This week my attention has been drawn to POW escapes (see the “Artifact of the Week” blog from June 5, 2015 to read about a POW escape attempt at one of Camp Algona’s branch camps). While doing my research, I discovered a rather large escape attempt that occurred at Stalag Luft III in western Poland, a camp that housed several POWs from Kossuth county. Nearly 600 prisoners at the camp secretly dug 3 tunnels. On March 24-25, 76 British and Canadian POWs escaped through a tunnel that the POWs had christened “Harry.” In the end, only 3 made it back home and the rest were caught. 50 of them were executed.
More recently, these tunnels were excavated by archaeologists. To see photos of the tunnels, see artifacts uncovered by the excavation, and learn more about this escape attempt, read this great article at garfieldsteamhouse.org. This is a great example of how the fields of archaeology and history often intersect!
If you want to know more about WWII POW camps in Germany and Asia, please visit the Camp Algona POW museum and view our exhibit on the camps Kossuth County veterans were interned in. Comment below for more information on the exhibit or the upcoming book 13,000 Nights!
-Annette, The Intern