Dachau To The Dolomites P/B
Dachau to the Dolomites is the dramatic but little-known story of a group of prominent Nazi SS hostages transported from various concentration camps to a remote Alpine valley in the final days of the Third Reich. Five Irishmen were among the 160 prisoners whom Himmler and other SS leaders attempted to use as barter to save the regime or, as a final resort, themselves. As well as eminent international statesmen, aristocrats and clergy, the group contained opposition German generals and civilian relatives of those who had plotted against Hitler, including the family of Claus von Stauffenberg, who placed the bomb in Hitler's Wolf's Lair. Among the hostages were a number of British officers, survivors of the famous 'Great Escape', and also Colonel John McGrath from Roscommon, a World War I veteran who had left his job as manager of Dublin's Theatre Royal to rejoin the British Army in 1939. They had been held with Russian, Italian and Polish special prisoners as 'Nacht und Nebel' - Night and Fog - prisoners, whose existence was a state secret. They lived in constant danger of execution, a fate some did not escape, including Stalin's son, who died following a fracas with Irish prisoners. It is an astonishing and epic tale encompassing heroic endurance, escape, betrayal, tragedy and love.