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As it Happened -

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(generated from captions) in Southampton. to the Titanic engineers' memorial Now this photograph was taken on April the 22nd 1914. in this spot nearly a century ago, who assembled here The tens of thousands of people the 35 Titanic engineers came to honour

on this granite. whose names are engraved gave their lives The engineers of the Titanic doing their jobs to the very last, simply standing by their posts and

in the survival of 700 people. and their effort played a vital part engineer's memorial for Southampton. I would like to unveil the restored a 15 year old girl with her parents My mother was on the Titanic as and she lost her father. if it wasn't for these engineers I always feel that speaking to you. I wouldn't be here today They were just ordinary blokes engineering jobs. going about their day to day their call of duty really They went above and beyond and they sacrificed themselves. role models. I mean, what fantastic engineering to see a memorial to engineers As an engineer, it's quite touching disappear into the abyss because usually engineers just and no ever knows their name, or who built what, no one knows who invented what impressive memorial and you know, there is an incredibly to some incredibly talented people. has become synonymous with disaster The very name Titanic have revealed another legacy. but in this series our engineers by the men and women who built her. The story of achievement, been doing over the past 30 years It makes me realise the job I've you know? has been pretty easy-going like,

turned out the stuff that they did. I really don't know how they They were extremely skilled men. the history of this country in a way The history of Titanic has been of the workers, We really should be extremely proud extremely proud of the Titanic. extremely proud of their people, engineering progress. progress, human progress, It's a wonderful example of Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! is really quite a hopeful thing, What we've discovered and that if you want something built in this country you can still build it and you can build it well. And that's what we've done. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2012

Good evening. Peta-Jane Madam with

the latest from World News

Australia. The diplomatic crisis

surrounding Chinese dissident Chen

Guangcheng appears to be subsiding.

The foreign ministry in Beijing now

says he can apply to study abroad.

The blind activist is still stuck

in China, but earlier made a

personal appeal to the US Congress

to help him flee to America. More

than a year after the death of

Osama bin Laden, secret letters

reveal he had been working on a

plot to assassinate the US

President. Other letters say he

also worried about the dysfunction

within al-Qaeda. More details have

emerged about what we can expect in

next week's Budget. Welfare

payments are expected to be

targeted. I'll have a full World

News Australia bulletin at 10:30. of the Second World War During the course swelled. the number of allies taken prisoner by the enemy Those who had been surrounded overrun, shot down or even sunk of capture and surrender. would suffer the further indignity were able to surrender. In the end there was only five of us We got up and gave ourselves up. It was really a shock for a long time. which we never recovered from along the eastern borders. The prisoners were herded into camps for five years. Some of them would be behind wire all nationalities, There must have been 100 of us, all kinds. British, Indian, American, "What are we put here for?" And course we all say to the others Why... Calling through the wire Nobody knew. "What's all this about?" By Christmas 1944 the Allies tightened their grip but instead of liberation, would face a grim, unforeseen ordeal. 300,000 prisoners of war the harsh circumstances of captivity. But first they would have to survive the prisoners were swiftly moved With German military efficiency scattered across Germany. to POW camps On arrival they were processed into the Wehrmacht records. and formally entered Germany had 31 prisoner of war camps, At the start of the war to 248 a figure dramatically increasing as the war progressed. of Germany on the borders of Poland. Most were along the east side prisoners. 134 housed British and American was one of the largest camps Stalag VIII B and air crew. and housed a mixture of armed forces at Stalag VIII B Eventually we landed in Lamsdorf, Ober Silesia, Poland. rather like... It was a camp arranged imagine a noughts and crosses grid with nine rectangles. There was a road down the middle. on the right hand side The Polish were

and we were on the left hand side and the Poles were marvellous to us. They threw food over and that... all they possibly could. and helped us All these huts were around while in the bottom half of the camp bigger accommodation they were building to avoid tunnelling. and it was all built on stilts soldiers marching towards us. We saw, almost like a dream, We thought "Who the heck are these?" we realised they were British As they came to us from the camp we were going into. "Is anybody from such a regiment, They were shouting you know. "anyone from such a place?" "Find you in the camp." a wonderful effect on us. So that had gate and we were documented, We went in a sort of a perimeter and photo taken. took all your particulars running around, Germans, There was security officers and all Americans who had returned home who were all German-Americans acting as interpreters. to protect the fatherland, when I saw this document. I was very surprised It included my mother's maiden name got to do with it?" and I said "What the devil's that only a short time ago, Then I spoke to someone to someone who is a Slovakian and he said "Did you realise your mother was Jewish?" "they might have thought about extermination camps With rumours circulating for their own lives. some prisoners began to fear with a high chimney We went to a place and we'd heard rumours about the death camps. We went in, but all it was, was a delousing place and they stripped us off and deloused the clothes in a steamer and we had to walk through a sheep dip, disinfectant sheep deep.

