Stalag 13: Is It Still There?

Whatever happened to the former Stalag 13, or "Stammlager XIII C" as it was officially known?

The camp, Lager Hammelburg, is still there, down the road from the town of Hammelburg, and is now the home of the German Infantry School (Deutsche Infanterieschule) for the modern German army, or Bundeswehr.

stalag 13 fence, hammelburg
Lager Hammelburg Today

Most of the camp is now a restricted military area, but the main road south of Hammelburg goes through the eastern edge of the camp and many buildings can be seen from the areas accessible to the public.

stalag 13 restricted area, hammelburg
Restricted Areas at the Camp

The wooden barracks that housed the enlisted men of Stalag 13 C have been torn down, but some of the permanent buildings from the officers' camp are still standing.

stalag 13, lager hammelburg
Lager Hammelburg

stalag 13, lager hammelburg
Lager Hammelburg

The officers' barracks in Oflag 13 in the photo of the liberation of the camp are still there as well; they're in the restricted area, but easily viewed from a parking area next to the main gate.

american tank liberates oflag 13, hammelburg
Liberation of the Camp


On the map below, I've marked the locations of the first building and the tank, as well the main gate of the camp and a good spot for viewing the remaining buildings. (Thanks to Geoff Walden of thirdreichruins.com in identifying it.) For more info, see the History of Stalag 13.



View Lager Hammelburg in a larger map

The main gate and entrance to the Deutsche Infanterieschule looks just about the same as it did years ago, except it has been spruced-up quite a bit.

stalag 13c, main gate, historical photo
German Infantry School, Main Gate, 1938

Even the little village of Bonnland, taken over by the army during an expansion in 1938, is intact; the residents were moved out and the deserted town is now used for urban warfare training. (See second training video below)

stalag 13, bonnland, training camp
Bonnland
(Denny Sander, CC-BY-SA license.)

Below are the woods around "Stalag 13". Naturally nothing like the Southern California vegetation with fake snow you see Hogan and his men running around in!

stalag 13 woods stalag 13 fence, hammelburg


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POW Cemeteries

Continuing along the main road will bring you into the camp and turning right on Bonnlandstrasse will take you past two well-maintained cemeteries that still contain the remains of some of the soldiers who died during captivity in both world wars.

stalag 13 pow cemetery
Stalag 13C POW Cemetery

stalag 13, russian graves
Russian Graves, Stalag 13C

All of the American, British, Commonwealth, French and Italian men who were buried there were returned to their homelands after the war. One cemetery holds the bodies of 2,987 Russian soldiers and the other graveyard has 35 Poles, 73 Yugoslavs and 50 Russians.

stalag 13c, russian pow grave

Marker in remembrance of the Soviet soldiers buried there.


stalag 13, british pow grave
British POW grave marker, WWI
cross, stalag 13 graves
POW Grave

stalag 13, french pow grave
French POW Memorial

stalag 13, russian pow graves
Russian Grave
stalag 13, russian pow grave
Russian Grave


notice about russian prisoners, stalag 13c pow graves
Cemetery Notice About the Russian Graves

The above notice was posted at the POW Cemetery, in German and Russian. The English translation is roughly:

"This piece of earth became the final earthly home of 3031 Russians. They died as prisoners of war: 44 in the First World War and 2987 in the Second World War.

In the early 60's, the German War Graves Welfare Organization recovered 427 dead from temporary quarters in 76 Bavarian municipalities and placed them here for a lasting rest.

In 1974, the organization gave this gravesite its lasting form. Reverence and sympathy watch over the peace of the dead."

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The Bundeswehr in Hammelburg

True to Hammelburg's history as a garrison town, it is swarming with German soldiers...not surprising, being the home of the German Infantry School. I saw dozens of young soldiers coming and going from the Hammelburg Bahnhof and driving in and out of the town.

Service in the military is mandatory in Germany, although exemptions for conscientious objectors are readily given.

There are still residents living in Hammelburg who remember the POW's arriving at the train station. The building hasn't changed at all, except for a swastika scraped off one side. The Bahnhof is just a short walk from the town center.

hammelburg bahnhof, german soldiers
German Soldiers at the Bahnhof

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A Peek Into the Camp

There are a variety of training areas and firing ranges inside the camp.

troop training area, lager hammelburg
Lager Hammelburg Training Area
(Scheurebe2000, CC-BY-SA license.)

ruined tank, lager hammelburg, panzer
Wrecked Panzer
(Scheurebe2000, CC-BY-SA license.)

shooting ranges, lager hammelburg, stalag 13
Firing Ranges
(Scheurebe2000, CC-BY-SA license.)

Curious about what's happening in the former Stalag 13 nowadays? Here is a YouTube clip of German soldiers training at Lager Hammelburg:




More YouTube. Horseplay and urban warfare training in the ghost town of Bonnland inside Lager Hammelburg:



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Visiting the Camp

Lager Hammelburg is only about 2 and 1/2 miles (4 km) south of Hammelburg along the main highway.

lager hammelburg bus stop

It can be reached easily by bus if you're without a car. Bus #8164 from the bus station (Busbahnhof) on Weihertor Platz in Hammelburg travels out to the camp many times a day (you can get the schedule from the Tourist Office on the Markt).

There are three stops in the camp; if you get off at the first stop, "Lager, Saaleck Kaserne", you can walk the length of the camp from there. Follow the road Rommelstrasse in the same direction and it will take you through the eastern edge of camp, past the main gate and many buildings. Turn right on Bonnlandstrasse as the fence turns and you will reach the cemeteries and the firing range.


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Map of Lager Hammelburg


Map of Hammelburg and Camp




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