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Another tale from 'Checking out from Hotel Colditz - 'Mann! Ich fühle mich wie eine Frau.'
Episode 3: 'Man! I feel like a woman.'
For the success of any escape, and the culmination of a home run; the sharing of information, supplies and techniques between the allied forces interned there was vital.
But then sometimes success was just down to sheer bloody good fortune that all the pieces of the jigsaw slotted together at exactly the right time!
It had come to the attention of the senior British escape officer that one particular German guard was recieving an irregular ammount of incoming calls whilst on duty at the front gate.
The Polish suggested he might be dealing in contraband, and that this could be used to the Allies advantage.
The French pointed out that with someone so completely distracted, it had to be made to count for something!
Determined to get to the bottom of it, the Brits called in a few favours, and obtained the latest high-tec listening device available within the walls of Colditz.
Jean Le stylo was the pen name the Brits had for a French Artist who resided in Oflaf 4c, Colditz castle. He worked mainly in watercolours.
In exchange for a small phial of white spirit, Jean was going to use his artistic talent for the British cause...
Meanwhile, intelligence was being gathered specifically about the exact times that parcels would be delivered by the Red Cross Association.
Every three months, a van would arrive under terms set by the Geneva convention. The Germans honoured these terms, and they also allowed smaller parcels to be hand delivered by the elderly patrons of the order of St John war organisation situated in the local village, and run by the woman's institute.
Finally, after months of close surveillance, the team was able to decipher what was distracting the Guard from his duty, and just exactly what those persistant phone calls were about.
The young man lived with his terrifying elderly mother - a fussy, forceful and overbearing woman, who organised the local order of St John ladies group. She made his life a misery with her persistant checking up...
Guard: 'Please Mother, I insist you do not phone me here.'
Guard: 'Yes, Mother, I have my knitted scarf.'
Guard: '...and my thermal underwear!'
The final piece of the escape jigsaw was put into place!
And it's goodnight from her/HIM! Auf Wiedersehen, colditz!
The story is based on true events that happened at the castle.
The paintings were actually the work of a British artist, Major Anderson who was a prisoner in the castle for a number of years, and also...
5. June 1941
Prisoners on their supervised daily walk to the park near the castle paused by a gate leading out to let a German woman through. The German guards said nothing, but as the woman walked away from the castle, one of the prisoners noticed she had dropped her watch. "Hey, Fräulein, your watch!" he said. She didn't respond, so a guard went after her --and found "her" to be Lieut. Chasseur Alpin Bouley, a Frenchman. Untimely chivalry cost Bouley his freedom.