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The Spirit in the Cage - Peter Churchill

Hodder & Stoughton, 1954, Hardback in Dustwrapper..
Condition: Very Good — in Poor Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with a ragged leading edge to the lower panel. Previous owners' inscription to the first blank. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.

Illustrated with black and white photographs & a map. From the cover: “OF THEIR OWN CHOICE and DUEL OF WITS told the story of his four war missions to France in the Resistance, culminating in his capture along with Odette in April, 1943. THE SPIRIT IN THE CAGE opens with their incarceration in the prison of Fresnes, where the nightmare of solitary confinement was mitigated for Peter Churchill by occasional meetings with Odette, news of her, and ingeniously devised communication with his fellow-prisoners. For the inmates of Fresnes, resignation, hope and despair followed each other round, like the seasons, in a regular cycle. Behind these bars, a gift of seventy-two Red Cross biscuits constituted a gigantic feast, a book all to oneself a consolation beyond measure. No one could have been more unfitted for existence in captivity than Peter Churchill; Odette, who knew this, found wonderful ways in which to help him. His record of Fresnes is not only his own story, but the story of Odette seen through his eyes. ODETTE was in Fresnes still when Peter Churchill was moved to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, to quarters so civilised he could hardly believe they were to be the end of his mysterious journeyings. The unaccustomed sight of glorious sky through his large windows was almost too much, his first walk in the empty compound as large a step towards freedom as he felt he could manage in one stride. Here he enjoyed the companionship of notable Russians, Poles and Italians, later joined by a British Major and three airmen from Sagan, born escapers who lived up to their reputation by a highly exciting attempt at the near-impossible. FLOSSENBURG Concentration Camp, his next place of confinement, brought Peter Churchill face to face with the full horror of Nazi captivity. The end of the war was obviously near now, but for very many of the prisoners it would clearly come too late. THE last and most tense move was to Italy in a convoy which finally included 132 “Pro-minenten” of twenty-two nationalities: Alexander Papagos, Commander-in-Chief of the Greek Army, Pastor Martin Niemöller, Colonel Ferraro of the Italian partisans, General Garibaldi, grandson of the famous Liberator of Italy, masterful Colonel von Bonin, the gallant Baron von Flügge and many more. Their S.S. guards made no secret of their hatred for these hostages. Both the British contingent and the outstanding political and military prisoners were fortunate to be alive to greet the arrival of an enthusiastic little group of American ‘liberators’. On May 12, 1945, after twenty-five months of captivity, Peter Churchill was flown from Naples to Northolt.”
Size: 7¾" x 5½"
Number of Pages: 251

£7.50 (Now Sold)