Stolen Years: Australian prisoners of war


Sustaining mind and body


AWM RC00887Anzac Day sports poster 1944 (1.2Mb PDF file)
Australian prisoners kept up their national traditions, including the Melbourne Cup and Anzac Day. This poster was produced to mark 25 April 1944 at Stalag 383 at Hohenfels.


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Empire Games poster 1943 (685Kb PDF file)
Prison camps held men of many nationalities. Stalag 383 held enough British Commonwealth prisoners to hold an “Empire Games” in 1943 and 1944.


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HMS Pinafore poster 1943 (250Kb PDF file)
Men in many camps went to great lengths to stage theatrical performances, drawing on unsuspected creativity in design, costume, music and performance. Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore was performed in Hohenfels.


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Australian Concert Party Programme 1943 (240Kb PDF file)
Amateur concerts like this helped to ease the boredom of camp life.


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Theatre poster 1944 (240Kb PDF file)
Larger camps, especially non-working ones like Hohenfels, had the people and the time to mount occasional plays, such as this from November 1944.

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Prisoners performing Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest in Hohenfels camp in 1943. The photograph shows how inventive men were in constructing sets and making costumes.

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The Australian cricket team in Hohenfels in 1943, complete with homemade baggy green caps.

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The medley relay team for the Hohenfels games in 1943, when the British lost to an “empire” team.

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Athletic meet at Hohenfels 1943, complete with betting facilities. All wagers were in cigarettes.