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TO THE FIFTY® is a series of books and multimedia visualizations that endeavor to describe the Allied POW experiences in World War II (both theaters of war) through first person narratives, government and narrative-derived data sets and mapping technologies.
The title came directly from Paul Brickhill’s dedication in his book, The Great Escape and this series is, therefore, an homage to those 50 executed allied prisoners of war of the Great Escape and others who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Much has been written about the P.O.W. experiences, so in some sense, I am late to the game in re-telling the stories. However, given the political landscape in America, and, indeed, the world, there is no harm in bringing these stories of sacrifices to the fore. From the historical revisionists, to Holocaust-deniers and, historical negation, to neo-Nazi’s and other distorted views of freedom, the message needs constant repeating and reinforcement.
Current research focuses on the European Theater by studying 100 POW STORIES. The title of this book is also “borrowed” from a prisoner of war. It's called, “It’s Enough for Any Man”. Watching newsreels regarding the P.O.W. camp liberations, I nearly fell out of my chair when R.A.F. Warrant Officer George F. Booth, declared that he was the first P.O.W. of WWII. He was shot down September 4th, 1939 in a raid over Wilhelmshaven Germany. During his interview, he is asked about his 5 years and 8 months in captivity, and, with a classic British understatement, he replies, “It's enough, for any man”. See Story #1.
It is the hope that this series will help people of today and tomorrow understand the price of freedom.
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