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Colditz: The Full Story (2002)

Colditz: The Full Story (2002)
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4.11 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0330490001 (ISBN13: 9780330490009)
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English
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pan publishing
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Colditz: The Full Story (2002)
Colditz: The Full Story (2002)

About book: In Colditz: The Full Story, P.R. Reid delivers "the full history" as part memoir, part researched history and part anecdote. Castle Colditz was a POW compound that the Germans used for special prisoners -- those having shown a propensity for escaping and those with a high hostage value, in particular. Reid himself was a prisoner there for about 2 years, up until his escape into Switzerland in 1942.Reid (1910-1990) was not a polished writer or historian but he did personally experience Colditz and the realism that he conveys is compelling. Somewhat oddly, the realism is not of the horrors that one usually associates with being a prisoner. If anything, Reid presents a somewhat civilized incarceration with a German hierarchy that generally respected the prisoners and their right to try to escape. Admittedly, some who were caught escaping were shot by the Gestapo, but the more common experience was seemingly much better than any combat troops might have experienced and it was certainly remarkably nice when compared to anything that an Allied prisoner in the PTO would have experienced. (Indeed, in one instance, the German Commandant at Colditz sent an escaped POWs possessions back to the escaped prisoner after he returned to Allied territory. In another instance, an escaped prisoner sent real coffee to a German Dentist who had unwittingly aided in the prisoners escape.)Colditz does drag in places so the reader should be willing to consider skimming some sections. On the whole, however, this book gave me insight into aspects of the war that I have not really studied in the past and I will value this book as part of my library. A very good read.
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