Initially, after the Polish Defensive War of 1939 most Polish high-ranking officers were imprisoned there. The staff officers were imprisoned in the casemates and the generals in one of the forts. The lower-ranking officers were imprisoned in the lower levels of the fortress. Despite harsh conditions in the living chambers, the officers were granted with relative freedom and had a part of the fortress gardens at their disposal. Apart from Antoni Szylling and Tadeusz Piskor, who were imprisoned in Murnau, all Polish army commanders taken by the Germans in 1939 were held there.
After the Fall of France in 1940 most of Polish officers were transferred to either Oflag VIIA Murnau or Oflag VIII E Johannisbrunn, while their place was occupied by French officers. The camp was surrendered to the Red Army May 9, 1945. The Russians stayed only long enough to remove anything of value, and loading up the German guards, they returned to their HQ leaving the French Generals alone. A short while afterwards, a French light aircraft landed and the pilot informed them that he had come to collect General Saint Ceran of the French Air Force. The remaining inmates asked that he inform the Americans of their plight which he did, and despite Koenigstein being in the Russian zone, a decision was taken to swiftly remove the French generals from the castle on May 11th. They were flown back to Paris on May 12th, many of them free for the first time in five years. (Diary of General Alfred Fagalde - inmate of Koenigstein)
- gen. Henri Giraud - commander of French 7th Army Group, captured 19 May 1940, escaped 17 April 1942.