCOs are encouraged to do likewise. (German Commandant requested the Swiss delegate to advise American NCOs to volunteer for work.) Work usually is agricultural or on camp improvement projects. Some POWs report working on railroads and in quarries.

 

PAY: Camp spokesman and their assistants, workers in the camp and all those on work detachments receive wages of 70 pfennings per day.