2015 Stalag Luft III Reunion – October 21st – 25th
More information to come!
Co-chairs for the next Stalag Luft III Reunion in Colorado Springs, CO, Marilyn Walton and Mike Eberhardt, would encourage those who wish to attend to register as early as possible in order to get the best airline fares and assure a place at the reunion. This is a reminder that July 24th is the cutoff date. After that, reservations will be taken as they come if room permits.
We are pleased to tell you that since our original agenda was sent out, we have heard from Guy Gruters, who is an internationally-known speaker, Air Force Academy graduate, and a POW held in N. Vietnam for nearly five-and-a-half years. He visited our reunion several years ago and enjoyed it so much, he wants to come back and spend the entire time with us, and he has agreed to speak at one of our sessions. There is also a chance that the Military Channel (now called the Military Heroes Channel) will cover our reunion. In addition to our program, we have included yet one more author interview related to the Great Escape and a very special salute to our POWs from a nationally-known figure.
Colorado Springs SLIII Reunion: Aug 26-29, 2014
JOIN US FOR PRESENTATIONS AND MEETINGS WITH WWII POWS
FROM STALAG LUFT III—SITE OF “THE GREAT ESCAPE”
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of “The Great Escape” from Stalag Luft III in 1944, a variety of presentations, lectures, and films will be viewed by ex POWs from Stalag Luft III and other attendees at the Hotel Elegante, 2886 S Circle Dr., Colorado Springs, CO, on Aug. 27 and 29, 2014. A limited number of spaces in two full-day programs are available to individuals with an interest in WWII. Those interested can attend one day or both.
The August 27th session will include presentations from the author of a recent book on “The Great Escape”; a video that chronicles the search for the Nazis responsible for executing (on Hitler’s command) 50 of the Allied prisoners involved in the Great Escape; a presentation regarding 168 Allied airmen who were first incarcerated at Buchenwald concentration camp before Stalag Luft III (some of whom will be present for this presentation); and a panel of Germans who as teenagers grew up during the war in Germany and witnessed events first-hand.
The August 29th presentations will include a panel discussion of POWs and researchers discussing their capture, interrogation by the Nazis, and camp life; a presentation by a history professor/medical doctor regarding the covert role of doctors during the war; and an interview with the author of a recent book that researched the British post war investigation of those murdered following their capture after The Great Escape.
Evening sessions are also planned each of those days for interaction with attending POWs.
Don’t miss this opportunity!!
A registration fee of $25 per day is required.
For the Early Birds:
“Over There – USAF in the UK – WWII” – What do the old airfields of the 8th A.F. in England look like now? This haunting film explores the history of many of the prominent U.S. airfields in England and the experiences of the USAF airmen who flew from them.
We will show the nostalgic highlights of the “50th Stalag Luft III Reunion – 1995” which was deemed to be “the last reunion.” A section called, “Breezing with the Brass” will feature several of the top senior American officers from the camp that later went on to become generals. Afterward we will gather in the Hospitality Suite by compound for Compound Connections so guests can visit with others from the same compound they or their relatives were in.
Ted Barris – Ted Barris is an accomplished author, journalist, and broadcaster. As well as hosting stints on CBC Radio and regular contributions to the Globe and Mail and National Post, Barris has authored 16 non-fiction books and is a full-time professor of journalism at Centennial College in Toronto. Ted will discuss his latest extremely popular book, The Great Escape – A Canadian Story, in which he recounts this nearly mythical escape operation through the voices of those involved, many of whom trained in Canada, served in RCAF bomber and fighter squadrons, were shot down over Europe, imprisoned at Stalag Luft III, and ultimately became co-conspirators in the actual Great Escape. Based on his original interviews, research, and assembly of memoirs, letters, diaries, and personal photos, he reveals the significant and often unrecognized involvement of many of the escape’s key players. This newly-released book has sold out as quickly as it has been printed. Books will be available for sale.
“The Reckoning” – This being the 70th anniversary of the Great Escape, we focus more than usual on that event. This highly-acclaimed and riveting Australian film explores the relentless pursuit of the Gestapo murderers of the fifty Stalag Luft III POWs after the Great Escape until nearly all were brought to exemplary justice. Watch for someone at the reunion at the beginning of the film up in the goon box!
“Air Aces” and Panel Discussion – Tuskegee Airman and Stalag Luft III POW, Alex Jefferson, was recently featured along with some fellow Tuskegee Airmen on the Military Channel’s “Air Aces” series. This fascinating episode highlights Alex’s story of air battle, capture, and the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. A panel discussion will follow featuring three extraordinary men. Alex Jefferson will be joined by Stalag Luft III historian and author, Arnold Wright, and POW Irv Baum. Arnold Wright, transcriber of the secret ledgers recorded by POW Ewell McCright, later published the ledgers entitled, Behind the Wire. He will discuss the ledgers carried out of the camp on the Forced March. POW Irv Baum, who arrived at Stalag Luft III the day after the Great Escape, will discuss his experiences as a Jewish POW behind the wire and his post-liberation experience as a volunteer at Dachau concentration camp. Q&A will follow.
