Alla inlägg den 14 juni 2017

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 14 juni 2017 09:40

Waking up to millions of birds singing, couldn’t get any better says, Mom. The sky is bright blue and it’ll be a gorgeous day for sure.


The forest surrounding us is magnificent with tall oak and some other trees that Mom doesn’t know the name of. Germans are very easy going about bringing dogs everywhere so Mom said I could come along to explore the castle.

It started out real well, I friend I met from England and her Mom came with us for the walk but when we was about half way there I got tired and I laid down and refused to take another step. All Mom could do was to walk me back and leave me to watch Lucy and take a nap. Mom doesn’t understand that I have much shorter legs than her and get tired easily.

Just about at this bridge I decided to call it quits.


It was almost a 3 km hike to get to the castle so she went back by herself and went on a 2,5 hour long guided tour.


The lady who was telling the story was very passionated about the history of the castle and told so many interesting stories to keep her audience captivated.


The castle was first mentioned in the 11th century.

Imperial property in the 12th century.

Burned down twice in the middle ages.

15-18th century it was used by the Saxon family.

19-20th century it was a poorhouse and a mental hospital.

1939-1945German Army prisoner-of-war camps for captured enemy officers during World War II.

1946-1996 it was a general hospital

For nearly100 years, from 1829 to 1924, Colditz was a sanatorium, generally reserved for the wealthy and the nobility of Germany.

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they turned the castle into a political prison for, communists homosexuals, Jews and other people they considered undesirable. Starting in 1939 allied prisoners were housed there


this is now used as a youth hostel and a music school



After the outbreak of World War II, the castle was converted into a high-security prisoner-of-war-camp for officers who had become security or escape risks or who were regarded as particularly dangerous. Since the castle is situated on a rocky outcrop above the River Mulde, the Germans believed it to be an ideal site for a high-security prison.

There were also prisoners called Prominent. The first one was Giles Romilly, a civilian journalist who was captured in Narvik, Norway who was also a nephew of Winston Churchill's wife. Hitler himself specified that Romilly was to be treated with the utmost care. 

Although it was considered a high-security prison, it had one of the highest records of successful escape attempts. This could be owing to the general nature of the prisoners that were sent there; most of them had attempted escape previously from other prisons and were transferred to Colditz because the Germans had thought the castle escape-proof.


It was a steep climb and Mom said she was happy I stayed home because this would have been very difficult for me


looking down from above there was a pig sty and gorgeous roses, a big contrast.


The prisoners was extremely inventive and here's a sewing machine they made


They made "dummies" of paper so when it came time to count prisoners all was there but in reality, they were busy digging tunnels to escape



One lavish scheme even included a glider, the "Colditz cock", that was kept in a remote portion of the castle's attic, completed in the winter of 1944–45, but following the great escape, in which 50 escapees were executed,(something the guide never mentioned?) all further escape attempts were officially discouraged and the glider was never used. When the camp was liberated by the Americans in late April 1945 the glider was brought down from the hidden workshop to the attic below and assembled for the prisoners to see. It was at this time that the only known photograph of the glider was taken. here's a replica built from the blueprints


The idea for the glider came from Lieutenant Tony Rolt. Rolt, who was not even an airman, had noticed the chapel roof line was completely obscured from German view. He realized that the roof would make a perfect launching point from which the glider could fly across the river Mulde, which was about 60 meters below.

The glider constructed was a lightweight, two-seater, high wing, monoplane design. It had a Mooney style rudder and square elevators. The wingspan, tip to tip, was 32 ft, and it was 19 ft 9 in from nose to tail. Prison sleeping bags of blue and white checked cotton were used to skin the glider, and German ration millet was boiled and used as a form of dope to seal the cloth pores The completed glider weighed 240 lb. 

For some time after the war, the glider was regarded as either a myth or tall story, as there was no solid proof that the glider had existed and Colditz was then in the Soviet Occupation Zone.

Bill Goldfinch, however, took home the drawings he had made when designing the glider and, when the single photograph finally surfaced, the story was taken seriously.


16 prisoners were building the plane behind a fake wall in the attic, and the plan was to use tables from the kitchen as a launch pad on the roof. and to fill a bathtub with concrete attached to the front to make the plane take off.

In March 2012, a radio-controlled, full-sized replica glider was built in the Chapel attic and was flown from Colditz for a documentary. The documentary aired in North America on PBS under the title "Escape from Nazi Alcatraz"  The glider built for this documentary now forms part of a new museum display in the Chapel Attic and a very interesting movie was made. Mom took pictures of the screen.


this is a picture of the men that engineered this escape that never took place


this is the church and the head of Martin Luther who was born in a town not far from here, and he brought the Protestant Christianity .


In April 1945, U.S troops entered Colditz town and, after a two-day fight, captured the castle on 16 April. In May 1945, the Soviet occupation of Colditz began. According to the agreement at the Yalta conference, it became a part of East Germany. The Soviets turned Colditz Castle into a prison camp for local burglars and non-communists. Later, the castle was a home for the aged and nursing home, as well as a hospital and psychiatric clinic. For many years after the war, forgotten hiding places and tunnels were found by repairmen, including a radio room set up by the French POWs, which was then "lost" again only to be re-discovered some twenty years later.

there are many documentaries on YouTube about this castle, and here’s one link if you're interested


while listening to the guide in the courtyard Mom saw a lot of birds circling and one made a dive straight into a bush, so needless to say it had to be investigated.


There was a starling on her nest


and lots and lots of these birds on the roof, Mom thinks they are kestrels

It was a very interesting day for Mom and a great rest for me. We'll be staying another night at this wonderful place, and tomorrow ?? ?? who knows??? 











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