War themes and violence
In January 1945, in the death throes of an evil empire and as the Red Army resumed its relentless advance towards Germany, the inmates of POW camps in Poland were marched west towards Germany. Amongst them were thousands of British, American and Commonwealth soldiers, many of whom had spent over four years working in mines and factories with barely adequate sustenance. They were now ordered at gunpoint to march many hours a day through the snow and ice of a hard Polish winter struggling for survival, amid chaos, genocide and starvation. It was to be one of the forgotten cases of brutality of WWII.
This series tells, for the first time, the story of the thousands of British, American and Commonwealth POW’s who were forced to march from Poland to Germany in the winter of 1945, to evade the advancing Soviet army. Testimony from survivors focuses on experiences from the desperation of marching in awful conditions to joy at the moment of liberation.
Many of the interviews describe vivid, powerful, and occasionally funny accounts of events during the march. The programme includes reconstructions of prisoners marching through wintry & spring landscapes under German escort, sleeping in barns and fields and doing the best they could to obtain food to survive along their arduous journey. Unseen library footage will show the atrocities of the time. At the moment of liberation, seen in library footage of the period, the survivors explain their feelings of being free men again, in a country that was now falling apart.