French POW sub-camp in Stalag XXA Thorn
On November 12th 2011 we went with Leon Wosik on a lookout for the remains of the French POWs sub-camp in Podgórz. During the war and after it Mr. Leon was almost every day near the “French camp”. After Stalag XXC it was another playground for the “rascals” from Podgórz. With the help of Mr. Leon we were able to make a sketch of the camp.
“…the camp was great… surrounded with a single barbed wire fence; there were three rows of barracks and 2 latrines on its territory. A kitchen with a canteen was outside the camp, about 20 m in front of a wooden double-leaf gate. In the canteen there were rows of long wooden tables and benches. The French prisoners went for the meals in groups. Between the camp and Poznańska Street the Germans created a field to grow vegetables (mainly celery, leek, cabbage). The Frenchmen looked after this garden and the vegetables were taken to the camp kitchen. In one corner of the camp was a guard tower, which immediately after the war, Mr. Leon and his colleagues blew up in order to obtain firewood. There was a large Wehrmacht military camp around the French camp. The German gunners trained here for 2-3 months, then going to the eastern front. All concrete roads in the training field were built by the French and British prisoners. Near the camp gravel was also mined which was taken in small rail carriages to the constructed Stalag XXC. In January 1945 the camp was evacuated. Germans set fire to part of the barracks…”.
While searching we came across the remains of the brick foundations of the prisoner latrines and concrete elements of the camp facilities.