Tucki, Joseph (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 17312
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 105, Number Of Items 4
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

Polish officer served with 44th Infantry Regt in Poland, 1939; POW in Oflag VII A, Murnau, Germany, 1939-1941; escaped to Hungary, 1941 and returned to German captivity; POW in Oflag IV C, Colditz, Oflag X C Lubeck and Oflag VI B, Dessel in Germany, 1942-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Recollections of operations as officer with 44th Infantry Regt, Polish Army in Poland, 9/1939: outbreak of Second World War, 1/9/1939; under German Air Force attack in Bydgoszcz area, 9/1939; orders to withdraw behind River Vistula, 9/1939; inferiority of Polish Army equipment; crossing River Vistula to reassemble in Chelm area; ammunition shortage; wounding in leg; capture by German troops; handling of Polish wounded by Germans, 9/1939; ambush of his German captors by Poles, 9/1939; aid received by Polish civilians; hospitalisation in Krakow. Recollections of period as POW in Oflag VII A, Murnau, 1940-1941: transfer to camp from Oflag VIII , Kreuzburg, 20/1/1940; arrival in camp; attempt to strengthen his leg in gymnastics group; plans for escape; acquiring old Prussian uniform and its modification; accumulation of other escape equipment; aims of escape. Recollections of escape from Oflag VII A to Hungary, 9/1941: escape from camp dressed as German NCO. 12/9/1941. REEL 2 Continues: hiding out dressed as civilian; aid from fellow Pole on work party; effect of his picking up lucky horseshoe in Nicklesdorf, Austria; aid from Polish forced labourers to cross into Hungary; crossing into Hungary and aid from priest; arrest by Hungarian Police; how Hungarian Police handed by to Germans and return to Oflag VII A, Murnau. Period as POW in Oflag VII A, Murnau, 1941-1942: punishment on return to camp; abandoning new escape plan; recapture during second escape attempt and removal from camp. Recollections of period as POW at Oflag IV C, Colditz, 4/1942-8/1943: reception by other POWs on arrival, 14/4/1942; composition of POW nationalities in camp; camp regime; POW hunger and supplementing rations; Polish escape tunnel. REEL 3 Continues: work on tunnel; ultimate fate of Polish tunnel; his thwarted escape plan; POW code system for transfer of information to Polish Underground; recreation and examples of camp humour; degradation of Polish traitor; escape statistics; personalities among Polish POWs. Recollections of period as POW in Oflag X C, Lübeck and Oflag VI B, Dessel, 1943-1945: removal to Oflag X C; tunnel escape attempts at Lübeck; removal to Oflag VI B at Dessel; murder of Polish escapers and accidental bombing of Dessel by RAF; liberation of camp by US Army at Burgrendreich. Story of period as engineer in GB after Second World War. Start of Colditz Association, 1950. REEL 4 Continues: Post war visits to Poland. Reflections on period as POW in Germany, 1939-1945: memories of Douglas Bader; refusal to meet Stalin's son at Oflag X C, Lübeck; RAF bomb which dropped on Oflag VI B at Dessel; attitude towards German captors; physical condition on liberation; nature of POW communications with Polish Underground; method of thwarting German inspection of POW parcels. Lack of discrimination against him in GB after Second World War.

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