A fascinating exhibit on life as a POW has opened at The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England.
The exhibition, called “Captured: The Extraordinary Life of Prisoners of War”, combines pictures, artifacts, and real-life anecdotes to give a glimpse into the experiences of prisoners of war from all armies during the Second World War (1939-45). It also features the only known film of German POWs in Britain.
While the exhibition focuses on the daily endurance test POWs had to live through, it also examines some of the famous escapes from notorious German prisons such as Colditz. This castle near Dresden housed Allied POWs who had tried to escape from other prisons. The Nazis considered it impossible to escape from. Several POWs saw it as a challenge and proved the Nazis wrong.
This museum junkie has been to many of The Imperial War Museum’s special exhibitions and has always been impressed. They’re always easy to follow and full of surprises and leave you knowing a lot more than when you arrived. At the permanent exhibition in the museum’s London branch, there’s a recording of an interview with a British soldier who survived a Japanese POW camp. He got terrible sores on his legs and didn’t have any medicine to treat them. Knowing that tea is a disinfectant, he pressed tea bags against the sores. This bit of trivia saved his legs and probably his life.
This latest exhibition is one of a series of events marking the 70th anniversary of the start of World War Two. A list of upcoming events at the museum’s five branches is online here,
“Captured: The Extraordinary Life of Prisoners of War” runs until January 3rd, 2010.