collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I
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Luft Magazine - published at Stalag Luft I - Volume 2 -
I do not intend to
a Foreword to "Luft" each month, but I feel the
Camp would like
me to express
our appreciation to the editors and staff of our magazine for the
excellence of the first number produced last month. Although
duplicator, the actual process
of running off the copies is by
no means as simple as it sounds, and the
editing, typing and binding, not forgetting the hand painting of the 100
first copies, entailed much hard work for all the staff.
We have now moved into the
other Compound, and
our Theatre well on the way towards completion,
and the expert musicians newly arrived from Sagan, I hope this will be
the sign for
plenty of activity from the Entertainments branch.
are opening very soon a Reference Library and Quiet Room in the Church
Building. This has proved extremely popular in other camps, and I hope
everyone here will help to ensure that this room is not misused but kept
for quiet private reading
As the Commandant has kindly given permission for us to send a copy of
our magazine to the British Red Cross
in England and also to Sagan, I take this opportunity of letting them
are in good heart and sending them
our best wishes.
Senior British Officer
In our last issue
we pointed out that it is not our primary object in this Magazine to
supply amusement for the Camp although if the camp wishes to be amused
in our pages it is up to them as individual contributors to provide
material of this nature: and we shall take great pleasure in publishing
it. We do not intend however, to devote our pages entirely to humorous
sketches and we shall not allow them to occupy valuable space to the
exclusion of those of a more serious nature.
objective of this magazine is to provide a medium through which
individuals cangiveexpression to their own ideas, and bring to bear upon the ideas of
others a spirit of intelligent criticism. Many people either through a.
to please or a reluctance to offend others are unwilling to express an
opinion and still more afraid of contesting the opinions of others. The
difficulties are easily understandable, There are always two sides to an
argument and a great deal to be said for both and we feel that the
ultimate issue will be in no way affected if we simply repeat arguments
which are contrary to what we believe or allow them to be expressed
without stating how inconclusive we find them.
It is however
most paralyzing for the mind to await the judgment of others before
venturing to state one’s own and to follow the opinions which are
considered fashionable and which prevail in those circles in which one
is accustomed to move. It is particularly easy when politics or social
problems are being discussed to find oneself in a hostile circle and
timidly accept without criticism what it said. On these occasions the
man who has no conviction usually falls out while he who has an
opinion, however disagreeable, and is not afraid to express it,
It is the spirit
of intelligent criticism which creates the intellectual atmosphere of an
age; and today in particular with the mass of material at our disposal,
both written and spoken, it is even more necessary that form should be
imposed upon chaos. There was never a time when criticism was more
needed than it is today, for it is only by its means that humanity can
recognize the road upon which it is traveling.
system fills the memory with laboriously acquired facts and crams it
like an overflowing portmanteau with all the equipment which we consider
necessary for the journey through life. It teaches people how to
remember but neglects to teach them how to think. It is criticism which
takes this unwieldy mass of knowledge; connects its miscellaneous
elements, co-ordinates them, and gives it form. It throws a spotlight
upon the dark recesses of the mind and develops in it a keener
apprehension and discernment; thus things which have been lying latent
and forgotten acquire meaning and are revealed in clearer outline. It is
a cheap jest which that a critic is just an artist who has failed, for
in the hands of criticism lies the thread which guides us through the
labyrinth of material ideas manufactured around us every day.
Finally, we repeat, it is not the editors who write this
magazine; and it rests with the camp either to amuse or bore themselves
through the medium of its pages. We, the editors, have the pleasure and
privilege of publishing those articles submitted to us and only
exercise our discretion in refusing those we consider too badly written.
Per Roy Kilminster:
The German authorities had granted permission to use their
duplicator to produce copies of the magazine. To do this, we were
escorted into the German part of the camp, with an armed guard
always in attendance. On one occasion, myself and the NCOs camp
leader at the time, 'Tom' Kevin May, were doing the actual
duplicating. Having finished the procedure, Tom had a brainwave - he
placed all the printed sheets on top of the duplicator, which hid it
from direct view. Tom lifted both the printed sheets and the
duplicator and carried all into our own compound without the guard
noticing anything amiss.
Unfortunately, when the guard returned to his office he immediately
saw that the duplicator was missing and rushed back to the
prisoners' compound demanding its return, otherwise there would be
serious reprisals. Tom tried to bluff it out, but eventually
realised that it was useless and returned the duplicator.
Fortunately for our forging activities, the guard did not realise
that some of the duplicating ink was also missing. It was this
special ink that enabled me to put the police stamps onto the
forgeries. The duplicator base being replaced with the table
jelly as described in
"Secrets of the POWs"...
Rather naturally, I think that was the end of the Luft Magazine.