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As it Happened -

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(generated from captions) standing there, leaning against it. You can just imagine Captain Smith

It's amazing! ..and Belfast Titanic aficionados. and how it's so grand, You always hear about the Titanic the windows are and everything, but the carvings and the way it's so life-like, you know? it really does create the illusion, that it's all so practical, I love the fact that it actually had a lino floor. people drank a lot and got seasick, The reason was, out the back door. so you just hosed it Belfast people know about drinking. YEWANDE: There's a wonderful vibe,

into this space. people are really, really It's a very rewarding feeling. is really lovely. GUEST: Your finished product Do you want to try it? Yeah, extremely. Are you proud of it?

and say "Look at these chairs, Anybody would walk in here today and the building behind us." "look at the fireplace You gotta be proud, ain't ya? MAN: It's very small, isn't it? from, like, a youth hostel. But it's no different it would've been more spartan I would have thought to be honest. for a third-class cabin, comparatively nice it actually is. I'm surprised how... more with the third-class cabin. LUKE: I think people are fascinated that people are interested in. It's actually the nitty gritty their ancestors would have lived. It's the way that they, to actually go in? - Yeah! BRENDAN: Do you want I belong in here! Come on, then. this is actually their cabin. This is yours, sorry, And you can just tell, immediately, you know, just in society, how completely different it was, at the time. and how polarised society was we've created has actually worked. The experiential journey across the, the spectrum, Creating this actual dipole it's worked. the social spectrum of Titanic, MAN: I think anybody seeing it artisanship and the quality of it. would be quite taken with the Dubai, eat your heart out! got there before you. Northern Ireland Captions (c) SBS Australia 2012

Good evening. Kathy Novak with a World News Australia Update.

Families of Black Saturday victims

have welcomed the 17-year jail

sentence handed to Brendan Sokaluk

who lit a bushfire, which claimed

10 lives. We are without our loving

family. We still have a grandson

without a mother, father or brother.

Chinese students are being warned

against unnecessary travel at night

time, after two young men were

attacked on a train. The pair claim

teenagers punched them and hurled

racist abuse. The incident's

sparked outrage in China. And about

a quarter of Spain's workforce is

now unemployed - a new record,

that's more than 5.5 million people.

I'll have a full World News

Australia bulletin at 10:30. These are scenes of liberation, becoming free men. Allied prisoners of war if you like. I was getting overcome with relief, that we were were loose. It seemed almost a dream Free from Nazi captivity some for almost five years. after being held behind wire, freedom was almost unbelievable. For the starving prisoners, I couldn't explain the exhilaration or the joy of being free that actually numbs you, it's something guards, no more pushing around. there was going to be no more of Nazi Germany collapsed, As the eastern frontiers

Allied prisoners of war over a quarter of a million from their prison camps were force-marched of a bitter winter. into the savage landscape Many never made it. for almost 1000 miles They struggled genocide and starvation. through a brutal climate amid chaos, that makes you go It was only willpower and that's all you can say. FILM: The king returns to London reaches its climax in August. as the drama of power politics Hitler and Stalin sign their pact, peace hangs in the balance. Nazi threats rise to a scream, volunteered into the forces In early 1939, men around Britain

was likely. fearing that war in Europe But many join just to get a job of normal working life. or escape the tedium in the first place Well, what made me join the army in the Royal Military College Band was the fact me father was get employment round here and the only place you could to get into the college. was to be an ex-serviceman and I followed in his footsteps. My dad was a carpenter I volunteered when I was 17 until I was 18. but they didn't call me called Abertillery I come from a Welsh valleys town a coal-mining family, and I was in and down the mines on a Monday I was fording on a Friday I don't know... and I thought, staying in a coal mine. I'm missing all the action here in uniform and all that And friends would come home I'd better do something about it. and I thought On the notice board the territorial, which was joining it was for home defence. And if you joined you'd do 40 hours a year for a fortnight's holiday. and you'd go on camp well, we only get a week holiday It was one of the things we thought

another week. so boss will have to give us because I thought I volunteered or company that didn't fight. I was going to get into a regiment

