Colditz Castle Offers Glimpse into Nazi PoW Camp

Colditz Castle, a Renaissance period castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, in Germany, is drawing a huge number of British visitors.

A onetime Nazi prison camp for prisoners of war (PoW’s) from the allied forces in World War II, the present castle has been recently renovated to operate as a hotel, offering rooms for as little as £20 a night.

Tour operators in the UK are promoting a night’s stay in one of the castle’s 161 bedrooms as the ultimate prison experience. Tourists to the castle get to eat in the castle canteen, visit the castle museum, and experience the inside rooms and turrets through guided tours that also include the numerous escape tunnels and hidden chambers of the historical structure.

The castle was turned into a prison when Nazis came into power in 1933, and used it to incarcerate PoW’s from the Allied Forces, including soldiers from the UK. Despite its formidable security, around 30 prisoners had escaped from Colditz by the time the castle was liberated from Nazi control by US troops in 1945.

The UK-based, War Research Society, is presently offering tours to Colditz Castle for UK citizens, with its next tour set to depart on May 19, 2012. Alex Bulloch, an official from the War Research Society, said in an interview with The Sun newspaper, ‘The accommodation is spartan but the idea is to give people an idea of what it was like to be there as a PoW. Colditz is the trip of a lifetime for anyone interested in this aspect of the war. To stay under the same roof as the Allied officers is incredible.’