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“A Moving Memorial”

Stalag Luft III Prisoner Camp Museum
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Zagan
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: POW Camps Museum was built in 1971. It commemorates POW camps set up in Zagan (German Sagan) during WW2. One of them was infamous Stalag Luft 3 for allied airmen known from the mass breakout of 76 prisoners in 1944. The event was immortalized in the 1963 film “The Great Escape”.
Reviewed 16 August 2018

Poets must have designed the Stalag Luft III museum near Zagan, now in Poland but during the war in Germany’s Lower Silesia.
Side-by-side with the POW camp famed by The Great Escape, there was Stalag VIIIC. Nothing memorializes its existence except for a large sculpture of a dying human nearest public view from the road. Without protection of the Geneva Convention, underfed, denied medical attention, forced to do hard labour, Stalag VIIIC’s Russian POWs died by the hundreds, a truck collecting corpses each day.
My father was one of thousands of Allied air-crew officers favoured by Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring as his personal prisoners in Stalag Luft III. I saw the fire pool where Dad spoke on Canada Day in 1943, and concrete floors of the cells where he did solitary confinement for two unsuccessful escapes. Only six of Stalag Luft III’s airmen died of natural causes during the war.
For all of Museum Director Marek Lazarz’s engaging staff and voluminous files of the camp’s history and its prisoners, all these years later, in the silence of a national forest, Stalag Luft III illumines humanity’s enduring struggle to be human.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank KingsleyBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"great escape"
in 43 reviews
"stalag luft iii"
in 22 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 7 reviews
"actual site"
in 5 reviews
"guard tower"
in 4 reviews
"the main road"
in 4 reviews
"turn right"
in 4 reviews
"brave men"
in 4 reviews
"my dad"
in 3 reviews
"short drive"
in 3 reviews
"short film"
in 3 reviews
"spent several hours"
in 3 reviews
"battlefield tour"
in 3 reviews
"solitary confinement"
in 3 reviews
"railway station"
in 3 reviews
"memorable visit"
in 2 reviews
"private tour"
in 2 reviews
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5 - 9 of 131 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2018

The museum is just to the south of the town of Zagen. It was very (embarrassing so) cheap to visit. The museum is not huge but there is plenty to look at including a model of the camp at the time of the escape.

As others have said there is an example of a hut with various items in it including examples of the air pump, stove, cart and rails they traveled on.

There was a guide who was explaining things to another couple. We met him by chance in the example hut. He told us, what we had not realised, and this is really important that the actual site of the camp is some 600 metres up the road towards Zagen and then turn right down a track for some 1000 metres.

There you will find a concrete track of the tunnel with the entrance and exit (with flower tributes at the time we went). In the surrounding woods you can see the very basic remains to some of the other huts. An example guard tower is by the track near to the tunnel exit.

Given the industrial site on the approach it seems a bit under rated by Poland but hopefully more visitors will boost funds to ensure this great and moving site is preserved. Go there!

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank WylieNorwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2018

A small but informative museum with lots of artefacts. Also a small version of one of the prison huts and guard towers. A short walk takes you into the actual site of the prison camp but it is not signposted what the remains are nor are the paths clear. However a great historical visit and part of escape tunnel ‘Harry’ is there with the names of the 76 who escaped.

Date of experience: July 2018
1  Thank Wendy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2018

In late April, I accompanied my father and stepmother to Zagan to visit Stalag Luft 3 where my grandfather, an RCAF bomber pilot, was a prisoner from July 1942 to the end of the war. While of special interest to anyone with a connection to the camp, this museum and its grounds are definitely worth a visit by anyone with an interest in history or who just want to hear some great, true adventure stories. Museum staff are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and bring the stories of the prisoners and their escape attempts alive.

We were fortunate to have been met and guided by the Museum Director, Marek Lazarz, who generously gave several hours of his weekend to show us around. We were impressed by Marek’s knowledge and passion for history, his genuine desire to know the stories of all the prisoners of Stalag Luft 3 and the adjoining Stalag VIIIc , and his efforts to keep that history alive for the larger community. The museum, although small, provides a real sense of what the camp and daily life as a prisoner would have looked like.

Little is left of the original camp but a hut has been erected that is typical of the buildings that housed the prisoners. The grounds are beautiful , well-tended and have been taken over by tall stands of forest. My father walked the concrete blocks that are all that is left of the brig where my grandfather spent time in solitary confinement. The nearby path of Harry Tunnel is engraved with the names of all those who attempted the Great Escape of March 1943. Marek took us to the nearby cemetery and to the memorial to the 50 prisoners who were executed. It was a very moving and memorable visit. We are fortunate that this site and its history are under the stewardship of such dedicated staff.

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank patriciabrown2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 July 2018 via mobile

Great place to visit in Zagan. Good historical references important to the past. Small but big on content and information.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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