Less chance of getting killed. about being taken prisoner. Nobody told us as tension in Europe increased In mid-1939 the Military Training Act the government introduced to 22 years into the military. drafting single men aged 20 And one morning in June 1939 standing there I go to work and there's a chap with a local morning paper. is the word "conscription". Across the front page in big letters "Bob, that affects me." And he said to me it affects me?" I said "What do you mean, I'm not joining the army. I said "Nip off, you've got to." "Oh" he says "it's law, On 3 September 1939 on Nazi Germany. Britain and France declared war was announced The National Service Act and all men between 18 and 41 into the armed forces. were eligible for conscription (MILITARY MUSIC) waiting for other nations to disarm FILM: In parliament, after years of Britain bows to the inevitable. Youth is called to serve. Britain has given the world a mighty civilisation, shall it now pass away through outside domination? The call to defend freedom goes out to the men of Britain and the Empire and they answer "We come to serve." When war broke out I knew that I was due for an early call-up. And that's what we thought that the war would be trench warfare. And I didn't want that so I thought I'd try and get in something other than the infantry. In my case, I thought

that sooner or later I'm going to be called up I was at that sort of age. I'll choose where I want to go by volunteering now rather than being called up. And I was lucky to some extent that I did what I wanted to do. I wanted to join the Air Force but I couldn't because being a reserved occupation,

the only way you can get into the Air Force was to volunteer for aircrew, which I did. I said I wanted to join the Air Force, I volunteered, I went for the medical - that was fine. And then you had a maths and an English test and they said "You're accepted, "we want you to be an observer because your maths is good." So I said yes and took the King's shilling. Each man who joined, either voluntarily or conscripted, received basic training. Many found it to be inadequate. The training was very poor indeed. For argument's sake I can tell you there was a ring of us sitting on the ground on a piece of carpet with a Bren gun in the middle. The sergeant took it to pieces, then handed it round to us one at a time and told us to put it back together again. That was our training on the Bren. It was pretty hard and you had to learn to carry this machine gun and a tripod. And you had about eight people in the squad that carried the ammunition, water cans and different things that we needed. It was pretty hard going and you had this blooming gun on your back that used to cripple you, you know, and the tripod was even heavier. Had a bit of manoeuvres, map reading, fired some rifle shots. Our training included going into bomb pits in Warley Woods and throwing hand grenades

and making sure you didn't drop it on the floor to everybody's chagrin. And bayonet training of course, physical training, PT, which I hated. After doing some initial flying on Wellingtons on 12 squadron, I was transferred to 103 squadron on Halifax aircraft and did the rest of my flying training there. To give a 20-year-old a four-engine bomber and say "Fly this", it was like giving a kid a Ferrari really. I only fired a rifle once and that was on Salisbury Plain, five rounds of ammunition and that was the lot. 20 rounds, that was it. And when we came to it, my target had got more shots than I'd fired.

The next chap to me had been firing into my target. Hurried and insufficient training would leave many of the recruits ignorant of the realities of actual warfare. Being at that age, you don't think about getting killed. You won't get killed, it only happens to other people, it never happens to you. I never dreamed that it was going to be anything serious actually. I knew nothing about Germany or how strong Germany was. Faced with the immanent threat of attack by powerful German forces in Europe, Britain mobilised for war. We just had a hard time training and group-marching in the mucky slosh. Then that all came to an end when you were told one day "Three days' leave", which everybody guessed then was for foreign service and it was true, we went to France. We were given all this Middle East gear, you know, the hats and the shorts and off to Liverpool. The sergeant-major rapped on the table and said "Bacon and beans, boys, that's your breakfast this morning." And we weren't there long before they shipped us off down to the station and got on a train, quite a number of people watching at the station crying their eyes out. FILM: And the new BEF is on the way from a hundred points in Britain, to the coast and across to France... ..Steady stream of British troops continue, this is just a daily event at many a French port. Thousands of Tommies, all willing and ready to do all over again the job we thought their fathers had settled once and for all in 1918. My brother and I used to go up on the deck each night and say goodbye to England. But one morning we got up and someone had taken England away and it was just water and the engine was running and we were on our way, which is quite a sinking feeling. They were soon to discover that their training had done little to prepare them in confronting the might of the German forces. FILM: We shall never stop fighting until France stands safe again in all her grandeur. We know that day will surely come. These boys will help to bring it nearer and it may be a lot nearer than many of us think. VOICEOVER: Growing up in Newcastle, we're no stranger to hard work. You earn your keep. You know the value of a dollar. You do more with what you've got. You've earned it. We get that. That's why for nearly 110 years, we've been developing smarter ways to grow your wealth, easier ways to do your banking, more affordable ways to own your own home, and keeping the banks honest along the way. From the very start of war in Europe