Lost Airmen of Buchenwald”& Return to Buchenwald – This award-winning documentary won first place for feature documentary at actor, Gary Sinise’s, annual GI film festival in Washington DC in 2012. It is the story of 168 allied airmen held at Buchenwald after their capture in France and their eventual release to Stalag Luft III. California producer and director, Mike Dorsey, grandson of the late POW E.C. “Easy” Freeman, one of the men featured in the film, will discuss the making of his film and his return to Buchenwald to dedicate a memorial that he arranged to pay tribute to the 168 allied POWs held there. Post presentation, those POWs from “Lost Airmen” attending the reunion will join him for Q&A.
Friedrich von Lindeiner Memoirs – Mike Eberhardt and Marilyn Walton – Marilyn is a graduate of The Ohio State University and is an editor for the U.S. Police K9 Association, a children’s book editor, and contributor to WWII and police K9 magazines. She is the author of ten books. Mike, a graduate of William and Mary and The University of North Carolina Law School. He is a lawyer in private practice having previously worked as a former federal prosecutor, counsel to two Congressional Committees, Assistant Inspector General, Dept. of Defense, as a partner in a DC law firm, and General Counsel to Fortune a 500 company. He was a Marine Corps reservist. They will present information in regard to the memoirs of former Stalag Luft III kommandant, Friedrich von Lindeiner, which were unavailable to the public for decades. They will also discuss their future fund-raising projects for the museum at Stalag Luft III.
The German Perspective – Panel Discussion – What was it like to be raised in Germany during the war? What was it like to grow up hearing the stories of the old camp from a mother who had worked as a mail censor there or from the man who was deemed the Master Interrogator of Germany? Three panelists will address these experiences:
Claudius Scharff is the son of the Master Interrogator of Germany, Hanns Joachim Scharff. His father frequented Stalag Luft III reunions in the past and became life-long friends with many of the POWs. Claudius has been an integral part of the Stalag Luft III research community and receives numerous inquiries from police departments and the U.S. military, who still use his father’s friendly, yet successful, interrogation techniques.
Kurt Muellenberg will relate his experiences of “growing up German” as a child in wartime Europe. Kurt survived the war and afterward his mother encouraged him to escape from East Germany in May 1949 at the age of 17. After a dangerous border crossing and periods of time in West Germany and Switzerland, he arrived in the U.S., where he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and served until January 1957. A subsequent career in the United States Department of Justice lead to his service as a federal prosecutor of organized crime cases and his appointment as Chief, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, Criminal Division. He was subsequently appointed by President Jimmy Carter to be the first Inspector General at the General Services Administration and was later appointed by a federal judge to serve as monitor over the activities of Hotel and Restaurant Employees International Union, which had been the subject of numerous investigations for corruption and labor racketeering.
Andrea Hatfield lives in Washington DC, where she is a licensed therapist, treating adults and couples with a variety of mental health concerns, and she participates in a residential real estate partnership with her two sisters. She is also an actress whose professional credits include productions on HBO and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is the daughter of Lisa Knüppel, one of the mail censors at Stalag Luft III. Her mother also served as secretary and friend of Camp Kommandant Friedrich von Lindeiner. Andrea will address her mother’s experiences in the camp with the other young women who lived there and were later evacuated via boxcar as the POWs were in January 1945. Andrea will tell the heart-warming story of the only canine POW at the camp!
Overview & A.F. Academy Visit – Our day at the Academy will include the brief video, “A Quiet Excellence,” produced at the Air Force Academy which gives an introductory overview of the facility and the Stalag Luft III Collection. This fifteen-minute film presents the A.F. Academy’s role in preserving the history of Stalag Luft III through the Clark Collection and shows the Collection’s value to present-day cadets. We will tour the famous chapel and if time permits the Visitors Center. We will have lunch at the Falcon Club and tour the Stalag Luft III Collections created by former POW and former Academy superintendent, Lt. General Albert P. Clark.
70th Anniversary of the Great Escape & Video Tour of Stalag Luft III – Stalag Luft III Museum Director, Marek Lazarz, will discuss and show highlights of the recent three-day memorial remembrance ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Great Escape. Marek will also narrate a video tour of what remains of the camptoday.
Roger Bushell – Befitting the 70th anniversary of the Great Escape, we will have a presentation on Roger Bushell, Mastermind of the famous escape through Tunnel Harry. TBA
“The Unexpected Parcel” – Award-winning documentary maker, Louise Woehrle, niece of POW Charles Woehrle, will show a brief and charming video she created to tell the story of her uncle’s acquisition of a Patek Philippe watch while he was a POW and the history of the watch afterward. Charles’s unique story was retold at the urging of Tom Brokaw on the Today Show.
Sneaky Doctors: The Combatant-like Activities of Captured Allied Non-combatants in WWII Europe – Medical doctor and professor, Tamara Haygood, reveals the role of medical personnel behind enemy lines and their tendency to not always abide by the term, “non-combatant.” She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and holds a Ph.D. in history from Rice University. Tamara has published an extensive bibliography of memoirs of prisoners of war. To date, her collection of POW memoirs numbers over 600 published works, plus others obtained from the internet or as unpublished manuscripts.
“The Great Escape – The Untold Story” – Billed as a sequel to the original “Great Escape” movie, this is an excellent production by Granada films in the UK and features a re-enactment of the actual escape from Stalag Luft III. It includes interviews with original escapers and ex-prisoners.
Our reunion concludes with a gala dinner, where some Air Force Academy personnel and cadets will join us. We have an enjoyable evening planned to conclude our week of tribute to our POWs and in remembrance of the Great Escape.
Raffles, trivia contest and surprises!
Authors attending are all invited to sell their books.
To view documents click below: