Łambinowice – updated 31 August 2022
A village in Opole Voivodeship, in south-western Poland which was the location of Camp Lamsdorf (later known as Camp Łambinowice); which served as a prisoner of war camp during the Franco-Prussian War, First World War and Second World War.
Invasion of Poland
During World War II, the camp reopened on 3rd September 1939 just two days after the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, initially to house Polish prisoners. Throughout the war, more than 300,000 Allied and Soviet prisoners passed through the gates of the camp at Lamsdorf. The base camp was given the designation Stalag VIII-B.
In 1941 a separate camp, Stalag VIII-F was set up close by to house the Soviet prisoners.
In 1943, the Lamsdorf camp was split up, and many of the prisoners were transferred to two new base camps, Stalag VIII-C Sagan and Stalag VIII-D Teschen. The base camp at Lamsdorf was renumbered to Stalag 344.
In October 1944 soldiers and officers were brought to Stalag 344 from the Warsaw Rising, including over 1,000 women. Later, most of the prisoners were transferred to other camps.
After the Soviet takeover of the area, on 17th March 1945 the Red Army took the camp over and continued to operate it, this time the institution housed German prisoners of war.
A transit camp, run by the Ministry of Internal Security and commanded by Czesław Gęborski (later put on trial for crimes against humanity for his actions in the camp), was also created nearby, serving as an internment, labour and resettlement camp for German Silesians, as a “verification” point for Silesians, as well as a camp for former veterans of the Anders' Polish II Corps, whom the new communist authorities of Poland saw as dangerous. Out of 8000 internees, it is estimated that between 1000 and 1,500 German civilians died in the camp, mostly by typhus and maltreatment from camp officials. More than 1,130 names are listed in the cemetery.
Currently the memory of the inmates is preserved by a large monument devoted to all the victims of the camp, as well as the Central Prisoner of War Museum, the only such institution in Poland and one of very few in the world.