and through the five years that followed would be trained to fight the inexperienced and impressionable in Western Europe, on various battlefronts North Africa and the Mediterranean. who kept calling out We had a Scotsman who was with us we're all doomed" "We're all doomed, because there was 13 of us, in the convoy there were 13 ships and we left at 1300 hours. In the early months of the war a Franco-British force was despatched of Norway. to disrupt the German occupation We built defences at Lillehammer, held the Germans up for so long. And the Norwegians came and took over our positions while we built some more positions. of bitter fighting, But after several weeks the Allies were forced to withdraw from the German invaders. in the face of harsh opposition they were sent to join troops Returning to Britain, on the boarders of France already standing guard invasion threat. facing another German I was dispatched to France with the 51st Highland Division the Belgian frontier and employed along until we were sent down the Maginot Line. to, of all places, a superior race at that time The Germans seemed everything that we didn't have. because they seemed to have I knew a fair bit about soldering but I don't know about warfare. I mean, we'd had training in peacetime but a lot of what they taught you when you got into action. didn't work out really much about what was going on, We were ignorant, we didn't know we didn't know how many there was. we knew the Germans were there, that the British army, I was under the impression we were 600,000 strong. I thought that was a lot of men, going to be very good. I thought that was we eventually found out It wasn't till later three million strong. that Germany was about outnumbered, Not only were the Allied forces were sent into battle but many divisions and ammunitions. lacking important equipment with a groundsheet I hadn't been issued or ammunition which you got in those days, or even iron rations an old carbine from the Boer War. and the rifle was to be sent up to the front. After a while we got notice and five rounds of ammunition, All I'd got was a rifle all of us, that's all. Trekking with no ammunition. for a Bren gun, They gave me two magazines useless. 500 a minute to start a battle - was 50 rounds a man. The amount of ammunition we had We had an anti-tank rifle we only had about four rounds for. which I think with a couple of shells. We had a PIAT gun was just a waste of time, The PIAT gun thrown snowballs at tanks. we might as well have This lack of experience and weaponry

of the British Expeditionary Force. led to the near annihilation Overwhelmed by the Blitzkrieg tactics

thrust into France, adopted as the Nazi armed columns pushed back to the coast they were slowly but surely disembarked. where they had not long before that the Germans were even there I didn't have a clue until they appeared. were only five miles away Nobody said the Germans or we got to get ready. at all about that. Nobody said anything The first sign I saw of the Germans coming across the hill were the tanks and then the firing. to make a bayonet charge, We was ordered I wasn't worried about getting shot long steel bayonet going through me. but I hated the thought of a big It was a terrifying thing seemed to be death but the alternative telling you what to do so... I mean, your general's

and you've got to do it. what would you have done? And even if you'd have said "no" and utterly outnumbered, We were completely such a disaster as what it was. nobody expected it to be I never worried once,

that I was going to die. I didn't think for a moment But I was scared

without an arm or a leg, that I was going to go home shot dead. I think I'd rather have been All the bloody French. by about a hundred to one They outnumbered us up with no fight or anything, and they were just giving themselves got the full equipment. And gradually the party broke up into little groups. I think we finished up And we finished up,

you know. with about half a dozen of us, And walking back, every time where we could, you know. and making little stands it is every man for himself. We were told by an officer, to the coast And we had to find our own way of the situation. and find our own way out "You're no use to me. Sergeant said "You might as well bugger off." I said "Where to?" "down into Dunkirk." "Anywhere" he said, "But what? Where am I going to go?" where you land up." He said "Anywhere, that's up to you what was happening When we suddenly realised to leave us. the officer was the first one He just ran away and said for this, every man for himself." "This isn't right, we're not trained And he went. over 50,000 did not escape. In the confusion, were amongst the first These early captives of prisoners of war. to swell the growing numbers I turned around on my stomach, And I was so scared I took my steel helmet off this would be a quick way of... thinking that for a while. Then the firing stopped there was only five of us In the end who were able to surrender. We got up and we gave ourselves up. on the front of this village I went into a house and when we came out lying everywhere. there were dead and wounded We were surrounded, and the Germans. there was just the sea left us high and dry. And the French had all surrendered, It was really a shock for a long time. which we never recovered from There was a retreat right through Belgium to Dunkirk. Got to Dunkirk and go get myself wounded. Those lucky enough to stand were evacuated on the beaches of Dunkirk, the unlucky, the seriously wounded and dead were left behind.

That's when the Germans came in, having prodded us about and turned us over to see if we had any arms concealed underneath us and that was it. As the British retreated back to England they left behind enough equipment to supply eight divisions. They would need months to re-supply. In June 1940 Italy joined forces with Nazi Germany as fighting began in North Africa. And then the rumour was that we were going to Greenland of all places. And of course that was wrong, we were going the other way, to Algeria. Then as it became imminent that Italy was going to enter the war we moved up to the wire between Libya and Egypt. Despite the experience gained in the earlier campaigns British troops were still forced to fight in conditions they hadn't trained for. We went to a place called Tebourba, 20-odd miles south of Tunis. And I remember the lorry driver saying "I'm very sorry for you lads, "where you're going is called Hellfire Pass." When we got there we were supposed to relieve the Northamptonshires who'd had a bad time

and all we could see was bodies in the olive bushes. Danger did not only lie with the forces fighting in and around Axis-held territories. The thousands of airmen who took to the skies every night for bombing raids were an increasing target for German fighters and anti-aircraft fire. You arrived at the squadron and you're still not aware that you're about to face death. You get briefed and as you were kitting yourself out you'd say to your best friend "If you don't make it, can I have your eggs and bacon?" It was never going to be you. And off you fly. I was an instructor and they decided to do a thousand bomber raids. And they sent me on the first three. And I was shot down on the third one. Only two crew survived that night and that was an average, was a hundred people every night. And they talk about a war today,

a hundred airmen every night. Across all battlefronts losses mounted as the war became more ruthless. I said to the guys "Stay where you are. "They're not taking prisoners, "they're shooting every man they can get. "Stay where you are." As the fighting intensified, the fate of thousands of Allied troops hung in the balance. And then this big guy came up and he called out "Gentleman, please put your hands up. "Come out, for you the war is over." When you're in a Telstra T-Bundle, you can get a T-Box to pause and record free-to-air TV and rent from thousands of BigPond movies. Plus 200GB high-speed broadband. And family calls benefit with unlimited voice calls in Australia between four mobiles on your account. Build your connected home with Telstra. Telstra T-Bundles - value that stacks up. The German tide of conquest stretches across the map. At its margins at different times and at different locations fighting men are falling into the hands of the enemy. In North Africa troops are locked in battle. Oh, we went into Tebourba, we had 680 men. And in five days there was only 190 of us left. We started to start walking, came across a river, all that green slime on top. We decided, although it's stupid, but we had decided to only go by night. "What? No point, we're all clear." But then we thought and waded across the river, And we stripped off and all of a sudden started getting dressed the place came alive with Germans, been watching us for hours. all camouflaged, all around us, and motorbike cycler We could see this Panzer other Jerries and that. and all these but to put the white flag up. So of course I had no option We had fought our way up to Benghazi and the sergeant-major said to me and see what's happening, Ron." "Go up the road Or "corporal", like. I went up the road and suddenly coming down the road there was a tank and in perfect English he says and Jerry standing up in the front is over, drop your guns." "Come on, boys, for you the war He said "Ah, the Englander." what are you doing?" "The Englander" he said, I couldn't talk. I was nearly shitting myself. in North Africa. By 1943 the Allies had succeeded into the Italian region They soon began a slow offensive which lasted up until 1945. Recruits fresh out of training for their first taste of war were on their way battle-hardened men. alongside already was finished The day came when the training we were just loaded in lorries and taken to the ship and given sandwiches and picked up a convoy for Malta. were under constant pressure In the Mediterranean, naval units strove to supply its own forces as each side

