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The Great Escape

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Josephine Emery-Morris

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of The Great Escape

Of the 76 escapees who made it out of Stalag Luft III, 3 managed to escape on the first attempt. These lucky three, Per Bergsland, Jens Muller, and Bram van der Stok, all made it out, and were able to return home. In order to find these men, as well as their compatriots, who were recaptured later, Adolf Hitler launched one of the greatest manhunts in history. He mobilized over 70,000 troops, many of them policemen, to seek out the fugitives.
(EOL Course 3 Page 103)
-Gillian H
Question #5:
What happened to the escapees?
Bushell's reasons for escaping were not only to free himself and the other prisoners, but also to thoroughly embarrass Hitler and make the Nazis worry about prison escapees and not the front of the war. Even if it meant his death, he would help win the war in his own way.
EOL Course 3 Page 103
-Leah D.

Question #4:
What were Roger Bushell's reasons for conducting the Great Escape?
Bushell wanted the prisoners to dig the tunnels deep so they could not be heard by any of the guards. (EOL Course 3 Page 101)
- Gillian H
Question #1:
The tunnels were 30 feet underground.
Why were they so deep?
In 1944, at Stalag Luft III, Nazi Germany's most secure prison camp, 200 prisoners prepared to escape. They were led by visionary Roger Bushell (right), a South African RAF pilot who, like the other prisoners of war at Stalag Luft III, had been shot down over German territory.

Of the intended 200 escapees, only 76 actually escaped. Of those, only 3 succeeded in escaping (left), and free spirit Roger Bushell was not among them.

Although the prisoners had planned carefully to make sure nothing went wrong, the Great Escape still did not go according to plan. So how did such a carefully planned escape go so wrong? In this presentation, we will examine the Great Escape of 1944, and see where its troubles began.

The Great Escape
The Journey That Made History

Question #2:
How would snow have hindered the escape?
Snow freezes the ground so it’s harder to dig, makes more digging to get to the surface outside the camp, and makes it harder to run.

Question #6:
What happened to the Nazis who conducted the killings?
After WWII, the Allies pursued the Nazi soldiers who had conducted this war crime in order to bring them to justice. When brought to court, most were found guilty of murder and given the death penalty. Surprisingly, seventeen of the Nazis who worked at Stalag Luft III were simply given a prison term, although twenty-two of their co-workers were hanged for murder. Some were never captured, such as Dr. Menegele, one of the worst Nazis, who fled to South America and was never found.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pursuit_of_Nazi_collaborators and EOL Course Page 104)
-Leah D
The Germans had microphones to hear any tunneling. They also had dogs that could sniff through dirt!

Snow is also great footprint-making material, and the color of the escapees’ “borrowed” clothing made them a lot easier to see against the snow. Snow would also make it easier for the Nazis’ tracking dogs to track them.
- Leah D

Question #3:
Why would the author of the presented text mention snow?
The author may have included that because he wanted to give another detail about the struggle the men had. It would have made it harder for them to run and dig the tunnel.
(Inference from text)
-Gillian H
Roger was a free spirit - exactly the sort to escape for the heck of it! See more at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdyROt4TjV0#t=519
For more about how prisoners of war supported the war effort, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN9xnuX7dH4#t=63
Question #7:
What is the theme of the presented text? Critique it.
The theme of the text, presented on page 104 of EOL Course 3, is that "Nothing can stop a group of men, no matter what their race, color, creed, or nationality, from achieving a common goal."

We agree with this theme. If one sets a goal and wants it hard enough, they will get it eventually. If the people have a common goal, they will find a way to get over their differences to reach it. Human tenacity is a powerful force, especially when propelled by necessity.
(Gillian H. and Leah D.)
For more about the Great Escape, go here:
Creator - Alex B.

Artist - Josephine E.

Researchers - Gillian H. and Leah D.

Fact-Checker - Micah F.
Full transcript