POW Camps Museum

The site of the real ‘Great Escape’, this memorial to the hardships of captured soldiers is both informative and sobering.

POW Camps MuseumThe Great Escape

The town of Żagań has been the site of prisoner-of-war camps since World War I. The site is best known for its World War II camps, specifically the airman camp, where the real ‘The Great Escape’ occurred. In 1943 hundreds of airmen went to work digging 3 tunnels, nicknamed ‘Tom’ ‘Dick’ and ‘Harry’. On 24th March 1944, 76 pilots utilized the tunnels to escape the camp, though only 3 made it to freedom. Today, the infamous Stalag Luft III POW camp has been partially recreated thanks to the work of diehard historians and RAF personnel. Here, artefacts left behind by the prisoners are on display along with the meticulously reconstructed buildings, including the barracks, which has its own collection of exhibits and photographs of the prisoners. There’s even a reproduction of the ‘Harry’ tunnel, and a photo opportunity to take the place of Steve McQueen or James Garner in the ‘Great Escape film poster.

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