On February 8, 1945, 350 very unfortunate American POWs who had been captured during the Battle of the Bulge were loaded into railroad boxcars to be transported from Stalag IXB at Bad Orb to a slave labor camp at Berga. The Germans asked the American Man of Confidence at Stalag IXB to provide a list of Jewish POWs , which he refused to do. The Germans instead picked 350 men they knew were Jewish based on their names or selected men they thought "looked Jewish". Stalag IXB was a terrible camp, but Berga would prove to be much worse.
Berga was a group of mines that the Germans were drilling into the side of a mountain to create an underground factory. The rock was slate and the dust coated the lungs of the men who worked in the tunnels as they dug through the rock. The POWs were worked relentlessly and 35 of the 350 died in just a couple months. It had the highest rate of casualties of any POW camp Americans were held at in Europe.
Here is a good site describing the conditions in the camp : http://www.indianami...rga/History.htm
A PBS documentary was produced about Berga in 2002. The POW whose group is pictured here is prominent in the documentary : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0341255/
He passed away shortly after the film was released.
Edited by KASTAUFFER, 01 July 2016 - 03:22 PM.