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.
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.
The woods around "Stalag 13" naturally look nothing like the Southern California vegetation with fake snow you see Hogan and his men running around in!
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, Oflag 13 B, are still standing.
The tank has just broken through the fence surrounding the barracks holding the men of Oflag 13B, the officer part of the camp. The enlisted men were in Stalag 13C in the same camp.
The two officers' barracks in the photo above are still there.
They're in the restricted area, but easily viewed from a parking area next to the main gate.
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.
Below you can see the two buildings that were nearest the tank in the camp liberation photo.
There was a lot of construction going on in front of the old camp barracks buildings when I took the picture.
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.
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 training video below)
(Image thanks to Denny Sander, CC-by-SA license.)
Prisoners of war from both WWI and WW2 were held at Lager Hammelburg.
These graveyards still contain the remains of some of the soldiers who died during captivity in both world wars.
Finding the POW Graveyard. Continuing along the main road (Rommelstrasse) will bring you into the camp, and turning right on Bonnlanderstrasse will take you past two well-maintained cemeteries. See map below.
When you turn right on Bonnlanderstrasse, you are leaving the public area of Lager Hammelburg and entering the training camp itself.
There's a sign at the intersection directing people to the POW graveyard, but no warning that it's a restricted area, which it is.
You may be stopped and asked to sign in at the camp office (just past the graveyard area) before exploring further.
They are understandably concerned with security, plus the safety of visitors, since the soldiers are training in the area.
The shooting ranges are just past the cemetery.
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.
Marker in remembrance of the Soviet soldiers buried there.
The above notice was posted at the POW Cemetery, in German and Russian. The English translation is roughly:
There are a variety of training areas and firing ranges inside the camp. This is the main training area for the German Infantry.
(Three images above thanks to Scheurebe2000, CC-by-SA license.)
Curious about what's happening in the former Stalag 13 nowadays?
Here's a YouTube clip of German soldiers training at Lager Hammelburg. Horseplay and urban warfare tactics in the ghost town of Bonnland, inside the camp.
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.
Lager Hammelburg is only about 2 and 1/2 miles (4 km) south of Hammelburg along the main highway.
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 Bonnlanderstrasse as the fence turns and you will reach the cemeteries and the firing range.
See how the POW camp in Hogan's Heroes compared with the real thing.
There were four Stalag 13's in Germany. Near the town of Weiden, near Nuremberg, there was a POW camp called Stalag XIII B. Take a look at Stalag 13 B to read an interesting account of one of the Polish POW's there.
During WW2, Colditz Castle was a notorious POW camp that held mostly British and Commonwealth POW's. They were the "bad boys" who had escaped from other camps, and their exploits have become the subject of many books, movies and TV shows.
See what Colditz was all about, and how to visit it.