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 A story and a random act of kindness

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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: A story and a random act of kindness   Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:17 pm

Some of you may know that one of my hobbies is reading / researching WWII Allied POW escape attempts, most especially the events surrounding the 'Great Escape' from Stalag Luft III - see my avatar which is a frame from the 1963 film classic.

<<<<<<<<<

Over the years I've become particularly interested the story of Bertram 'Jimmy' James, an RAF officer who's Wellington was hit somewhere over Holland resulting in him bailing and being swiftly captured.  Jimmy, who died in 2008, went on to become one of the most prolific escapers of the war and was number 39 out of the tunnel 'Harry' during the 'Great Escape'.  Luckily for him he was not one of the 50 executed by the Gestapo but instead wound up in Sachsenhaussen concentration camp.  Whilst here he learnt the fate of the 50 and, despite knowing what fate awaited him if he were to escape again, promptly set about digging another 100 ft tunnel using a spoon stolen from the mess house and other rudimentary objects including a broken bottle.  He got out with a few others but was caught after 14 days and returned to Sachsenhaussen's infamous Zellenbau Block, the place of torture and execution.  Luckily for Jimmy the Russians were fast approaching so the Germans decided to move the prisoners and it was during this transit that Jimmy was finally liberated by the Americans in the Italian Tyrol.

In recent years I've been lucky enough to take groups to Sachenhaussen to tell this story and show them the site of Jimmy's hut and tunnel.  As you might imagine, it's a very moving experience.

Fast forward to last week and a colleague asked me for a book recommendation.  Without hesitation I chose Jimmy James's story captured in his book, Moonless Night.  I spoke enthusiastically about Jimmy and told her much of what I've shared here so far.  Armed with this info she went home and ordered a 2nd hand copy from ebay which arrived this Monday.

On Tuesday she came into work and, with a smile, laid the book on my desk.  It was a first edition and she suggested I opened it.  I flicked through the first few pages and then my heart missed a few beats.  It was a signed first edition by the author himself, addressed to a chap called Waldemar.  It turns out Waldemar C George was a 2nd Lieutenant in the American Army Air Corps who was interned with Jimmy in Stalag Luft III.  With a smile my colleague said, 'that's yours now David, Jimmy would have wanted that'.  As you might imagine, I was blown away.


My original and much travelled edition on the left and the one gifted to me on the right.


The inscription by Jimmy James.

Today I bought my colleague a bouquet of flowers and have ordered a replacement 1st edition of Moonless Night.
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:44 pm

Wonderful story, it warms the heart to read it!

Good show!

cheers
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:00 pm

That's champion mate, what a splendid story and an outstanding gift! Now I'm going to have to get a copy and read it myself.

Cool


Cheers,

RR
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:04 pm

Brewdude wrote:
That's champion mate, what a splendid story and an outstanding gift! Now I'm going to have to get a copy and read it myself.

Cool


Cheers,

RR

I think you'll really enjoy it Rande. A humbling read.
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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:39 pm

Outstanding story and gift; I've always been in awe of those men and their stories.
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Fazby



Age : 59
Location : Chicago area
Registration date : 2010-04-22

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:18 pm

She definitely deserves the flowers. Awesome!

I can't make out one word:  With whom I have (?) the ghosts...
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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:40 pm

Fazby wrote:
She definitely deserves the flowers. Awesome!

I can't make out one word:  With whom I have (?) the ghosts...

Rather looks like 'wined'?
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Puffy

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Age : 74
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2007-12-23

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:57 am

That's really great.
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Timbo

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Age : 41
Location : Australia
Registration date : 2015-01-18

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:40 am

Great story Stick and it certainly sounds like a book I'd get into so will need to hunt it down. I'll laugh if the first edition you've just ordered is signed too.

Cheers

Tim
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Lonecoyote

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Age : 65
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:16 am

Great story and thanks for sharing. That would be a book I would also enjoy reading. I will see if Amazon has it. I spent many years hunting/searching for nazi ( sorry, I never capitalized the word nazi ) war criminals during the 70's and 80's, the younger generation from that time period. Most of which I can not put into words, because of ramifications. That was a part of my life I will never forget and those in my family that were lost in the Holocaust. My Grandparents were from Russia and Austria. My grandmother was born in Austria, the same small village as hitler ( won't capitalize his name either ) Braunau am Inn, Austria.  Also too all the Veterans that were lost during WWII, Rest in Peace, and too those Veterans lost thereafter, Rest in Peace. Today being Veteran's Day here in the USA, I wish all of our Troops a sincere thank you for serving and supporting this great Country,  be safe and come home soon to your families. May God Bless you ALL
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:13 pm

Fazby wrote:
She definitely deserves the flowers. Awesome!

I can't make out one word:  With whom I have (?) the ghosts...

The inscription reads:

For Waldemar,
With whom I have wined
The ghosts of yesteryear -
may we look forward to the
happy ghosts of the morrow
Mit besten wunschen, [with best wishes]
Jimmy
26 July 1984
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Fazby



Age : 59
Location : Chicago area
Registration date : 2010-04-22

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:28 pm

Thank you for the clarification, and the wonderful story.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:47 pm

Stick wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
That's champion mate, what a splendid story and an outstanding gift! Now I'm going to have to get a copy and read it myself.

Cool


Cheers,

RR

I think you'll really enjoy it Rande. A humbling read.

Just learned that this book isn't available in our library system. I might be able to get it through an inter-library loan which reaches out to other libraries in a multi-state area. I'll try that first and if it doesn't pan out will try and snag a used copy off Amazon. Sounds like it's right in my wheelhouse.


Cheers,

RR
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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:56 pm

Brewdude wrote:
Stick wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
That's champion mate, what a splendid story and an outstanding gift! Now I'm going to have to get a copy and read it myself.

Cool


Cheers,

RR

I think you'll really enjoy it Rande. A humbling read.

Just learned that this book isn't available in our library system. I might be able to get it through an inter-library loan which reaches out to other libraries in a multi-state area. I'll try that first and if it doesn't pan out will try and snag a used copy off Amazon. Sounds like it's right in my wheelhouse.


Cheers,

RR

I've found alibris (link below) is sometimes better than Amazon for used books

alibris
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: A story and a random act of kindness   Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:07 pm

DrT999 wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
Stick wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
That's champion mate, what a splendid story and an outstanding gift! Now I'm going to have to get a copy and read it myself.

Cool


Cheers,

RR

I think you'll really enjoy it Rande. A humbling read.

Just learned that this book isn't available in our library system. I might be able to get it through an inter-library loan which reaches out to other libraries in a multi-state area. I'll try that first and if it doesn't pan out will try and snag a used copy off Amazon. Sounds like it's right in my wheelhouse.


Cheers,

RR

I've found alibris (link below) is sometimes better than Amazon for used books

alibris

Thanks Doc!


Cheers,

RR
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