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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

How to Escape From a Nazi Prison Fortress

00:00 47:31
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Looking at Colditz Castle, it was no surprise why the Nazi’s chose the towering fortress as their prison-of-war camp for the most defiant Allied prisoners. Perched high above a rocky outcrop with thick medieval walls of stone, the men who had escaped other camps would surely have no such luck here, living out the war under the watchful eye of their German captors. But men do not resign themselves so lightly, and with nothing but time on their hands, the POWs of Colditz would engineer some of the most ingenious—and utterly reckless—methods of escape that could be imagined.

Today’s guest is Ben Macintyre, author of “Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape From Colditz.” We metaphorically go inside the prison to live among side these men as they grapple with class conflict, bullying, boredom, insanity and farce. There are heroes and traitors, class conflicts and secret alliances, and ingenious escape attempts that would become legend.

We get into character portraits of the inmates, along with their stories of bravery and sacrifice.
September 27, 2022
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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