The prisoners were initially housed in tents, but in the spring of 1940, internees built masonry dwellings. Later, prefabricated wooden barracks were added. By 1941
, there were over 100 barracks housing prisoners, latrines, kitchens, a confinement barrack for punishments and the commandant's office. There was also a hospital (Reservelazarett
X-B) and a disciplinary labor camp
comprising two barracks. As early as 1940, following the Battle of France
, the camp was filled beyond capacity, so Stalag X-B was enlarged to accommodate up to 30,000 prisoners.
The camp was liberated by the 30th Corps of the British Army, on April 29, 1945 following a battle with the 15th Panzergrenadier Division. The camp commandant, realizing however that the inevitable outcome was near, had already signed over the camp to prisoners led by French colonel Marcel Albert. On April 21, 1945, the very day the document handing over the camp to the prisoners was signed, estafettes were sent to meet the Guards Armoured Division at Zeven to report on the critical situation in which the camp found itself. Two armed units were sent towards the camp, but fighting did not allow them to reach it until April 29, 1945.
The British discovered around 15,000 prisoners of war, as well as 8,000 concentration camp inmates.
Photo credit Oxfordian Kissuth