B24 Photo taken after the Great Escape

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Allied aircrew shot down during World War II were incarcerated after interrogation in Air Force Prisoner of War camps
Run by the Luftwaffe, called Stalag Luft, short for Stammlager Luft or Permanent Camps for Airmen.
 
Stalag Luft III was situated in Sagan, 100 miles south-east of Berlin, now called Zagan, in Upper Silesia, Poland.

It was opened in 1942 with the first prisoners arriving in April of that year, and was just one of a network of Air Force only PoW camps.
 
The Germans treated captured Fleet Air Arm aircrew as Air Force and put them all together. There is no obvious reason for the occasional presence of a non-airman
 in the camps, although one possibility is that the captors would be able to spot "important" non-Air Force uniformed prisoners more readily.

Despite being an officers-only camp, it was not referred to as Oflag (Offizier Lager) like some other officer-only camps. The Luftwaffe seemed to have their own nomenclature.

Conditions and Kommandants

It must be made clear that the German Luftwaffe, who were responsible for Air Force prisoners of war, maintained a degree of professional respect for fellow flyers,
 and the general attitude of the camp security officers and guards should not be confused with the SS or Gestapo.
The Luftwaffe treated the PoWs well, despite an erratic and inconsistent supply of food.

Prisoners were handled quite fairly within the Geneva Convention, and the Kommandant, Oberst (Colonel) Friedrich-Wilhelm von Lindeiner-Wildau
 was a professional and honourable soldier who won the respect of the senior prisoners.

Stalag Luft III

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