Pics Show POWs Performing in Nazi Camp
Germany used Oflag VII-A to dupe the Red Cross
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2013 4:17 PM CST
Polish prisoners of war perform theater at Oflag VII-A, a Nazi camp.   (

(Newser) – Photos have emerged from a Nazi POW camp that show officers performing theater and playing music—signs that Germany used the camp to help conceal the Holocaust, Der Spiegel reports. Reports of Polish officers enjoying some cultural life at Oflag VII-A, in Murnau, Germany, have circulated for years, but were dismissed or not widely read because they were written in Polish. Yet the prisoners "were treated well, at least as much as that can be said under these circumstances," says historian Marion Hruschka.

Indeed, Germany showed off Oflag VII-A to the International Red Cross as a "model camp," says Hruschka. But it wasn't always so rosy: Several prisoners were shot and Jewish officers had to live in a camp ghetto. As for the photos, they ended up in France, where a teenager spotted them in 1999 sitting on a garbage bin. He and his father eventually posted them online and heard from many family members of the Polish POWs.