Stalag Luft III: The Secret Story

Arthur A. Durand, Author Louisiana State University Press $29.95 (412p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1352-3
Stalag Luft III, a POW center in Germany, will be familiar to readers who remember the film The Great Escape. Historian Durand here writes a comprehensive history of the camp (some 10,000 prisoners at one point) from its beginning in April 1942 until its chaotic evacuation in February 1945, much of the material based on an ingeniously coded log kept by three officers in one of the compounds. The author covers every conceivable aspect of daily life including prisoner-generated educational and cultural programs, relations with the German administrators, and the obsessive planning, preparation and execution of various escapes and escape attempts. The book is crowded with interesting characters, primarily American and British, but the most memorable is Col. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Lindiener, the commandant, whose professional code and personal kindness ensured that conditions at the camp were as good as possible under the circumstances. Illustrated. History Book Club alternate. (June 17)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Paperback - 412 pages - 978-0-671-68298-9
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-8071-2443-7
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