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Open Road to Faraway - Escapes from Nazi Prisoner of War Camps 1941-1945
Open Road to Faraway - Escapes from Nazi Prisoner of War Camps 1941-1945


 
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Description
 
What you are about to read are memories. They are of a man who, quite literally, fell into a nightmare world.
 In many ways, it is also a story about the power of memory itself, both as a precious refuge in the face of
 unimaginable horror and as an involuntary recorder and reminder of that same reality.

 In September 1941, Andrew Winton baled out of his RAF bomber into a continent of Europe under the control of
 Nazi Germany. He found himself in a strange, paradoxical world where social order and the basic rule and process
 of law were drowning in a rising tide of totalitarian violence and brutality.

 As a British prisoner of war, he experienced and describes the contradictions, harshness and absurdities that
 such a life entailed - escape committees, Red Cross parcels, occasional beatings from guards and the crushing
 boredom. He evokes a society striving to maintain a measure of cohesion in the face of captors who, as the war
 progressed were, ironically, trying to do the same. As the Allies advanced and their bombing increased, so
 shortages of food and the long German retreat westwards levelled the barriers between captives and captors. Life
 over the wire was even more extreme. The author's experiences 'on the run', recalled with the clarity of an artist's
 memory, cross over into the surreal as he is trapped between the retreating Germans and the advancing Red
 Army. He describes a disintegrating world where people are adrift and are ready to cling to whatever vestige of
 decency, family, love or beauty they can find. Again and again, memory provides Andrew Winton and the people
 he comes across with their only hope in a disintegrating world.

 For the author, it is the memory of his home in Lanarkshire, and of the Scottish landscape in particular, that
 sustained him. Just as the horrors he witnessed were seared into his memory, so he carried the imprint of
 moorland and loch, and the words of Robert Burns. Like many before him caught up in the chaos of war, these
 are the things that gave him strength and hope and spurred him to escape the confinement of the prisoner.
 It wasn't hatred for the enemy or love of 'King and Country' that made him dream and plan of escape; it was the
 power of memory.

 In the early part of his story, Andrew Winton describes the last summer of peace in Scotland. He is on his uncle's
 farm near Cleish in Kinross-shire. As they look out over ripening fields, his uncle says, 'A pity you didn't have a
 sheet of paper and paints with you, Andy. Isn't that a great picture'? Andrew replies 'I'll store it in my memory and
 send it on to you when I have it finished'. I don't know if he ever finished that picture but over the next six years
 his memory stored many such pictures, for better or for worse.
Features
  • Softcover
  • 157 pages
  • Some Black and White Photos and Illustrations
  • Size 5.75" x 8.25" - 14.5"cm x 21cm


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