Barent Roth, Colditz, Britain discussed on History Unplugged Podcast


Escapes themselves and the escapees. And also how accurate their stories are versus the legend because some of these escapees know the art of public relations and release books and they're able to play up their own legend, so the stories could have taken on a life of their own. Perhaps let's begin with somebody who is lesser known among the escapees and somebody that you try to highlight and believe has been largely omitted from these stories. And that is barent Roth mazun Dar. Can you tell me about him and his escape? Yes, I mean, I briefly mentioned him at the beginning. I mean, he was the only non white British officer in colditz. And he was a doctor. The doctor from India, he had trained in Britain. He'd volunteered at the beginning of the war with the royal army medical corps and he'd been captured at Dunkirk right at the beginning. And he was locked up and killed it. He was a fiery, complicated, tricky customer. And inside colditz, he experienced the most the most egregious racism, really. But it wasn't from the Germans, it was really from his fellow prisoners who treated him as in ways that were current at the time, as if he was a sort of second class citizen. And what makes surrender enough Muslim does story extraordinary is that it's that masamba himself was an Indian nationalist. He was very in favor of Indian independence from Britain. Even though he was loyal to Brittany volunteered to fight for The Crown or rather to serve in the British Army for the king. But he was in favor of Indian independence. And the Germans got wind of this and they tried to recruit him as a propagandist. They wanted him to broadcast on the radio to India to try to persuade other Indians to rise up against the British Raj, which of course would have been hugely to the Nazis advantage. And they tried everything. Every blandishment they could think of. Wind and dined him in Berlin. They took him to meet Sebastian bowes, who was the great great Indian regarded as a quisling by Britain by Britain, but regarded by many Indians as a great freedom fighter who had thrown in his lot with the Germans in order to try and raise an army to oppose the British. Was taken to meet him in Berlin and was asked, effectively, to change sides.

Coming up next