June 15th 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Anthony Albanese: NSW left factional warlord takes charge

EDITORIAL Religious freedom: the political and legislative challenges

CANBERRA OBSERVED Will Bill Shorten emerge from the shadows again?

FEDERAL ELECTION Queensland voted for jobs, life and country

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Keating's 'nutters': Don't blame the messenger

ECONOMICS AND SOCIETY Health policy is not immune from neoliberal infection

HUMAN RIGHTS Canada accepts Asia Bibi and family as refugees

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Families keeping the faith: the Benedict and other options

IDEOLOGY Feminist claims for equality, Part 1: The context

HISTORY OF SCIENCE Faith and reason and Father Stanley Jaki, Part 3: More on science and ancient cultures

LIFE ISSUES Families, youth boost crowd at WA Rally for Life

MUSIC Muse of delight: The laugh ascending

CINEMA Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion

BOOK REVIEW Pioneering aviator's flights and fancies

BOOK REVIEW Catholic resistance in a forgotten war

BOOK REVIEW AFA patron's long life of public service

LETTERS

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell's appeal, June 5-6, 2019: An account from the live streaming

Books promotion page

THE REAL GREAT ESCAPE:
 The Story of the First World War's Most Daring Mass Breakout

Jacqueline Cook

$34.95


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(Sydney: Vintage Books, 2013)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN: 9780857981141
Price: AUD$34.95

 

Book description

Bigger than the World War II movie, The Great Escape, this is the story of the first successful mass tunnel escape from a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp in First World War Germany.

Situated in Lower Saxony, Germany, Holzminden swung open its barbed wire gates to welcome its first guests in September 1917. It was here that the transient population of officers and orderlies from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India and Argentina found themselves at the mercy of the despotic Kommandant, Karl Niemeyer, who prided himself on his unblemished breakout record. Serial escapees who had attempted multiple escapes from other camps were sent here for containment.

A group of intrepid officers hatched a daring breakout plan that was to become the blueprint for escape attempts in subsequent wars. Under the feet of their German captors, the officers dug a 55m long tunnel through concrete foundations, rock and packed earth with little more than ingenuity and kitchen cutlery.

Nine months later, 29 officers emerged from the exit hole in a nearby rye field and melted into the darkness of the German countryside. Running the gamut of a furious kommandant, search parties and townspeople eager to claim the reward for their recapture, 10 escapees managed to reach neutral Holland — and ultimately the safety of England.

To write this extraordinary book, Jacqueline Cook called for contributions from descendants of Holzminden POWs, who opened their treasure chests to offer personal anecdotes, wartime journals, unpublished photographs and artwork.

The Real Great Escape illuminates the amazing lives of a group of courageous men, from the victorious to the tragic.

 

About the author

Brisbane-based Jacqueline Cook is a screenwriter with several films in development, including a supernatural thriller, a World War I drama and a UK drama which tells the story of the little-known friendship and rivalry between the world’s most beloved fantasy writers, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

Jacqueline's alarming addiction to screenwriting kicked in many years ago. She has heeded the siren's call ever since, battling a condition called cacoethes scribendi, which, roughly translated from Latin, means an insatiable urge to write.


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