Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Hall414 Sparks Street

The Great Escape:
A Canadian Story
with Ted Barris

"In fascinating and meticulous detail, he unravels the plotting and planning, completely befuddling German prison guards, that led to one of the most daring real-life dramas in modern history.
— Lloyd Robertson, CTV News
Ted Barris

Acclaimed Historian Ted Barris offers a unique retelling of the story through first-hand recollections of the soldiers who experienced it.


On the night of March 24, 1944, 80 Commonwealth airmen crawled through a 336-foot-long tunnel and slipped into the forest beyond the wire of Stalag Luft III, a German POW compound near Sagan, Poland. The event became known as "The Great Escape," an intricate breakout more than a year in the making, involving as many as 2,000 POWs working with extraordinary coordination, intelligence, and daring. Yet within a few days, all but three of the escapees were recaptured. Subsequently, 50 were murdered, cremated, and buried in a remote corner of the prison camp.


But most don’t know the real story behind The Great Escape. Now, on the eve of its 70th anniversary, Ted Barris writes of the key players in the escape attempt, those who got away, those who didn’t, and their families at home.


Barris marshals groundbreaking research into a compelling firsthand account. For the first time, The Great Escape retells one of the most astonishing episodes in WWII directly through the eyes of those who experienced it.


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