Stalag 383 (383)


Hohenfels is in Bavaria, Germany and, at the time of writing (2012) is home to a large US Garrison.

The map location not the exact position of the camp.

The Germans had never ceased their pressure on NCOs to go out on working parties, but by September 1942 they were finally resigned to allowing those who claimed exemption to go to a special camp at Hohenfels. Originally this was called Oflag IIIC and later renamed Stalag 383. Between September and the end of 1942 over 3000 NCOs gathered here from camps all over Germany. By April 1943 numbers had increased to over 4000.

The camp was built on a gentle slope in the middle of a piece of heavily wooded country, some miles from the nearest town. Instead of being crammed by the hundreds into unpartitioned barracks, the NCOs found themselves allocated small dormitory huts holding fourteen or less, described by one of them as "snug billets". The camp had plenty of room for sports fields and walking space besides, and some larger barracks for theatrical shows and indoor recreation.

When Red Cross food arrived in October to supplement the ordinary German prisoner-of-war ration, there was little to complain about at Hohenfels. Much effort went into constructing small stoves so that private food could be cooked when desired. By November one man was writing that he was "fourteen pounds heavier than when he joined up"; others spoke of there being "more freedom and less interference" and of the camp being "far less depressing" than Lamsdorf.

The theatre was very popular.

The winter proved to be cold, but there was sufficient coal and the men were allowed to collect wood from a nearby forest. For most of them it was the best camp they had been in.

After various delaying tactics, Stalag 383 was finally evacuated on April 17th 1945. The PoWs were forced to leave the camp and march south via Regensburg to Frontenhausen where they were liberated by advancing American troops.

The following 49Sqn aircrew members were prisoners here during WW2

Darwin P C P
Winton A S

The following websites give more details of this interesting camp

A detailed description of life in the camp

The Pegasus Archive has an extensive photo-collection of Stalag 383