Arnswalde, Oflag II B Arnswalde

Arnswalde, Oflag II B Arnswalde – German POW camp for Polish and French officers operating in Choszczno in the years 1939–1945, established at the end of October 1939.

The first transport of 2,254 Polish POWs (including soldiers of the “Polesie” Independent Operational Group with General F. Kleeberg) arrived to the camp on 6 November 1939; the camp prisoners established the Committee for Culture and Education (organising lectures, courses, and special interest groups), the Theatre of Symbols, and a symphony orchestra. 1 July 1940 saw the publication of the first issue of overt journal Za drutami (“Behind Barbed Wire”; editor-in-chief: M. Sadzewicz), which published works of such authors as L. Kruczkowski, H. Sucharski, and A. Nowicki. In addition, a number of underground journals was published, including the Codzienny Biuletyn Informacyjny. There was a resistance movement active in the camp.

It focused primarily on organising escapes (e.g. the successful escape of 21 officers on 13 May 1940). In May 1942, Polish prisoners of the camp were transferred to Oflag II D Gross-Born and replaced with ca. 2,600 French POWs, including members of an underground group keeping in contact with the French Resistance. On 29 January 1945, all POWs were evacuated to Waren (Müritz).

The entry was written on the basis of source materials of the PWN printing house.

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