Had our heads shaved when we first went into camp, disinfected, all our uniforms, all our clothes taken from us,

disinfected, and so we was all sitting there naked for about a hour, couple of hours. Our company was in Marienburg in East Prussia and we were given Dutch clogs and pieces of sort of square material, they call them Fusslappen, and old Polish uniforms. Some were even... had bloodstains on them so we looked a bit of a mess. There were older prisoners there, as we called them, from Dunkirk and from Crete, and from North Africa and so on and course we had nothing other than what we stood up in. We didn't have any fighting knife, fork, spoon, that sort of thing so they said "Right come with us. "You two come with me, you go with him" and so on and they took us back to their bunks and said, you know "I've got two knives, you have a knife, "here's a comb for you," and they dug out bits of equipment for us like that. Having arrived in camp they now had to settle in what comforts they could find. General conveniences like washing and going to the bathroom were pretty crude. They had to make of it the best they could. The worst aspect of that life was the latrines, I think, which were across a parade square. The latrines were sticks driven in the ground

and a long pole in between. And if you wanted to go to the toilet you sat on this long pole which was bending up and down and it was funny to see half a dozen people sitting on this ledge going to toilet on this bendy pole. The latrines were a wooden structure, if you like, a large wooden latrine with 40 holes in it, no privacy of any kind, just 40 holes in the woodwork and you just went there, did what you had to do and you came out. And it all goes down into this sump but in July it begins to pong a bit if it's not emptied. And a Russian prisoner of war with a barrel cart and a hand pump came along every day and pumped out, took it across the moorland and spilt it all over the moorland. But I can't remember any particular vigorous growths

from the fertilising. One day it got so bad there was an explosion, it had blown up... the latrine and I was watching a football match. And we all got camouflaged to some extent and the roofs of the huts near this were covered and my recollection, this poor bloke staggering completely naked out the wreckage of this thing, covered, and nobody wanted to get near him, bless him. They wanted somebody to run the shower block. Well, I became Shower Fuehrer for number one block and a friend of mine was Shower Fuehrer for number two block. And your job was to heat up the water every morning and you'd call in the rooms one by one, 16 people at a time for the showers to have three minutes of hot water once a fortnight. We had a stove in the room. We didn't... We got very little fuel so we used to burn the bed boards and so we finished up with about three bed boards each and sometimes they used to collapse altogether and go straight the way through and hit the one underneath. It was quite a laugh.

You could never say it was hot. In fact, if you hung your clothes on... put a piece of string all the way round the stove and hung your clothes on it, they were dry after an hour or two. It didn't give out very much heat but just enough, just enough to keep us alive. The lack of food in most camps was commonplace. For the POWs hunger occupied their thoughts and was the high topic of conversation, if not the only topic. We had virtually nothing to eat. The Germans came along once a day with a dustbin full of thin, watery soup and they ladled out one ladleful to each person. So you had to have a tin yourself to receive it. If you didn't have a tin you didn't get anything to eat.

