The Island of Extraordinary Captives: A Painter, a Poet, an Heiress, and a Spy in a World War II British Internment Camp

S. & S. Audio. Nov. 2022. 12:47 hrs. ISBN 9781797142654. $24.99. HIST
Parkin (Death by Video Game; A Game of Birds and Wolves) switches gears in this informational nonfiction title, offering a fascinating look into the daily life of German POW internees at Britain’s Hutchinson Camp on the Isle of Man. Throughout the book, Parkin highlights the story of orphaned teenager and aspiring artist Peter Fleischmann, who unexpectedly found comradeship among his fellow prisoners. Narrator Elliot Fitzpatrick eloquently captures the shock and disgust of incoming internees who were rounded up without due cause; the satisfaction they felt in sharing their gifts and talents with each other by setting up a “university” with classes, lectures, concerts, and art shows; the empowerment of publishing a monthly paper about events that happened in the camp; and the empathy for thousands of artists and scientists who were released from Allied camps once they had been investigated and proven not to be spies for the Nazis. Fitzpatrick adds an element of sensationalism in his delivery of a secondary narrative of intrigue, about a Nazi spy who was in the camp.
VERDICT An enlightening glimpse into the little-documented Allied treatment of prisoners of war during World War II.
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