Prisoner of the Swiss

A World War II Airman's Story

Daniel Culler

 
Date Published :
October 2017
Publisher :
Casemate
Editor :
Rob Morris
Language:
English
Illustration :
16 pages of b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612005546
Pages : 144
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+
In stock
$27.95

Overview
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During World War II, 1,517 members of US aircrews were forced to seek asylum in Switzerland. Most neutral countries found reason to release US airmen from internment, but Switzerland took its obligations under the Hague Convention more seriously than most. The airmen were often incarcerated in local jails, and later transferred to prison camps. The worst of these camps was Wauwilermoos, where at least 161 U.S. airmen were sent for the honorable offense of escaping.

To this hellhole came Dan Culler, the author of this incredible account of suffering and survival. Not only did the prisoners sleep on lice-infested straw, were malnourished and had virtually no hygiene facilities or access to medical care but worse, the commandant of Wauwilermoos was a diehard Swiss Nazi. He allowed the mainly criminal occupants of the camp to torture and rape Dan Culler with impunity. After many months of such treatment, starving and ravaged by disease, he was finally aided by a British officer.

Betrayal dominated his cruel fate - by the American authorities, by the Swiss, and in a last twist in a second planned escape that turned out to be a trap. But Dan Culler’s courage and determination kept him alive. Finally making it back home, he found he had been abandoned again. Political expediency meant there was no such place as Wauwilermoos. He has never been there, so he has never been a POW and didn't qualify for any POW benefits or medical or mental treatment for his many physical and emotional wounds. His struggle to make his peace with his past forms the final part of the story.

Rob Morris’s introduction and notes provide historical background and context, including recent efforts to recognize the suffering of those incarcerated in Switzerland and afford them full POW status.

About The Author
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Dan Culler was a WWII veteran who wrote The Black Hole of Wauwilermoos about his experiences as a POW in a Swiss internment camp during the war. This was adapted as Prisoner of the Swiss by Rob Morris, with his co-operation. He passed away in 2016.

Rob Morris is a military historian and author of multiple titles including Untold Valor: Forgotten Stories of American Bomber Crewmen over Europe in World War II and Wild Blue Yonder and Beyond (Potomac).

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Foreword: The Historical and Legal Origins id Swiss Neutrality
Final Notes on Swiss Neutrality
Editor's Note to the 2017 Revised Edition

Part I: The Black Hole of Wauwilermoos
1. Beginnings
2, Combat
3. Missions
4. Shot Down and Internment Camp
5. Interned at Adelboden
6. The First Escape
7. Entering the Gates of Hell
8. The Depths of Despair
9. Hospital
10. The Second Escape
11. Out of the Depths
12. The Return to England
13. Interrogation in London
14. Home Again
15. Endings
16. The Black Hole of Wauwilermoos Returns
17. Appendix to the Original 1995 Edition of "The Black Hole of Wauwilermoos"

Part II: Aftermath
18. Moving On
19. Andre Beguin and General Barnwell Rhett Legge
20. Recognition at Last

Selected Bibliography and Sources

REVIEWS
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"You would just never believe a story like this would come out of Switzerland... Incredible.”

- Bookzone

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