of their enemy. and intercept the convoys (SIREN) We travelled to Malta there was aircraft about, and on the way there was submarines shadowing us. I think we had about 12 hits. Shells were coming in. And I was dazed black smoke and there was all smoke, was crawl towards the light and all I could do which I could see in the distance. a shipmate screaming out I crawled to the light and I heard and I crawled to him but... my strength had gone and I tried to pull him out, and I couldn't do anything. that weren't too bad, And those chaps on the side ropes we hung around the sides for nine hours. and we hung on there But all together, it was ten hours. but when they picked us up

As the Allies landed in Italy the Italians were quick to surrender and determined. but the German reaction was vigorous on to landing strips They shipped us out and landed us at Salerno. that we managed to put an end to. There was some opposition fought our way north, And then we gradually horrific fighting mountain after mountain, and conditions and all that. Monte Camino. The battalion had to attack The commanding officer said of German OPs up there, "There's only a couple eight hours to get up there." "Saturday-night job, for three days up there, Now, we had a terrific battle it was horrendous. were coming for us during the night We were told that infantry and would relieve us but they never came. about 6 o'clock we heard tanks And the following morning

they're coming to relieve us." and we thought "Hello, they came over the hill And of course on the side of the tanks and the German cross was and we thought "This is it." was very bitter. The fighting in Anzio who had already said, I understand We had an American commander "It couldn't be done." Well, if you have a commander who doesn't think it can be done he's not the commander you need. Hitler had already said they were to lance the abscess out of Rome which was us, to get rid of us. and they sent everything against us It was a very traumatic experience, we'd never even thought of. something I thought about being killed, I mean, I thought about being badly wounded, perhaps even crippled for life, being taken prisoner, but I'd never thought about that happened to other people. against German industrial centres The mounting bomber offensives did not come without sacrifice. over occupied territory. Many aircrews were lost had come underneath us The German night fighter longer attacking the rear gunner, and in those days they were no where there were no gun position, they were underneath just raised their guns and fired. away from my pilot on his right And I was sitting about three feet and he got killed instantly. Bailing out of a stricken aircraft was no guarantee of survival. when you bailed out They always warned you the trees are high and dangerous, "Cross your legs because to protect yourself." "cover your eyes and nothing happened at all, So I did this it all went very, very quiet. where I was and I was up in a tree. I peeped through my fingers to see in a strange country There I lay in a strange field, not quite knowing what to do. My trouble was I was too keen. it was very early in the morning, When it started to get light, I know to get down for the day you should find somewhere to keep out of sight. I went to two farmers in Normandy asking for help. which is reasonable, And they wouldn't know - if they helped escapees. they'd face the death penalty and I said "Fine". The third one said "I'll help you" And he took me to a little village and there was a street, a road... on the left, they will help you." and he said "The fourth house and out came a German soldier. So I went there and I knocked wrong address" and walked back. I said in my best German "Sorry, He said "Come" and that was it. I suppose only ten minutes or less, And before very long, of the German army was there. pretty well the whole and said "Hi", So two guys shouted at me and started to walk on I said "Hi, guten naht" there's two pistols pointing at me. and next thing I know must have been too convincing My "good morning" "Halt". because the next thing I heard - then there's a shot, I started to run, I stopped immediately, towards this chap. turned round and walked back bless him, And he was only a little chap, and he had this Luger pointed at me and he had his bicycle behind him and as I walked to him he backed up and fell over his bicycle and landed on the ground. All these other chaps started to laugh, they thought it was very funny. And that was the end of us, a lot of shouting, guns in your stomach, "Hande hoch" and all the rest of that and that was my start as a POW.

From the start of the fighting in early 1940 and throughout the war over 300,000 soldiers, seamen and airmen were taken prisoner by the Axis armies. Little did they know their war was far from over. Capture in battle was often unavoidable. After hours or even days of intense action ending in surrender they were thankful to be alive. But no matter where and when they were captured, they faced a further torment - a long, hard journey to prisoner-of-war camps scattered across Eastern Europe. As we were marching through... out of the town, French women came out and were putting out buckets of water for us As they did it the Germans kicked them over so we couldn't have them. And as we went through the little village the civilians were standing on either side and as we marched on through to the station they started spitting at us, you know. And they said "Righto, you're moving out." Where the hell are we going to now? So they took us down to the railway station, put us in cattle trucks. There was about 70 to a cattle truck. You couldn't sit down. We had a corporal that was with us and he was the first one to get on and he counted us as we got in. And he counted 57 in our truck. Some had more, I think. They put 40 of us in there and that was a bit crowded, you know. But knowing the Germans, they decided that another 20 wouldn't hurt, so they put another 20 of us in there and you were in a position that you couldn't move. The doors were shut and bars put in place and that was it. Horrible cattle trucks without any covering on the floor, had the rivets sticking up and that. Didn't matter where you put yourself, sat down, lie down these rivets dug in. And it's no good saying well, sit on a coat or whatever. Because it was so cold that you had to stay fully dressed. (TRAIN WHISTLES) We were on that train for the whole of the day, and I remember seeing the German slogan on the side of... the trains "De rader mussen rollen fur den sieg" - "the wheels must roll for victory." I noticed on the side of the wall there was all Jewish... ..I didn't know what they were, but Jewish messages. They must have known where they were going. I didn't know at the time what these were for, but these cattle trucks were the same cattle trucks that the Jewish people were pushed into, to go along to what was unknown then, these concentration camps. As the POWs captured across Europe started their cramped journeys to unknown destinations, many would experience a Nazi disregard of the Geneva Convention. It took roughly two weeks because they stopped overnight in different sidings, they let us out for water once a day. And we were getting a bit hungry and there was no food. Eventually we were given something which was - I think it was a loaf of bread between about five or six men and a lump of - a little cube of margarine, and that was it. We were told that was it for 24 hours we weren't getting any more. We had a few bits of black bread and bits of meat and that sort of thing given to us. And then you had a bowl of this... ..well, we called it stodge, which was sort of a cabbage stew sort of thing. They gave us half a loaf to last us all the way and somebody pinched mine. We were saved by a thunderstorm,

a terrific thunderstorm, it rained heavily and we caught some drips in a tin that dripped through the roof and we got water like that. This journey went on cross-country, the train travelling at very slow speed. Once stopped dead for an air raid. We was mostly on the rail at night-time and then they used to put us on the siding during the daytime and move us again at night-time, so... Because there was so many trains getting bombed and all that sort of thing. I suppose to keep us safe to a certain extent. Allied air forces were now striking deep into Europe as they sought to destroy supply routes, truck convoys and trains. Unwittingly they sometimes targeted their own servicemen. The POWs could only hope and pray that they would survive the perilous journey. There's a village up on... in France there was a village up on the hill and the Red Cross were there and they insisted

that we had "POW" painted on top of the... ..carriage, the wagons, because the train in front had been strafed. So the Jerry said "Well, if you want it, you do it."

For some, transit to the camps was a more leisurely affair. The train was very crowded and at one stage a German major opened the door

and these four soldiers got up and he said "You can't sit there, "they're reserved for prisoners of war." And he said "What a bloody war this is", you know. "Terror fliegers are sitting in comfort "and decent German officers are being treated like swine."

