The Prisoner of War Camp

The soviet Prisoner of War Camp No. 188, was one of several Prisoner of War camps in the Soviet Union. It was located more less 30 km away from Tambow City, hence its name. Between 8000 Alsatians and around 1000 Luxembourgers who were subjected to forced military enrolment by the Nazis were incarcerated for a few years at this camp. Additionally, around 14000 German and 6000 Italian soldiers were detained at Tambow. As the 3D Reconstruction of the camp made by Jean-Roland Lamy-au-Rousseau shows, the camp was located in a forest with fourfold barbed wire and watchtowers around it to prevent escape. The barracks were buried two meters deep in the ground and covered by tree trunks, sand and grass. It was dark and overcrowded in the barracks (one barrack could accommodate between 150 and 400 inmates), resulting in very poor hygiene which led to the frequent occurrence of infections diseases such as typhus, dysentery, and tuberculosis and so on. The prisoners had to sleep on wood, subdivided into two or four rows overlaid with straw mattresses. Prisoners who were fatally infected by a disease or critically ill were transported by a pick-up truck to the hospital near Kirsanow, a town located around 100km from Tambow, but there the conditions weren’t much better, the probability of survival wasn’t much higher. The prisoners judged still physically capable had to stay in the camp and had to work in minus 20-30 degrees. They worked in the forest, in the peat bogs, in the mill or in the collective farms.

3D Reconstuction of the Prisoner of War camp No. 188 by Jean-Roland Lamy-au-Rousseau