Posts Tagged ‘POW camp’

The village is the only official ghost town in Poland, it is in the voivodeship of West Pomeranian and abandoned, as of 1993. It was originally a German training ground for a branch of Nazi’s and then after World War II, a base for the Red Army, only existing on Russian Military maps thanks to that. Once they withdrew in 1993 it became vacant.

Originally the area was a small settlement, Westfalenhoft, and in the 1930’s the Wehrmacht planners built a large military base. A polish newspaper from the 1939 reported the numbers of personnel at 600,000. In the Autumn of 1939 the German’s then opened a POW camp at the site, by November 1939 there were 6,000 Polish soldiers and 2,300 Polish civlians. It was renamed to Oflag II D Gross-Born in June, 1940 and was used for French Officers and Polish POW’s from the other camps. Westfalenhoft was eventually taken over by the Red Army in January 1945. It was officially Polish territory but it was occupied and held by the Soviet Union. The Polish were not allowed entry, it was renamed Grodek and the village was not named on Polish maps.

The parts of the base not needed were razed by Red Army servicemen, the base had around 6,000 Russian soldiers. The debris from the village was sent back to Warsaw, used to help rebuild the city. When it was vacated as part of the collapse of the Soviet Union the area was handed back to the Polish. It was guarded by the Polish army for a year, after which it was handed over to civilian authorities.

There was an attempt to sell the area for redevelopment but it did not happen, there were other suggestions like turning it into a drug rehabilitation centre, or perhaps a prison but it’s also worth noting anything of monetary value has already been looted. In 2011 I found reference to five residents but there is no bus route there and the nearest shop is 4km away, so it’s not likely to be a cosy place to stay.

I first came across notes about the area on a show called Stupid Man, Smart Phone. Whilst it is a ghost town it is not abandoned and is regularly visited, and seems to be a tourist spot for some. Have you been?

KÅ‚omino.jpg
By RzuwigOwn work, Public Domain, Link

 

Also known as The Island of the Dead, it is run by the NYC Department of corrections and to visit you’d need to be either a convict, worker or a family member of someone that is buried on the island, and even family members are heavily supervised. Tresspass also leaves violators with a heavy fine and up to two years of imprisonment.

Hart’s Island was a POW camp for four months during 1865, 235 confederate soldiers died on the island. In 1870 it was a yellow fever quarantine station for New York and then in 1885 there was a women’s insane asylum which still stands today, and there was also a boys reformatory. Then in World War 2 it was handed to the Navy and it has also been used as a prison, TB Sanatorium and drug rehabilitation centre.

So all of this aside the Island has also been used for another purpose, the disposal of the dead for those that cannot be funded for a proper burial. 850,000 people have been buried there in mass graves and the number is not likely to stop.

Most of the people that are buried there died as unknown, unclaimed bodies. The homeless, mentally ill, alcoholics, transients, and other unfortunates from the minors to elders reside in the trenches and with such a gloomy history it’s not surprising that stories of the haunted come from the land.

A trench at the potter's field on Hart Island, circa 1890 by Jacob Riis