I said "I agree with you, why don't you join?" So in the end we compromised. I had quite a nice time and enjoyed it. Most prisoners didn't have the luxury of travelling in the carriages. Those in the overcrowded cattle trucks were treated like animals. We stayed in these trucks for three days and two nights. Only stopped twice to answer the call of nature. I didn't go to the toilet there in the trucks. Chaps were doing their business in the Red Cross parcel boxes and throwing them out the little slit in the cow trucks. Well, you had to make sure you took a tin with you or something so you could urinate in it. The bloke who was up in the corner or whatever used to try and get up to the top where there was a hole in the top of the truck and tip it outside. And any sort of bowel movements, they had to be controlled until you were allowed out. We had a bucket inside the cattle truck. I don't have to tell you what that was for. And there were 60 men in there

so you can imagine what this bucket was like. Gradually as this bucket filled and often overflowed everybody sort of shuffled down that way away from it because nobody wanted to live that end. Well, it was awful, there was about... ..it was absolutely filled to capacity and you couldn't move or anything, cos the horrible smells that were coming from the thing, it was terrible. Every morning we were stopped out in the country

and some able-bodied workers pulled out and dug a hole and emptied the bin and back in and away we went. As prisoners were transported, many felt duty-bound to escape. We hadn't been on a day, we'd done about three-quarters of a day and the Germans found out that the Australians had dug a hole in bottom of this cattle truck. There was a commotion at the back, next truck to us, apparently there was some more Australians in it. They managed to get a chopper, an axe, and they chopped through the floorboards and escaped, some of them. But the Germans came up and they just riddled the truck with machine guns after that.

They just sprayed the truck with machine guns. One American was shot trying to escape. They pulled in to the sidings at night and he tried it. And we thought "This is useless trying to escape here." The interpreter came round one day and said "Anybody here with engineering experience?" And we said "Why?" He said "We want help up in the car factories up in Milan." I said "Okay", a couple of hundred put our names... ..our hands up, of course. And we... put us on a train and we travelled overnight, pulled up in the station in the morning. And the Italian guards got off and I could here German voices. And I thought to myself "That's funny. "We should be getting off here "and going the place to work." And all of a sudden we heard "Raus, raus." Someone said "Here, that's German." And to my horror, what happened? The Jerries chased the Italian guards off the train, they tore down the camouflage and I saw on the station the name of the station. It was Brenner. We were in the Brenner Pass which is at the base of Austria. So instead of getting off the train, the Italians sold us a dummy. They got off, the Jerries got on and away we went through Austria. We stopped one morning, very early, misty, and somebody called out in German to two railwaymen walking along the footplate, a track farther over, but they didn't respond, so somebody called out in French... and didn't respond somebody called out in something else and eventually got an answer. And it was in Polish and that's when we knew we were in Poland. And when we eventually stopped it was a station called Lamsdorf. And Lamsdorf was quite near a great big prisoner-of-war camp called Stalag VIII-B. These Stalags were the German prisoner-of-war camps, over 150 of them stretched out along the Nazi-occupied territories in the East. We got off the train and we was marching down the road to our camp and we marched past barbed wire fencing and fellas in pyjamas.

And I said to one of the guards "Who are they?"

"Juden" he said, I said "Juden?" "Jews" he said, like as if we should have known and we didn't know they were persecuting a Jew, I had no idea. After days of marching and travelling on trains the POWs set foot in their new home. Stalag camps along the German and Polish border. In these cramped, crowded living conditions

they were expected to sit out the rest of the war. And eventually we finished up in Poland quite late at night. And we got out and we... we marched past a cemetery into a prison camp. And of course we'd say "What are we put here for? "Why? What's the..." And we're calling through the wire to the others "What's all this about?" Nobody knew. There must have been several hundred of us, quite a large bunch, they'd been collecting them from all over the Italian front, all nationalities, British, Indian, American, all kinds. Many of them were public school boys so to them a prisoner-of-war camp must have been rather similar. The food was lousy, there were no women, you wrote home once a fortnight, you did as the headmaster did so it must have been not much change. Having survived the torment of capture they were now to sit out the rest of the war behind wire. The prisoners adjusted to camp life as best they could, they waited patiently, confident of eventual liberation by Allied forces

that were striking fresh offensives. But they were to face many hardships and ordeals that would challenge their hopes of ever regaining their freedom. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2012

This program is captioned live.

