Stalag XVIII A : Remembrance at the Australian War MemorialShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
Stalag XVIII A, Wolfsberg, is a name to send a shiver down your spine. It was a prisoner of war camp in Austria where many Australian, New Zealand and British soldiers were sent after capture in Crete after a battle they apparently had no chance of winning. And in Canberra there was a gathering of relatives of those men to remember and show respect in a weekend of events arranged to give those relatives an insight into the Australian War Memorial, its commemorations and opportunities to feel a connection to a part of our war history.
In July 2013 there was a gathering called the Wolfsberg Weekend in Austria attended by Iulia Wishart and Carole Mules where they made many valuable connections with relatives of the Stalag POWs from around the world and decided an Australian weekend would be a good idea.
And so they came to Canberra from around the world enjoyed the camaraderie and activities organized with the help of the AWM and Iulia and Carole placed a wreath at the Pool of Remembrance. No ordinary one either but one made of some of the thousands of crocheted poppies being made for Anzac commemorations.
For this story I went to a website to find Iulia’s grandfather among the 11,630 names listed at Stalag XVIII A. I read too that the ABC’s Insider’s host Barrie Cassidy used the website connection to research his father's time as a Stalag POW. And there was Joe Wishart, a private and POW 5935; I shed a few tears just as Iulia and her mother Maelyn did at the commemoration. To be just a name and number is not enough for these brave men and these families are making sure they’ll always be their heroes and have a mark on history.