Stalag Luft VI

  Macikai, 50km south of Klaipėda     more than a year ago
In turns a German prisoner of war camp for Allied air crews and then a camp for prisoners of the Soviet regime, the almost entirely forgotten site that was once Stalag Luft VI, the northernmost prisoner of war camp in the Third Reich, deserves both a visit and more recognition in general. Covering three hectares of land, Stalag Luft VI was opened in 1939 and at its peak housed over 1,000 servicemen from countries including Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Poland and the United States. Abandoned at the beginning of 1945 during one of the infamous Long Marches, after the war it became a Soviet camp where entire families were kept until 1955. The subsequent levelling of the site and surrounding graves has made any serious research into its history difficult to say the least. Although a lot of people died here, with very few exceptions no records of exactly who and how many people did exist. The original camp buildings are long gone, although immediately to the rear a wooded area where those who perished here still remains, which with the help of several concerned embassies and a few interested Lithuanians has been turned into a place of remembrance complete with marked graves and memorials. There’s also a small museum commemorating the camp’s dual roles during its 16-year lifespan and plans are currently underway to create a proper memorial to those who suffered and lost their lives here. Despite the chaos, the former camp is still worth a visit. Find it just off route 141 in the village of Macikai, a couple of kilometres east of Šilutė. Look for the large Macikų Koncentracijos Stovyklos Vieta signs and keep driving until you reach the end of the track.


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