Usually you had some watery soup at lunchtime but... more what we call spud water. They cooked the potatoes and gave you the water they were cooked in as a soup. There was always a loaf between five and sauerkraut soup, cabbage soup. But after a year we started to get Red Cross parcels came through. The first thing we did was open them up and make a cup of tea. Of course that was marvellous, a lovely cup of tea. Splendid parcels with tins of milk, Klim - we didn't know "klim" was milk spelt backwards! Biscuits, hard tack biscuits, jam, meatloaf, tea. Then you had your Red Cross parcel, like. I think we'd have been dead if we hadn't the Red Cross parcel. The Red Cross saved our lives. I didn't smoke before the war and when you're hungry, I started. It did help, but it was a hell of a job to give up afterwards. When we first went into these little huts we were given one Red Cross parcel for the hut of five people. As time went by it went up to two. Of course, by rights, according to the Red Cross we should get a parcel each per week, which we didn't get until we moved down to the new block, but that then only lasted for about a couple of months. Then that started to go down because it was really Bomber Command and the Americans who robbed us by blocking up the railways lines, we couldn't get them and the Germans would pinch them given half a chance anyway. Between 1941 and 1942 Red Cross parcels began to decline. Over a period of months, even years, starvation wore the prisoners down psychologically and physically. With what they received, they bartered or fraternised with others for food and supplies. You could do a little bit of bartering and you'd get a egg or you might get a little loaf of bread. Champion, just the job. With the cigarettes and things you could barter with anything, you see, with watches and things like that. Sometimes we'd make a deal with a guard so that you'd arrange with a civvy to do a deal, you'd notify the guard, he came along just in time and we split the difference. We had a visit from some Germans, officers, because they were big-headed enough to come round and see you, really just to show off and they would come round asking for complaints

and the very first complaint they got was we could do with more to eat and one of them looked round at us and just smiled and said "Grass is good enough for you people," and that's the gospel truth.

From the moment the POWs set foot in the camp the shock of capture began to wear off and thoughts turned to settling down. But life was not going to be easy. The Germans would make them work for their keep. As the fighting progressed and to keep the wheels of Germany's war industry turning, the demand for labour increased. Allied POWs were compelled to work for the German war effort. By February 1944 almost 80,000 prisoners were working for the Reich. The type of work largely depended on the location of the camp. For those prisoners in and around the Polish Corridor, this consisted of construction, mining, or industrial type work. They sent us out to working parties. My first job was on the railway job and we was picking up railway lines by hand, which was all frozen, and they used to stick to your hands and it were very painful. Somebody said, this is a coalmining district, they're coalmines and that's where we were headed. I joined the army in Wales to get out of the coalmines and ended up working in a coalmine for the bloody Germans. Many prisoners were sent to work down coalmines in countries occupied by the Germans. This not only aided the German war effort but it helped sustain the prison camps. Some of these mines are still in operation today like this one in Volhynia, Poland. They marched us to the top of mine, these cages landed, and put 30 in each, three-decker cages, and shoved us in and down we went. I'd never seen a coalmine in my life. Got on electric train under there and away you went to... faces. The Germans cut corners, you know, because they wanted coal produced, coal at all costs. The Polish lives didn't mean nothing to them, they just wanted the coal out from the mines and they cut corners to speed up the production of the coal and it made things a bit dangerous, you know. I suffer with claustrophobic... you know, you was always frightened that something was going to fall in. We had what they called a 'Steiger', that was the foreman. They used to go in front of our boys as we went to work, prodding the ceiling of the tunnels and he might say stop, and you stop and he'd prod and perhaps a half hundredweight of coal would come down. Well, I was sitting on this four-and-a-half-feet-high seam on your knees all day shovelling onto a belt behind you. Very often there was a huge bang like thunder, all the lights would go out, the air would go bad and you felt as if you'd got the flu. We was in darkness and you had to fiddle around, get your flint and light your lamp, it was unnerving. The Poles were bringing out tins of cigarettes and lighting cigarettes.

I thought "Oh God!" Smoking in a coalmine! Because down in Wales it's strictly forbidden, you know. Despite the horrendous conditions being on the workforce was a blessing in disguise. It was a good thing to get on a working party, really, to occupy your mind. We got heavy workers rations while we were working in the coalmine and the heavy workers rations consisted of a thick slice of bread, which had mould in it because it was very stale. The great thing about working in the coalmines was each night you had a shower come up, which kept you fairly clean from the lice and that sort of thing. It didn't keep you completely free but it kept you mostly free. You'd never see daylight in winter. It were dark when you went down, it were dark when you come up. Avoiding the coalmines wasn't easy. If you were fit you would be put to work. But some found ways to avoid heavy manual labour. There's some chaps had their arms broken to avoid going down. They used to get somebody with a bed board to break their arm. Those prisoners who were unfit to work down the mines didn't avoid work altogether. There were plenty of other tasks found for them above ground. The Germans were determined to extract as much as work as possible from the prisoners. We were in tatters, in rags and as far as the clothing was concerned, I used to go out and work on the roads with my backside showing and you used to be very embarrassed when... they were mostly Polish girls. And they called for volunteers so I thought, well, I'm doing nothing here sitting round just starving so I decided to volunteer. Of the various jobs assigned to the prisoners, outdoor work was generally preferred. Many of the men volunteered for agricultural duties. The work was hard, but they soon discovered their quality of life was far superior to that of the main camp. My job on the farm was looking after the cattle. All we had was seven cows, five horses and the main thing was crop growing. We grew wheat, rye, barley, whatever. And cut it all down with a scythe, nothing mechanical whatsoever. We were better off than the Germans and in the evening we used to have a cooked meal in the evening again which could be anything. In addition to ordinary work parties the Germans organised construction and work battalions. These were semi-mobile groups able to move from place to place as and when needed. Some of these groups became a permanent work Stalag. The best known of these was at Blachownia. The factory the prisoners helped to build back in 1942 still stands today. Well, it was forest cut down and we had to start with clearing all roots out. It was quite a big area and had to clean all roots out and level ground off. Then they started doing all the underground work, pipe laying. We formed a gang, about eight of us, and we used to go to the gaffer then, the German, Kegel his name was, Kegel, and we used to make a bargain before we started how much we'd do, and then we'd finish. Otherwise if you didn't do that you was there for 12 hours. First off we were laying electric cables, digging trenches and some we had to dig twice as big because they kept falling back in on you. The job had to be abandoned because we got down about four feet or something

and we were digging up skeletons. Sabotage was one way a prisoner could help in fighting back his captors and was dependent only on the POW's ability in avoiding detection. I used to get guard a couple of cigarettes and get one that likes to talk out the side. We used to put bloody pickaxe through the cable. If you could get a Jerry who was guarding you doing work to start talking about football, and he remembered it, he'd be off on his own. Nobody worked, we all sat down till he went berserk, finding nobody was working and everybody was talking football. The German officer came and saw one bloke leaning on his shovel and he grabbed the shovel and knocked him off his shovel. He got other shovel and rammed in and did more work in ten minutes than we did all day. Lads are shouting "Go on, that's the way to do it!" Many would face savage sentences or pay with their lives for these acts of sabotage or disobedience. One day somebody pressed a lever at the top and sent two empty trucks down the shaft and blocked it all off. Several Poles got shot then by the Gestapo for doing that. I worked on synthetic petrol and we had iron cylinders 60, 70 feet high called Kammers

and every now and then we had to go up the top to change the pipes over for the petrol to come down through clay filters. This particular day there was two of us there, a Scotsman, McGuffick, and myself and he said to McGuffick, go up and change them over and McGuffick said, not being able to speak much German, tried to explain to him that he's afraid of heights. He said "If I go up there I'll fall off." And he kept on and he definitely wouldn't go up, he was frightened to death. So the guard came over with an under Offizier and he pulled out his Luger and he said go up there, he didn't go so he shot him, killed him there and then. You should've seen me go up there, I went up like a bloody monkey. Prisoners that were caught breaking camp rules were often thrown in to the cooler, a small prison room where they could spend weeks in solitary confinement. And when the guard opened the door, he kicked the door open, pushed me in and slammed the door behind me and I fell against, I knew what it was afterwards, just a board and that was what I was going to sleep on. I sat in the corner for three months and I used to draw rude pictures on the wall and then wait for the guards to go at night and they'd let me out. Go and have a coffee, go and play cards. Came in one night and found me playing cards... "Akehurst! In your cell!" Chucked me back in again, I was out the next night. Enraged by the Allies' high spirits some camps would wage psychological war on their prisoners in an attempt to shatter morale. The Kommandant reckoned he wiped his behind on the Geneva Convention. And he really allowed the guards to shoot over our heads to frighten us,

often while we were walking around the compound. Damaged our own huts, and fortunately I don't think anybody was killed that way but it's frightening when they open up their machine guns just to terrorise us. We had a count every day. In the British forces you line up in threes, in the German you line up in fives. These German guards were people that were no good for the front and if you could say they were dumb and senseless that would have been a quite apt recognition of them. And they couldn't count. And one day the colonel was there, he was getting right pissed off with all this mucking about that we were giving him and somebody broke wind. They let blow such a loud fart you've never heard anything like it. It was a rip-snorter. And because of that we were penalised. We had to stand there for eight hours for insulting the colonel. Many of the prisoners out on working parties around Lamsdorf worked alongside slave labour camps. Occasionally they encountered work companies from the concentration camps. At the time, Auschwitz was unknown to most prisoners. When we got to Auschwitz, about 20 of us, we couldn't believe what we were seeing, all these men in pyjama suits... gaunt, clogs, wooden clogs, and of course we got to understand they were mostly Jewish prisoners, some German and Polish political prisoners, and the rest of the people, civilians, were very curious to look at us, English people. We weren't allowed to talk to them, they weren't allowed to talk to us but I have spoken to one or two of them on the quiet. The life of a Jew in Auschwitz was about three weeks. They were in such a state that they couldn't walk about, up the gas chamber they went. This fella Yosef, I gave him this and he was overwhelmed because I give him a bit of sausage and a couple days after he gave me that ring

