Colditz Castle

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Coordinates: 51°7′50.82″N 12°48′26.94″E / 51.1307833°N 12.8074833°E / 51.1307833; 12.8074833

Colditz Castle is a castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. Used as a workhouse for the indigent and a mental institution for over 100 years, it became notorious during World War II as Oflag IV-C, a prisoner-of-war camp for "incorrigible" Allied officers who had repeatedly escaped from other camps. Oflag is a portmanteau of the German words Offizier (officer) and Lager (camp).


The original castle

In 1046, Henry III of the Holy Roman Empire gave the burghers of Colditz permission to build the first documented settlement at the site. In 1083, Henry IV urged Markgraf Wiprecht of Groitzsch to develop the castle site, which Colditz accepted. In 1158, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa made Thimo I "Lord of Colditz", and major building works began. By 1200, the city around the market was established. Forests, empty meadows, and farmland were settled next to the pre-existing slavic villages Zschetzsch, Zschadraß, Zollwitz, Terpitzsch and Koltzschen. Around that time the larger villages Hohnbach, Thierbaum, Ebersbach and Tautenhain also emerged.

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