The Great Escape
Airs Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
—Discover the True Story That Inspired a Hollywood Classic—
In 1932, the Nazis constructed a POW camp named Stalag Luft III in Poland that was allegedly impossible to escape. No one was able to prove that theory wrong until March 24, 1944.
On that day, 76 British, Canadian, Norwegian, and French pilots escaped using three tunnels that were dug 30 feet deep and extended 300 feet into the woods outside the camp.
Many people know of the Hollywood blockbuster starring Steve McQueen that was inspired by the daring escape, but the true story has never been documented like this until now.
"The Great Escape" features restored images, recreations and even testimonials from survivors of the ordeal, including 99-year-old Jack Lyon, who was a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Not only does the documentary cover the events leading up to the escape and the event itself, but it also details what happened next.
Following the escape, Hitler was so shaken by his military’s failings that he resorted to brazenly committing war crimes and ordered the execution of 50 of the recaptured prisoners, including the leader of the plot, RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell.
A riveting tale of heroism, ingenuity and strength of spirit, "The Great Escape" was acquired by American Public Television from Upside Production Distribution for syndication to public television stations nationwide.