Stalag X B Sandbostel
Despite the provisions of the Geneva Convention, prisoners - just like in many other cases - had to perform forced labour in one of over 1,100 work units. After the arrival of French, Belgian, English and Yugoslavian prisoners of war at the end of 1941, 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war were brought in - their final number was to reach about 70,000. Mortality was the highest among them. Nearly 4,700 Red Army victims are known by their first name and surname; however, their exact number remains unknown. After the fall of Mussolini's regime, the internees were joined by Italian soldiers, and after the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising – by Home Army soldiers, including over 500 women and children. When 9,500 prisoners of the Neuengamme concentration camp arrived at the camp in April 1945, the prisoners of war, who were in a slightly better shape, helped the newcomers despite the terrible conditions, which after a short time was forbidden by the camp command.
On the 29th of April 1945, English troops liberated 14,000 prisoners of war and 7,000 concentration camp prisoners of the stalag. Of these, 3,000 died of disease and exhaustion during the first two weeks after liberation. By the beginning of June, the last prisoners left the camp, and some of the buildings were burned down because of typhus. The rest was used to create a camp for Waffen-SS members, and after 1948 it was turned into a prison. Later the area was consecutively used by the German army as a camp for young refugees from the GDR and by the industry. It was only in 2005 that the Lager Sanbostel Foundation bought 2.7 hectares of the former camp site and initiated the creation of a memorial site.
After the war, monuments commemorating the victims started to be erected in the former camp and at the camp cemetery. The deceased were initially buried at the cemetery in Parnewinkel, 12 kilometres away, where 86 prisoners of World War II were buried, including 13 Poles. In addition to the 40 members of the Red Army who were buried in a mass grave without any ceremony, the prisoners were interred in modest individual graves according to the Christian rite and with military honours. When there was no more space left, the deceased were buried at the cemetery in Sandbostel, 2.5 kilometres away. The largest part of this necropolis is the Soviet plot, where an unknown number of soldiers were buried in 70 mass graves. There are nearly 70 individual graves in the Polish plot.
Below is a list of insurgents who died in the camp (only 2 out of 19 graves of the Home Army were marked with stone crosses; the remaining victims and 30 identified Polish prisoners of war from the September Campaign 1939 rest as an unknown Pole):
ANDRUSZKIEWICZ WŁADYSŁAW Company Sergeant Major a.k.a. "Marian"
* 24.6.1899 Warsaw
BOGUSŁAWSKI WŁADYSŁAW Regimental Sergeant Major a.k.a. "Łajdus"
* 20.12.1902 Wilkowice
prisoner of war No. 225 326, grave No. 385
BRZEZIŃSKI WŁADYSŁAW Major in the permanent service a.k.a. "Ratusz"
† 4.11.1944 shot by a guard
CHOLEWICKI BOHDAN Rifleman a.k.a. "Tomek"
* 2.11.1927/ 30.12.1928
grave No. 315
GALEWSKI WŁADYSŁAW Second-Lieutenant a.k.a. "Kruk"
* 18.6.1921 Warsaw
prisoner of war No. 102 585
GOŹDZIKOWSKI ZDZISŁAW Cpl a.k.a. "Bielik", "Bielec"
JARZYŃSKI FRANCISZEK Rifleman a.k.a. "Sokół"
* 6.1.1924 Warsaw
prisoner of war No. 223 116
JAWORSKI BOHDAN Cpl a.k.a. "Pip"
* 2.10.1925 Płock
prisoner of war No. 223 467
KŁOSOWICZ JERZY HENRYK Lance Corporal Rifles a.k.a. "Rak"
* 3.10.1920 Warsaw
prisoner of war No. 221 365, grave No. 375
KORSAK JAN Lance Corporal Rifles a.k.a. "Krzyż"
* 27.3.1924 Drozdy, Wilno Voivodeship
prisoner of war No. 221 464
LIPKA LUDWIK JANUSZ Cpl, Cadet Officer a.k.a. "Janusz"
* 1.6.1924 Warsaw
MOŚCICKI JERZY Cpl a.k.a. "Zgrzyt"
* 06.02.1926 Warsaw
prisoner of war No. 223 565
OLCZYK CZESŁAW Cpl a.k.a. "Czarny"
prisoner of war No. 221 222
POCHMARSKI BOLESŁAW Capt.
* 10.4.1886 Parchacz
prisoner of war No. 1203 (?)
PYZIAK WIESŁAW Rifleman a.k.a. "Puk"
* 26.1.1927 Warsaw
prisoner of war No. 222 820
STEFAŃSKI RYSZARD Rifleman a.k.a. "Koreczek"
grave No. 398