Lagerstadt Wolfsberg Exhibition 2013


In 2011, Igor Pucker, the Director of the Museum im Lavanthaus in Wolfsberg, and Dr Christian Kloesch, of the Technischesmuseum in Vienna, first considered the idea of staging an exhibition related to the three camps that had existed in Wolfsberg in the 20th Century. The first camp was a Refugee Camp in World War 1; the second, Stalag 18A in World War 2 and the third a Detention Camp for suspected Nazis after 1945.

I first met with Igor and Christian, and Christine Ragger from the Museum im Lavanthaus, in May 2011. My role was to contact all of the people who had contributed to this website and ask them to loan to the Museum any photographs, letters and other material related to Stalag 18A. The response was fantastic. Over the next year and a half I received material from all over the world which I then took over to Wolfsberg in November 2012. The staff at the Museum and Christian then had the unenviable task of arranging everything, plus the material relating to the other two camps, into a coherent whole. Personally, I think that they did a magnificent job.

Igor Pucker: Director of the Exhibition

Christian Kloesch: Creator of the Exhibition

Christine Ragger: Assistance and Coordination, Museum Office

Daniel Strassnig: Multimedia Concept & Producing

Alexandra Hatz: Secretariat

Alex, Igor, Christine, Daniel Igor, Christine, Christian, Some old guy

Exhibition Slide Show

The first two sections of the Lagerstadt Exhibition are housed at the Museum im Lavanthaus in Wolfsberg. The third section is housed in The Stadtgalerie in the town. The following slide show concerns the sections devoted to the Refugee Camp for Ukrainians in World War 1, and POWs in World War 2. The third part of the Exhibition concerns the Internment Camp for suspected Nazis after WW2.

The Stalag 18A part of the Exhibition is set out as a series of rooms. After you have crossed the rather fine map of Stalag 18A, you enter the first room devoted to the French POWs with many photographs. An interesting feature of this section is a recorded interview with Albert Tribondeau, a French POW, who stayed on after the war and married a local Austrian girl. In this section, you will encounter the first of the films taken by the Nazis for their 'racial' research. POWs were filmed turning their heads from left to right. Without sound, the effect is rather eerie.

The next room is devoted to the Russian POWs who arrived in Stalag 18A in late 1941. They were very poorly treated and many died.  A large wall plaque lists many of their names.

Leaving the Russian section, you pass an alcove where a film taken in Stalag 18A is on continual show. Some rather poignant extracts from letters written by POWs are displayed on the walls.

Beyond the alcove is the beginning of the British and Commonwealth section. A continuous slide-show here shows the ID photos of some of the POWs taken when they arrived in Wolfsberg in 1941. A large display case exhibits many of the items brought back home by the POWs. On the far wall is a sound-show retelling the 'Silent Night' incident. There is a German version related by the actor Maximillian Schell and an English version.

On the wall leading to the next room are a window frame and door from one of the original huts in Stalag 18A. They have been loaned by a local farmer. The door leads to a section devoted to the theatrical activity of the POWs, some of the Work Camps connected to Stalag 18A, and details of the bombing raid on the camp in 1945.

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