other Colditz items
Apart from the huge amount of books, there are many other items with a relation to Colditz. I possess some of them which are shown below.
The BBC television series from 1974 has made Colditz known anywhere in the world. However, the first film production about Colditz was already made in 1955. It is titled The Colditz Story and is based on Pat Reid's book of the same name. The black and white film is produced by Ivan Foxwell and this copy was released in Los Angeles (USA) in 1994 by the Republic Pictures Corporation.
This film has been released on video in Great Britain as well. It is offered on eBay regularly, mostly just for a small amount.
Colditz is a documentary film, presented by Terence Alexander and contains interviews with British ex-Colditzers including Jack Best, Dominic Bruce and Kenneth Lockwood. The video is in English but this copy is distributed in the Netherlands so it is subtitled in Dutch.
Escape from Colditz is a series from Channel 4 Television (UK). This documentary exists of three episodes: The escape academy, Best of British and Eureka! Archive material, dramatic reconstruction and the testimony of Colditz veterans are used in this series.
Geheimakte 2. Weltkrieg - Flucht aus Colditz ("Secret deed WW2 - Escape from Colditz") is a German video, though it is made by the BBC and Time-Life. A part is really dedicated to Colditz, including an interview (in black and white) with Airey Neave about his successful escape with Tony Luteyn.
The Clipper board game Colditz has been introduced in Great Britain. It looks like the Monopoly game with the plan of the castle as playing board (shown at the right), dice, pawns and cards. The game can be played by 2-6 persons: one of them is the German Security Officer with 16 guards, the others represent the POW's. There are 5 nationalities (British, American, Dutch, French and Polish), each consisting of 8 prisoners. Remarkable detail: the Dutch pawns are orange, just the nation's colour!
The English version of the game can still be obtained on eBay. I possess the Dutch version which seems to be rare, in view of the price I paid for it. I suppose I don't need to explain the goal of the game!
This board game by Invicta is named Escape from Colditz Castle and dates from the seventies as well. It seemed that the name Colditz is only used to encourage people to buy it as the playing board does not look like the castle at all.
The playing board (shown at the right) differs from that of the Clipper game and the only connection to Colditz is the photograph of the castle in the middle. The game can be played by 2-4 persons and the pawns (four for every player) are in the shape of a running officer. Instead of dice there is a spinner which performs more functions. The winner is the player whose first three prisoners reach friendly territory.
This LP is quite curious. It is a bizarre soundscape devised by Pat Reid, the technical advisor to the TV series. This is not a soundtrack from the TV series (as it is usually advertised) but an LP supposed to convey moods by using snippets of music that would have been heard by the prisoners. It also contains sound effects, including synthesizer effects from Ken Elliott.
The LP has been produced by EMI Records Ltd. in 1973.
On the back of the cover is a short introduction by Pat Reid. Two sentences read as follows: This record has been created for your imagination - it will be something new, I think, for you; a very personal experience in which you will live, in your imagination, as a prisoner with me in Colditz. It is a song without words, a film without a screen, an opera without libretto.
This commemorative cover is produced on the occasion of the 1980 reunion in the Imperial War Museum in London.
This beer mat is produced in 1965 on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Colditz town. It shows the castle and the German text 700 Jahre Stadt Colditz 24. Mai 1965 (“700 years Colditz town 24th May 1965”). The Colditz beer brewery, founded in 1594, is mentioned as well (sadly it is closed now).
These souvenirs are useful items as well. The bottle opener is preferably for opening a bottle of Colditzer Bier but sadly this is no longer possible.
As a fervent non-smoker, it is remarkable that I possess this cigarette-lighter but it was presented to me by no less a person than the Mayor of Colditz, Manfred Heinz. The inscription Feuer und Flamme für Colditz means: fire and flames for Colditz.
COLDITZ IN A WORK OF ART
All items mentioned above are private property. But in Pendrecht, the district in Rotterdam where I live, is a work of art in which is something about Colditz. Needless to say that I was responsible for that!
The work of art is located in the Zuiderkroon ("Southern Crown") Health Centre, opened officially on 26 May 2005. It is named Memory and is designed by Miriam Reeders. Stories of Pendrecht origin are the starting-point. Miriam interviewed 75 district inhabitants and they were all asked to tell a special memory. Every memory is converted into a triptych, consisting of a text, a photograph and a drawing. All triptychs are placed on metal panels, hanging in the waiting rooms and the corridors. The triptychs can be moved randomly so that the memories are interweaved with each other. By the way, there are no names mentioned, all memories are anonymous. The stories of 15 employees are perpetuated as well, thus giving the health centre a personal tinge.
I was one of the inhabitants interviewed by Miriam Reeders. You can imagine what my special memory is: my first visit to Colditz on 15 July 1986. The left photograph shows a small part of one of the panels, the three plates belonging to my memory are at the top row. The other photograph shows the drawing made by Miriam referring to my memory. You can see me (waiting at the bus stop), the train, the Mulde River and the castle.