The Barbed-Wire University: The Real Lives of Prisoners of War in the Second World War by Midge Gillies [Christine, Takapuna library]
So many books and movies have been written about daring escapes from POW camps. This book is not one of those, it is about the men who found creative ways of using the time that they were confined. Some found ways of continuing hobbies that they had in peace time: bird-watching or amateur dramatics, others found things to make or do that they had never had time or inclination to do in their former lives. They learnt from each other and from textbooks. I was impressed with the men's ingenuity; they made tools and sports equipment from the packaging of Red Cross parcels, adapted and scrounged materials to paint or perform surgery! Many first hand accounts are quoted here to show the pathos or sometimes the humour of situations. It is a celebration of human resilience as much as a record of hardship.