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Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

London, Ontario
Level Contributor
1,361 posts
Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

I am coming to Vienna this May for the first time in my life. The following request for information may be considered sensitive by some. My father was a British POW at Stalag 17b during the years 1943-1945. What I want to do is to go the the location of the former camp and contemplate the scenery and reflect about the little information that my father ever shared with me before his death in 1972. I have widely researched all the details on the net, looked at the pictures and read the stories written by the prisoners in their memoirs. However, try as I can, I cannot find any map which would lead me to the location other than it's 100m northwest of Gneixendorf and most of it is covered by the Krems-Langenlois Airfield and a garbage dump. I have a Michelin map of Austria, but it is too small to show Gneixendorf. Perhaps someone knows of a map on the net which details the area and shows the airport. So far, I have not found one. I would also like to stay in a hotel nearby, and wonder if there is one or I would have to stay in Krems which I realise is only a couple of miles away. Any help will be most appreciated.

vienna
Level Contributor
13,600 posts
21 reviews
57 helpful votes
1. Re: Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

The area that you look for is just north of krems - east of the village Gneixendorf and south of the town of Langenlois.

If you drive north on the road #37 perhpas 7-10 kilometers you will find the intersection of the road to langenlois # 218 Just after making this turn perhpas 700 meters or just a little more you will find the small road on the right side leading toward the airfield.

The airfield sits on top of a small plateau- is used by sport flyers, private planes , gliders and a parachute school. A small restaurant too. You can drive directly to the edge of the airfield and view most of it.

There is a way to see the other end of the airfield , but it involves a drive through the vineyards and can be confusing to one not knowing the area.

I would be happy to assist you to find these places as I am often in this area.

Just past the road to the airfield and just downhill on the right is the trash dump- sanitary landfill.

This area much disturbed over the years as it has any dumpings regularly covered. the area just a series of holes in the ground - Some of it easily seen from the roadway.

I believe it is fenced for safety reasons .

Just after passing this dump area - the famous vineyards begin and continue on both sides of the road until Langenlois.

Langenlois itself a very nice village - lives for the wine culture for many centuries.

www.langenlois.at

It does have a small museum - no idea of contents admit never being inside .

Numerous small places to stay in this town, good eaing and cafes.

Deluxe accomodation would be the Loisium Hotel- several guest houses too.

For Krems - a city of about 20-25000

www.krems.at

Krems is about 1 hour from Vienna by train- but a car to tour the area would be very useful- driving from Vienna very easy and takes about 1 hour . A-22 from Vienna becoming the S-5 thatintersects with the # 37 in Krems - easy to follow.

A general area map sjhould show the roadways named above and also have the airplane symbol to idnetify the airport.

I know the airfield has been there for many years. No idea a camp was there but it seems easily probable and your information just confirms this ome.

Numerous military airfields existed around Vienna to defend the city.

Was your father an airman.

Plese ask if you desire more assistance or need someone on the " ground " to obtain more info.

vienna
Level Contributor
13,600 posts
21 reviews
57 helpful votes
2. Re: Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

Some added info.

it appears that the camp was located on the current area of the airport.

the airport website - german language

www.usfc-krems.com

under heading Geografische Lage

a small map of the area

under Geschichliches

mention that the airport area used as a detention camp 17B during the war years.

The flying club that has the airfield removed the las buildings of the former lager during the period 1958- 59.

aerial photos of the airport

www.austrianaviationart.org

symbol LOAG to locate

hope this is new information for you.

London, Ontario
Level Contributor
1,361 posts
3. Re: Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

Thank you 'vertical' very much. I have just found this information on the net, and recopying it here.

STALAG 17B KREMS-GNEIXENDORF, AUSTRIA. During WWII this was the largest camp for foreign POWs in Austria. More than 66,000 POWs lived and worked in this camp and its outlying working detachments. Among them were French, Belgian, Serb-Croation, British, American and Soviet prisoners, about 4,000 USAAF NCOs as well as Italian military internees. About 1,600 Soviet POWs were buried in mass graves in the camps graveyard that was situated in a small forest. Today, more than 55 years after the liberation of the camp and the end of the war, 17B has become invisible at first sight. Looking more closely however, it is possible to make out several traces of the Stammlager in the landscape of Gneixendorf and on the former campsite itself. On May 5th 2000 the Austrian artist Christian Gmeiner erected five steel slabs on significant points of the former camp to demonstrate the size of 17B. A sixth steel slab contains the word REMEMBER in 12 different languages in order to make us aware of an often forgotten chapter in history. On 24th November 2001 at Krems city hall, a special exhibition presented the history of the camp. Photos, letters, souvenirs, memoirs, art and literature connected with the camp were on display.

Pictures of the steel slabs can be seen at: www.nextroom.at/building_article.php…

Four boards were set up at the corners of the former camp (with a large question mark and the signature STALAG XVII B), an information board beside the road to the airport (with the word 'reminding' in the 12 languages spoken by the various prisoners at the camp) and an information board "camp cemetery".

Perhaps someone local knows how to locate these 'corner' boards for me. If I have the location of one of them, then I can just about locate what I want from old aerial photos taken in 1944 of the original camp.

vienna
Level Contributor
13,600 posts
21 reviews
57 helpful votes
4. Re: Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

Thank you Trptld for this info and for your private message.

I spend much time in the area of Krems and langenlois- a wine lover .

I know the small village of Gneixendorf- the bridge is not at the airfield -I believe on the way between the airfield and town this just west of the airfield - 1000 meters perhaps -

I will look for this memorial and advise you by private message- take some photos - try to measure distances etc- and have a closer look at the airfield.

You have raised my interest in this and will be happy to do this for myself too to learn more about these times..

vienna
Level Contributor
13,600 posts
21 reviews
57 helpful votes
5. Re: Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

check message - new info-

vienna
Level Contributor
13,600 posts
21 reviews
57 helpful votes
6. Re: Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

For those who may ever wish to visit -

A stone monument regarding this camp is just at the entrance to the airfield from the road # 218 - nearby is the metal memorial plaque with the word "Remember "in many languages-

The camp appears to have been almost completely in the area of the current airport and the adjacent fields and now wiooded area just easttowards the village of Gneixendorf.

Two of the " Corner Markers " outlining the former perimeter of the camp can be found near to the small road running from road #218 between the airfield and dump area .

While nothing remains of the camp today , at least several reminders of the past history on this site.

7. Re: Gneixendorf Odyssey this May help needed

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