Life as a Prisoner of War
Captivity in life is something that very few could adequately describe. You have to feel it. You have to live with it and you have to know just what it means to appreciate what a mental strain captivity is. We experienced through our incarceration many physical handicaps but none were so hard to bear as the mental ones. The monotony of the life and its apparent endlessness practically drove you mad. You yearned for a change; you yearned for something different; you yearned for female company; you yearned for the company of your loved ones; and you yearned for home.
As the months passed uneventfully, it became fairly obvious that we should in time become utterly fed up with one another’s company. Week after week, month after month, year after year, the same old faces, the same mannerisms, the same conversations. All this played on one’s nerves and one felt that one would go mad. I was desperate sometimes and as I gazed out of the window there was nothing to see but barbed wire. There were no prospects in the immediate future; one could see no end to the war and no end to our own captivity. What was the remedy? Just to stick it out, have a sleep and try to dispel all thoughts from one’s mind. There was no other way. It was that or insanity.
Ted Lees, Royal Artillery
Stalag VIIIB (344) Lamsdorf