I Must Escape

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
this is a short story draft about a polish POW camp prisoner tying to escape.

Submitted: December 12, 2016

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Submitted: December 12, 2016



1941 June 6  23:30 Today I arrived at stalag I-F, my new home. I was transported from a German Army truck with a dark tarp over the top and a guard holding a semi-automatic rifle close to my head, making sure that if I jumped out, I wouldn’t make it far. There were around fifteen of us stuffed all together shoulder to shoulder in the darkness. We were all soaked and shivering because the snow and blowing wind was getting through the holes in the tarp covering the truck. There were about ten more trucks behind us, so I’m guessing there were about one hundred forty men in total heading the same direction. Since I had the seat nearest the flap in the back I could see the two walls of barbed wire as we arrived through the gate. As they pushed us off the trucks we got even more soaked as we fell in the freezing mud.


 Since the guards let us bring a limited number of personal belongings, I brought a notebook, a pencil, a hat, and my stash of cigarettes. I’m sure they will come in handy for gambling and bribes. It’s a little lonely but at least I get a new mattress, one not swarming with lice.  I am so exhausted; I could barely swear at the guards.

I fell right asleep when I found my bed or as I call it, my “brick”. It’s like trying to sleep on a cement floor.

June 7 as I was waiting to use the oval office, I met two people named Alfons and Wit. Alfons, he was trying to organize the potty line by pushing people hard to different spots in the line. Wit, well he can barely lift a hammer let alone a rifle, but very kind and funny. He’s been really sick for quite a while, one thing after another, dysentery, the flu. He is 17, he’s young I like him. We all are going to be very good friends.

June 8

No entry

June 9

I studied the camp to look for kinks in the fence and blind spots, where the guards couldn’t see that well. I found none. They shoved me to the lunch area because I looked suspicious, must of ben my expression. Me and my face, crap.

June 10

I found a little hole about an inch wide, In the right-lower corner next to a watch tower which was in plain sight. I need to observe the guards schedule to see when they don’t see.


June 11

I lost more than I won on Saturday in the cafeteria. There was mice racing, poker, and craps (yes, it is a game). I won on mice racing and an eating contest for cockroaches (I did not eat them) A tall gangly guy with an always empty stomach named Gwidon ate them. I lost six cigarettes. L 


June 12

I am learning about the other campers and they learned about me, and this is the funny part, I overheard what a few guys had to say about me: they said I was white and pail, strong, and (don’t ask me why) vary harry. They have been calling me Sarge probebly about my rank.

And this is what I have to say about them:

  • serafin is jumpy and burnt, his skin was like a spider’s web, fibers weaving together in every which way.
  • Tomico & Tomasz (thay are twins) are stealing from the guards like a fox going in to a chicken coop every day. They work as hard as to ten soldiers.
  • And then Alfons likes to be in charge and gets annoying, he doesn’t mean to. He is intently trying to do good but he is kind of bossy.

 June 13

No entry

June 14

The bad fence is repard; some one grabed a pare of self made cuters and excaped befor I did. now I need anuther plain. I must escape.

I just noticed that Wit is missing. hurm…  -_-

I’m happy if he escaped.

June 15

A truck of people came to trim the trees outside the camp so we could not climb them, so I had a plan to highjack the truck with a homemade crowbar made from a metal rod from the bed. I crept up next to the truck but it was guarded by one guard, I thought I could take him but then three more walked nearby laughing as they had too much to drink. I will try later.

As I was about to highjack the truck I heard shouting, it was coming from the dugouts! I saw fire! And people were on fire, running around too. And I ran around the camp trying to put out the soldiers, but not the gards. “let them burn” said a private. I whent inside about to go to bed when someone on fire ran into my barrack and fell on my bed. I managed to get it out by throwing a bucket of water on it from the bathroom.

June 16

The truck left so I need another plan to escape. I organized a meating with a copele of people to plan a dig. All of them had opinions on how to do it but at the end we all desided to dig two, each on diferent sides of the camp so if one was discuverd we can work on the other dig unnotisd.

We started on it right after we descused it, we started on number one. First: we had to estimate how far it was to the far outskirts of the camp, far enough where the gards won’t see us and close enough whear we don’t have to dig far. So far so good.

June 17

We stopped the diging for now because ther was a body burning. Three bodys in the heap one was someone called mandik, serafin (he always liked fire), and…

Wit, oh wit. I was sobbing so uncontrollably at night where no one could see me.

June 18

 I was so angry I started swaring at the gards uncontrollably.

I started diging next to a loss tile in the bath house, so no one would come in while someone is taking a shouer (I came up with this one).

June 19

We started getting rid of dirt slowly by mixing it with water and chugging it down the drane.

It might clog soon.

June 20

Today we started digging the second tunnel. While the bath house tunnel was being dug by Alfons and his crew, we started working on number two tunnel. Our tunnel is in a barracks next to the guard house. The shower tunnel leads to the fields to the south of the camp. The barracks tunnel leads to the pine forest to the east of camp. We are digging it underneath a bed. The guards house has five windows looking out on all sides to keep an eye on our barracks. One of the guards is called Ulryk, he is the most horrible man I’ve ever met. He was probably the best guard but worst man ever. He beat up everbody; he was worse than all the others. He whipped for no apparent reason and lit there blankets on fire. While we were digging today he was on duty. While I was under the bed digging they gave me the signal to fake like we were playing poker in the barracks. Ulryk came over and took one of my cigars I had just won. It was sixteen years old.

June 21

No entry

June 22

No entry

June 23

I am running out of pencil

June 24

We are two thirds done on tunnel number two. We were digging constantly. Everyone has their bags packed to escape. Ulryk came into our barrack before I could get the code to get out and saw the bed moved to the side. He yelled for the other guards and put us all in solitarty confinement for two days, no food or water. Now we are all working on tunnel one, which is one quarter of the way done.

June 26

It is slow but we are making progress in the shower room. Now we have to transport the dirt somewhere else because the shower is getting extremely dirty and has a good chance of clogging. We now fill the inside pockets of our jackets with dirt to move it.  We have started sprinkling the dirt down various drains and all around the grounds throughout camp. Everyone seems to be helping now.

June 27

We are making progress, not much but progress.

June 28

Today I smoked a cigarrete with Alfons and our buddies, Tomico and Tomaz. I have a hundred left.

June 29

The tunnel is finished today! We are secretely telling everyone to pack their bags. We are planning to have 75 men escape tonight through the shower tunnel into the field. God help us.


I am extremely happy and nervous at the same time. If we get caught we might all might die. My emotions are all mixed up together. I’m more jittery than I have every been, more than when I was caught. Alfons is the first guy through. He will guide everyone through and make sure the coast is clear. I’ll be in the middle of the group. We have timed it that I’ll be going through when the guard shift changes. I’ll signal for the second wave of men to come through the tunnel after me. I pray that we will all be safe.

July 1

We’ve been on the run for the past couple of days. The guards found out and blew up half of the men in the tunnel. I was the last one to escape with my life. It took me awhile to write in my journal because I have been constantly chased and haven’t had time. Right now I’m in the barn of a very old man whose livestock is all gone. The barn is empty except for hay, which I’m hiding underneath. I’m with two other people, I don’t know their names, escept Tomico. Alfons is dead. He drowned while swimming a river. Tomaz was shot while escaping the tunnel. Tomico is here beside me crying over his lost brother.

November 1

I’m home. I’m home with my wife and daughter. I can’t believe it. I still wake up with nightmares that make me sweat and cry. I can’t be happier to be home. I will never forget the words I promised to myself, “I must escape.”

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