will stalag XVII-B live in
story of Stalag XVII-B now also lives not only in U.S. but also in Europe
The play, the movie, and even the TV series about Stalag 17 (not Stalag XVII-B) without
any doubt helped to create a lore about our prison camp in Krems, Austria.
The Stalag XVII-B Ex-Prisoners of War, Inc. which was organized in the
early 1980s, and kept
alive all of these years with annual Reunions, and a quarterly Newsletter
are some reasons why Stalag XVII-B will live in history. To date,
several books have also been published by EXPOWS from this prison
camp, among them, Hell above and Hell Below, by Richard H. Lewis, and
William R. Larson; Boys at War, Men at Peace, by Ed McKenzie, past
Historian of Stalag XVII-B, and in 2005, The Flame Keepers, by Ned Handy and Kemp Battle. These books are
shown proudly in my library collection. They are non-fiction, and tell the
real life story of this prison camp.
The men and women who
started this unique organization, and those who have kept it alive have a
brotherhood - or maybe we should call it a familyhood - because our
spouses, widows, and many of our children and grandchildren have become
Ours is not just a story
about a prison camp in Krems, a small town in Austria during World War II. It is
a story about a generation of men and women: Combat airmen who where shot
down and captured by the enemy, and became prisoners of war, and about
their wives and children who after the war all became part of the
fraternity we call Stalag XVII-B Ex-Prisoners of War, Inc.
is a story that should
and will be kept alive, long after we are gone.
Stalag XVII-B Resurrected
Stalag XVII-B was in occupied
shortly after WWII ended, the Germans or the Austrians tore it down, and
only an empty field was there...Several years later, a young Austrian
girl, named Barbara, who lived near Krems, was working at the Ludwig
Boltzman-Institute for Research on War-Consequences in 1993 where she did
research on Austrian POWs in the Soviet Union. When she was to write her
thesis she decided that she wanted to find out what was on the other side
of the coin, I.e. How foreign POWs had been treated in the Third Reich.
She went to Stanford University where she came across Stalag XVII-B . She
had never heard of the camp before, even though it was in her own back
yard. She was fascinated. This was the place where her forefathers had
lived and gone to school. Then she became hooked on Stalag XVII-B.
received her MA from University of Graz
where she did her thesis Kriegies, and won a trip to visit the Stalag
XVII-B Reunion in Clearwater, Florida in 1996, where she interviewed many
Ex-POWs. Then she received her Doctoral Scholarship of Austrian Academy of
Sciences for PhD thesis on Stalag XVII-B Krems-Gneixendorf, and several
awards for the book. She is now
Dr. Barbara Stelzl-Marx
and assistant head of the Ludwig
Boltzmann-Institute for Research on War Consequences, in Graz, Austria.
So here it is,
beginning with a young Austrian girl, who was born many years after WWII,
has produced the first Internationally documented history of Stalag XVII-B
- and this year, she came to America once again to visit the Stalag XVII-B
Reunion. Only this time she came as a historian, AUTHOR AND TEACHER, AND
AS OUR GUEST.
This Dr. Barbara Stelzt-Marx,s
documented history of Stalag XVII-B. It is written in German, but has many
pictures and notes from actual POW Logbooks that are in English. It
currently is $40 per copy. She only brought a few to the Reunion because
it was not her intention to make it a book selling trip. The books are
available and can be purchased through the Stalag XVII-B Newsletter, if
approved by the Board of Directors. When and if it becomes available in
English it will be announced in this site.