Bankau Stalag Luft 7 Diary

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by markbuk, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: J M Starr
    Rank: Pilot Officer
    Army Number: J92649
    Regiment: Royal Canadian Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks
    POW Number: 53425
    Camp Type: Stalag Luft 7
    Camp Number: L7
    Camp Location: Bankan, near Kreulberg, Upper Silesia, Poland
    Section: Royal Canadian Air Force : Officers & Other Ranks

    alieneyes likes this.
  2. HA96

    HA96 Member

    Thanks for this report. Under the circumstances, to keep adding to a diary- great stuff!
    No wonder slight errors were made. Karlsruhe was mentioned twice, on Jan. 20 and Feb. 8. May be there were 2 karlsruhe in these days?
  3. Hi Stefan
    I only see Karlsruhe mentioned once. They reached Karlsruhe on January 20th. February 8th was the end of their journey at Stalag IIIA. Marbuk's report summarizes the daily distances at the end of the diary which concludes on February 8. (The walking ended in Goldberg on February 5th and a train took them to Luckenwalde.)

    I also have a diary of this march that was written by my father-in-law in my website, that gives the modern-day names of the towns on the route. There are many accounts of the route walked and slight differences in where and when they stopped because of the great number of men who were marching.

    Wartime Diary of Robert E. Toomey - The Forced March

  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Claude,

    That site is wrong in quite a few places. Jim Starr was on ME613. I have his RCAF service file (see attached)


    James Mervin Starr Part 2_Page_06.jpg
  5. HA96

    HA96 Member

    anyway, kreuzburg is Poland today and the mentioning of the river Oder makes sense, Both are in the East, while Karlsruhe is in the West (river Rhine).
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  6. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    The "Karlsruhe" referred to in the march from Bankau to Luckenwalde is ID'd in the TNA report on the march as "Carlsruhe". The POWs marched to Winterfeld on 19 January 1945. On the 20th "leaving at 5 am to march as far as Carlsruhe, a distance of 12 kms, where they arrived at 10 am. At Carlsruhe the POWs were accommodated in an abandoned brick factory where two field kitchens with a capacity to cook for 200 men were provided to cook for 1550 POWs".

    Mr Wiki says it's now known at Pokoj, Poland. Pokój, Opole Voivodeship - Wikipedia


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  7. Thanks Dave
    Yes, I see that his name was Jim, not Joseph. My father-in-law also got the information wrong, I guess.
    I cannot find any record of a James Starr in RCAF Squadron 429.
  8. HA96

    HA96 Member

    So, the spelling was not right. Carlsruhe is now called Pokoj
  9. Stefan, Dave:
    I have only seen it spelled Karlsruhe, in at least 3 diaries besides my father-in-law's diary. It is spelled Karlsruhe in the book "The Long Road" by Oliver Clutton Brock. This excellent and well-researched book details what it was like at Stalag Luft 7 and on the march. All prisoners are listed in the book including when they arrived, and there are some interesting stories about many of the POWs in that camp.

    It took a lot of digging for me to find the modern Polish names of the towns on the March from Bankau in January 1945:

    The German names below were mentioned in his Robert Toomey's diary.

    Walking route:

    Bankau = Bakow, Poland
    Kreuzberg = Klucsbork
    Winterfeld = Zawisc
    Karlsruhe = Pokoj
    Buchitz = Buszyce
    Wansen = Wiązów
    Gros Jenkwitz = Jankowice Wielkie
    Strehlen = Strzelin
    Petrowitz = Piotrowice
    Karzen = Karczyn
    Heidersdorf = Łagiewniki, Dzierżoniów County
    Langseifersdorf = Jaźwina
    Pfaffendorf = Książnica
    Pilzen =
    Schweidnitz = Świdnica
    Standorf = Stanowice, Świdnica County
    Jauer = Jawor
    Peterwitz = Piotrowice k Jawora
    Goldberg = Zlotoryja

    Train route from Goldberg
    Leignitz = Legnica
    Sagan = Żagań
    Cottbus = Chosebuz
    Calau = ?
    Luckenwalde, Germany

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  10. Apparently both spellings are correct - Carlsruhe or Karlsruhe.
  11. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Claude Lafleur and CL1 like this.
  12. Actually Pilzen is now "Boleścin, Swidnica County". Boleścin, Świdnica County - Wikipedia

    This makes sense as it is mentioned in Toomey's diary of "The Forced March" being on the route Toomey took.

    Pfaffendorf (Książnica) to
    Pilzen (Boleścin, Swidnica County) to
    Schweidnitz (Świdnica) to
    Standorf (Stanowice, Świdnica County)

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