Alexander Kerr - Ten-day escape

Running time
2 min 54 sec
Date made
Copyright
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Transcript

I spent just about four years altogether. I was sent to a small stalag which was run by the army.

Subsequently I spent most of the time in a much larger camps which were run by the Luftwaffe and basically we preferred the Luftwaffe controlled camps to the army controlled camps.

In this army camp when I got there, which was in about November 1941, we were just starting to dig a tunnel and we completed a tunnel there that was completed in May 1942. It broke quite a few records we found out later. It was the longest tunnel in either WW1 or WW2 from which a successful escape had been made.

We broke out on the night of 10 May 1943, no 1942 and the interesting thing was that it was exactly one year to within about two or three hours from the time that I was shot down but anyhow we were out for a fair while.

I escaped with two others and we were out for about ten days, jumping in trains, pinching food, holing up during the day wherever we could and moving at night and eventually we were caught and taken back to our stalag and when we got back there we found that the Gestapo was in charge of the camp.

This escape had been so big, according to the Germans, that they had posters in all the police stations in Germany and our photographs and a description of everyone because they had all that information themselves and one by one they recaptured them. We were the 48th and 49th to be captured. Fifty two got out altogether. One was shot.

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