Jeńcy wojenni na terenie Pomorza w okresie pierwszej wojny światowej (1914–1918)
Prisoner-of-war camps in Pomerelia (West Prussia) during the WW1 (1914–1918)
Die Kriegsgefange in Pommerellen während des Ersten Weltkrieges (1914–1918)
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During the WW1 about 8,7 million soldiers from each of the warring parties (including about 5,3 million of the Entente countries and about 3,4 million of the Central Powers) were taken captives. The number of prisoners-of-war in Germany was the highest in the last months of the war (in October 1918 there were more than 2,5 million prisoners-of-war of all nationalities in German camps). Of all German regions it was West Prussia (Pomerelia) that was the territory of the XVII Army Corps, where the prisoners-of-war were the most numerous. At the end of the war there were more than 128,000 prisoners of various nationalities in this territory. They stayed in 4 camps for privates and non-commissioned officers (in Czersk, Gdańsk, Czarne and Tuchola) and 5 smaller camps for officers (in Bytów, Grudziądz-E, Grudziądz-F, Gniew and Brodnica). The privates worked mainly in agriculture, while the officers were not forced to work. After the end of the war, the prisoners-of-war were transported to their countries and homes. The process took place at the turn of 1918 and 1919. Their stay in Pomerelia is clearly marked, as there are two cemeteries – in Czersk and Tuchola – where the dead prisoners-of-war were buried. 8505 prisoners-of-war died in the camp in Czersk, and 3761 – in Tuchola. The total number of the dead and buried in 1914-1918 in West Prussia is 12 760 (of seven nationalities, most numerous were Romanians – 7652 people, and Russians – 4841). The cemeteries in Czersk and Tuchola exist to this day and are duly maintained by local and state authorities.
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