Black Saturday arsonist sentenced

to more than 17 years jail. We

still have a grandson without a

mother, father or brother. Chinese

students warned against travelling

at night following alleged racist attacks.

And justice at last for the victims

of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war.

The most gruesome war that I've ever fought.

Good evening and welcome to the

program. A former volunteer

firefighter has been sentenced to

17 years and nine months in jail

for deliberately lighting one of

Victoria's Black Saturday fires in

2009. 42-year-old Brendan Sokaluk

had earlier been convicted of

deliberately lighting the Churchill

fire which claimed 10 lives.

Brendan Sokaluk arrived at

Victoria's Supreme Court to hear

his fate after being found guilty

over the deaths of 10 people.

Rhonda Jacobs lost three members of

her family and read a statement on

behalf of her father. We are

without our much-loved family. And

we still have a grandson without a

mother, a father or brother. The

circumstances of these deaths are

particularly hurtful to those who

grieve for the loss of their loved

ones. The for-year-old was found

gelt of 10 counts of arson causing

death. The judge found that if

temperatures soared on Black

Saturday, Sokaluk lit the fire,

known as the Churchill Brisbane, at

two distint places -- blaze, at two

distinct places. I didn't mean any

of this to happen. I thought it was

out when I threw it out the window.

I had no intention for this to

happen. Apart from those who

perished, a further 21 people were injured. He is perhaps Victoria's

worst killer. His number of killers

eclipsing the seven claimed by the

Hoddle Street mass murderer. Very

upset. I did a stupid thing. The

court heard the one-time Country

Fire Authority trainee tried to

blame others and even rang 000. What road, sorry, Sir?

The judge accepted the accused man

suffers from autism. He walked in

to the courtroom smiling as the

judge outlined his decision. The

defendant sat with his head bowed,

pen in hand, appearing to take

notes. He stood for sentencing and

showed no reaction. Taking in to

account his mental disability and

remorse, the judge sentenced him to

17 years and nine months jail. It

makes me shake. Sokaluk will serve

a non-parole period of 14 years.

Foreign students in Australia are

tonight calling for better

protection for those studying here,

after two Chinese students were

attacked in Sydney. The incident

has caused outrage in China and

could threaten Australia's

lucrative international student

market. Debate is raging on social

media about the safety of studying

in Australia following the alleged

night time attacks on a Sydney

train. The two men say they were

punched and burnt with cigarettes.

My nose, it is broken. Asian dog

and Asian pussy we were called.

Police charged six teenagers, the

youngest 14. A bystander said, "Rob

them instead, they're Chinese. They

have money." State TV warned a

rising youth crime rate poses a

threat to safety. Sydney's Chinese

Consulate General advised against

unnecessary travel after dark.

Kevin Rudd weighed in, saying, "I

completely detest racism." But

added that non-Chinese were robbed

in the attack. Foreign Affairs said

it was a deplorable but isolated

incident and it places great

importance on student safety. He

wrote today that he wasn't worked

in a week and scared to go out add

night. Overseas student

organisations have been deeply

disturbed by the attacks and say

more needs to be done to help

students while they're here.

They're calling on the education

and education sector to -- and

government sector to send out a

strong message. They say attacks on

Indian students did drop numbers.

It raises questions for parents

sending their children overseas. It

discourages students to have their

confidence in leaving and studying

in Australia. And there are calls

for all tiers of Government to

protect and support foreign

students, often struggling with

fees. Transportation costs. They

should be given a bit of consession

there. And support accommodation.

Communities members will meet the

NSW Opposition next week to discuss

better public transport security.

Thousands have also signed up in

favour of a rally. There are

reports tonight of a suicide

bombing in Syria's capital,

Damascus. Syrian state TV says at

least nine people were killed in

the blast and dozens wounded. The

UN Security Council is facing calls

to take immediate action to protect

civilians in Syria after an upsurge