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Nazi Prison Escape

Reconstruction
A German reenactment of the escape from Mussolini's office.
Escaping Colditz
17: September 9, 1942

On this morning, the Germans discovered six officers missing. It seems that some prisoners had snuck at night into the office of the German Sergeant-Major nicknamed Mussolini and, right behind his desk, had cut a hole through the back wall to a storeroom beyond. When the time was right, the six chosen escapers slipped through Mussolini's office and exited the storeroom disguised as two German officers and four Polish inmates. A real German officer opened the gate for them, and they were gone. Four were recaptured within a day, but two—British Flight-Lieut. William Fowler and Dutch Captain D.J. van Doorninck—reached Switzerland.

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  1. First escape
    April 12, 1941


  2. Straw mattresses
    May 8, 1941


  3. Locked cells
    Mid-May 1941


  4. Canteen tunnel
    May 1941


  5. German woman
    June 1941


  6. Air-raid shelter
    June 1941


  7. Hacksaw
    June 1941


  8. Over the wall
    July 2, 1941


  9. Air shaft
    July 28, 1941


  1. Lavatory
    July 31, 1941


  2. Manhole
    Late summer, 1941


  3. Dummies
    December 1941


  4. German officers
    December 1941


  5. Main gate
    January 6, 1942


  6. Town dump
    March 1942


  7. Wooden crate
    September 7, 1942


  8. Mussolini's office
    September 9, 1942


  9. Headquarters building
    October 15, 1942


  1. Willi the electrician
    December 1942


  2. "Maddest attempt"
    May 11, 1943


  3. Franz Josef
    September 2, 1943


  4. Cellar house
    January 19, 1944


  5. Rubbish heap
    May 2, 1944


  6. Greatest escaper
    September 25, 1944


  7. Glider
    April 1945



Escaping Colditz | The Jailor's Story | Great Escapes | The Colditz Glider
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