Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Duncan Little's Blog

Duncan Little's book, Allies in Auschwitz (Clairview) will be featured in the next cycle of Exclusively Independent. Here is Duncan's blog, giving us a great insight into his work, how he came to writing, and ultimately becoming published.

The idea for the book, “Allies in Auschwitz,” began following a chance find of wartime documents at the National Archives in Kew, London. I discovered various papers describing the terrible abuse endured by a number of British Prisoners of War (POWs) during their imprisonment in Auschwitz.

These POWs had been sent to a special facility on its outskirts. Their prison huts became known as E715 Auschwitz.

Documents showed that the majority of the British soldiers were not Jewish and that they maintained their POW status. The men, however, were daily witnesses to concentration camp inmates being beaten, starved and killed.

I interviewed three survivors from the camp and their testimonies became central to the book.

The documents showed horrendous violations of the Geneva Convention. One British soldier was shot, another was stabbed and a third man was flogged. Others were forced into slave labour and the survivors had to march hundreds of miles to liberation at the start of 1945.

I approached Clairview in 2009 and am delighted that they have published the book as I feel the story of the British POWs in Auschwitz is an important, but little known, part of history. The book itself has generated substantial media interest - from “Exclusively Independent” to newspapers and radio.

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