pow12020-05-24_115038 pow22020-05-24_115146

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of an allied prisoner of war imprisoned at a German POW camp. The soldier in this photograph was being held at Stalag 1-A. The camp was located near the village of Stablack in East Prussia. Stalag 1-A was the furthest east German POW camp. The camp was built in 1939 by Polish prisoners of war. In 1940, Belgian and French prisoners were added to the camp and in 1941, the camp began to incarcerate Russian POWs. There were also British and Italian prisoners in the camp. It is important to note that tens of thousands of Stalag prisoners were sent to “kommandos” (subcamps) spread throughout East Prussia. In January of 1945, with Russian troops approaching, the camp was abandoned and all of the prisoners were evacuated to the west. Note the photograph below which shows the entrance to Stalag 1-A. The prisoner seen in this photograph is wearing a military jacket, stripped of all insignias. I am unable to determine his rank, branch of service, or the identity of the nation he fought for. Note the prisoner’s pants. They are too long and too baggy  Despite the ill-fitting uniform, he appears relatively healthy. He is holding a cigarette, which may represent “good treatment” by their German captors. One wonders why this photograph was permitted to be taken. Photographs, such as this one, were allowed because they served as a tool for positive public relations. A relatively content and healthy looking prisoner “advertised” that the Germans treated allied POWs well. Note the ink stamp on the reverse of  the card. It identifies the camp as Stalag 1-A and that the card was “Gepruft” (checked or censored). This photo postcard is from sometime between 1940 and 1945.   SOLD