Chance to spend the night in Colditz!

First published in Local

A TRIP being organised later this year aims to satisfy the curiosity of anyone who has ever wondered what it must have felt like to have been held prisoner in a notorious Second World War fortress.

For a historical research group is offering Worcestershire people the chance to spend the night at the infamous Colditz Castle - and briefly experience the lives of captured servicemen.

Stories about the numerous escape attempts from the castle in eastern Germany have captured the public imagination ever since the screening of the television series back in the 1970s.

Early on in the war, the Germans had converted the 12th century fortress near Leipzig into what they thought was an escape-proof bastion perched high on a rock overlooking a river.

But they had not allowed for the ingenuity of the so-called ‘incorrigible’ prisoners. And although Colditz was considered a high security prison, it boasted one of the highest records of successful escape attempts.

The most famous of these was by Captain Patrick Reid who successfully broke out in 1942 and subsequently wrote two detailed books about his adventures and the exploits of fellow British prisoners incarcerated in the castle.

And nearly 70 years later, the Birmingham War Research Society – a voluntary and charitable supporting group - is offering the chance for county people to experience the daily reality of Allied prisoners held in this gloomy fortress.

Organiser Alex Bulloch said: “The Colditz trip will be the journey of a lifetime for anyone interested in this aspect of the 1939-45 conflict.

“However, we will not only see the famous castle but also visit the sites of the celebrated raids on the Ruhr dams, exploits immortalised in the 1955 film The Dambusters.

“Our tour will also take in Nordhausen rocket factory tunnels and the German Border museum which contains many fascinating artefacts from the Cold War period.”

The trip will be running August 9-14, the coach leaving Birmingham on the evening before the first day. For more information, visit www.battlefieldtours.org.uk call Mr Bulloch on 0121 4599008 or Brian Long on 01629 650780.

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