I remember hearing the stories that some of my father’s friends and my work colleagues told about their experiences as POWs in World War II. So I was immediately drawn to this book and I wasn’t disappointed.
It’s an outstanding piece of scholarly writing, written with great empathy, which will be enjoyed by a much wider audience than ex-servicemen
and military history buffs.
Generally POWs are treated with a combination of sympathy and disdain because they are viewed by some as ‘hensoppers’, who unlike their comrades who see a war through to the end, surrender and are taken captive. This is particularly true in the case of our soldiers who were taken in North Africa under somewhat controversial circumstances. These poor fellows also faced a less than favourable climate when they returned at the end of the war to a very politically divided South Africa of the mid-1940s.
Like the POWs Karen Horn writes about, this book should be applauded and accorded the recognition it deserves and not be hidden in the mists of history.
Author: Karen Horn
Publisher: Jonathan Ball
Reviewer: Brian Adams