To Ruhleben -- And Back

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In 1914, Geoffrey Pyke, one of the 20th century's most brilliant eccentrics, was just another Cambridge teenager who was brilliant at everything except his studies.

To Ruhleben -- And Back

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Too undisciplined and unhealthy to join the military, he pitched a wild notion to a London newspaper editor: why not make him their war correspondent in Berlin? The editor called the boy's bluff, and Pyke made his way across Europe on little more than a false passport, a pretty good German accent, and sheer chutzpah. And so begins an odyssey into the heart of wartime Berlin, and a plunge into a harrowing year of solitary confinement and imprisonment at Ruhleben, a horsetrack-turned-internment camp that is now considered the model for Germany's concentration camps. After an escape in broad daylight, and a perilous dash across the German countryside to the Dutch border, Pyke returned home at the age of 20 to write TO RUHLEBEN - AND BACK, the first eyewitness account of a German concentration camp. Lost to obscurity for over 80 years, his extraordinary book is a college student's sharp-tongued travelogue, a journey of hair-breadth escapes behind enemy lines, a sober meditation on imprisonment and escape ... and, as Pyke intended, a ripping yarn.

Additional Information

Author Geoffrey Pyke
Publisher McSweeney's Books
Page Count 252pp
Publication Size 5.5 x 8.25
Publication Notes Hardcover
Publication Date 2003
ISBN 978-0971904781

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