A Real Life Hogan’s Heroes

I can’t imagine the stones this guy had.

“POW Greasley confronting Heinrich Himmler (in glasses) in the POW camp, demonstrating (with his shirt off) how they need more rations. He was not aware that hthis superior officer was Himmler himself.” (via NYSD)

Horace Greasley – Telegraph: Horace Greasley, who died on February 4 aged 91, claimed a record unique among Second World War PoWs – that of escaping from his camp more than 200 times only to creep back into captivity each time.

The only way to carry on the love affair was to break out of his camp. From Silesia, bordered by Germany and German-occupied countries, there was little hope of escaping back to Britain. The nearest neutral country was Sweden, 420 miles to the north. Perhaps for this reason the guards were lax, and the Germans seemed to consider that those trying to escape were effectively attempting suicide.

Greasley reckoned that short absences could be disguised or go unnoticed. Messages between him and Rosa were exchanged via members of outside work parties, who then handed hers on to Greasley, the camp barber, when they came to have their hair cut. When, with the help of friends, he did make it under the wire for an assignation nearby, he would break back into the camp again under cover of darkness to await his next opportunity.

Sometimes, Greasley reckoned, he made the return journey three or more times a week, depending on whether Rosa’s duties among various camps brought her to his vicinity. His persistence in their love affair was not the only testimony to his daring. A wartime photograph shows Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, inspecting a prison camp and a shirtless skinny PoW close to the fence confronting him.

Additional links:
The story of Horace (known as Jim) and Rosa
War love story could be turned into Spielberg film – Telegraph