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The Great Escape: A Canadian Story

Ted Barris

GREAT_ESCAPE_JACKET_FINAL_FRONT_E7.jpg50 years ago Hollywood made a movie of The Great Escape. Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and a whole host of handsome A-List actors the movie didn't tell the whole story.

On the night of March 24, 1944, 80 Commonwealth airmen crawled through a 336-foot-long tunnel and slipped into the forest beyond the wire of Stalag Luft III, a German POW compound near Sagan, Poland. The event became known as "The Great Escape," an intricate breakout more than a year in the making, involving as many as 2,000 POWs working with extraordinary co-ordination, intelligence, and daring.

Yet within a few days, all but three of the escapees were recaptured. Subsequently, fifty were murdered, cremated, and buried in a remote corner of the prison camp.

Ted Barris is a journalist and author who spoke with the people who were really involved and wrote a book called "The Great Escape: A Canadian Story".

Listen audio (runs 17:29)