and a little while after he disappeared. And I asked where Joseph was one morning

and all he said was gas chamber, 'kaput', that's just how he said it. So they knew what was going on, knew exactly what was going on. The only thing that we really knew about Auschwitz was the stink. It all depended on what way the wind was blowing. You could smell them, you know, it's horrible. Shocked at the sight of these fellow humans, there was little they could do for them without the risk of hastening their death or being shot themselves. We gave the Jews what we could, I mean, if you had a vest you could spare perhaps, you think, well, give it this poor devil. But if the Germans discovered a Jew with some article of clothing, they'd probably knock him to death. And our German guard says "Don't touch them, don't touch them, "they shall be shot." They were from the SS. They had no compunction of shooting anybody. We passed one of the Jews' camps, just where it was, but because one of the Jews had killed a guard with a shovel they hung eight of them across the gateway. With atrocities happening all around them the prisoners somehow had to keep up their morale while they waited with nothing but uncertain hope of ever being free men. The place you grew up in VOICEOVER: with who you become. has a lot to do stick with you, Things you learn along the way is its own reward. like a job well done We found it takes strength, pride, tenacity to make your mark, to dare to be different. And while a place shapes people, that make a place what it is, it's the people who we are. You see, we grew up in Newcastle and for nearly 110 years, smarter ways to grow your wealth, we've been developing easier ways to do your banking, more affordable ways to own your own home, and keeping the banks honest along the way. Now, everywhere we go, around the state, the country, around the world, we find people want the same things.

When it comes to banking, you just want a fair go. And that's what we're here for. Work seemed the mainstay of activity within most camps but there were times when boredom set in. The German camp authorities allowed prisoners to take up wholesome pursuits on the simple premise that a man occupied in leisure or causing any trouble. was a man not attempting to escape I became a bridge fanatic I suppose you could call them. and we used to have bridge parties, non-stop all the time They went on sometimes 48 hours and we got quite good at it. We had a proper football pitch footballers in there, and of course there was many, many professional footballers,

before the war who joined the territorials and were all captured together.

of everything, We used to make the best and we used to put plays on. we had a football team out of the cigarette packets, And we used to, we used to make playing cards and someone would draw and we had a pack of playing cards. We used to have boxing. MO limited to three rounds because you were that weak that your legs went to rubber. To help combat this boredom in captivity the Red Cross would send not only food but donated items for the prisoners to entertain themselves. My colleague and I joined the concert party for which we got an extra little loaf of bread, you know. We used to impersonate various people. My friend and I used to put in script, you know, couple of jokes, a couple of songs. about the goings-on in the camp, sort of thing. There were little sing-songs we had an orchestra We had a military band, formed from the orchestra. and a dance band signature tune was The camp's dance band for the sunrise." "The world is waiting Unnoticed behind all these activities a number of prisoners were secretly preparing various means of escape. But you had to be scrutinised before you could join the escape party. It was all very carefully decided, it had to be decided by the tally-ho club in the organisation because you'd only want the people to get out who'd got the best chance, who could speak the language of the area or they were French or Polish or whatever. So, it was a very selective process

so you didn't let anybody go out who hadn't got a chance. We had a proper escape party. You could join the escape party and you had to be interviewed and see that you were fully qualified to do this. The most famous escape attempt was made in Stalag Luft III on the night of 24th of March 1944. It has since been dubbed the Great Escape. It took a year of planning, digging tunnels, forging IDs and making civilian clothes. We got so many talents really, all reasonably intelligent people I mean, you can imagine, trades and professions. and all sorts of various or a scientist, or a mathematician So if you wanted a geologist, you'd got one, you got an expert. And so that anything we wanted went into it to make things. there's such a lot of ingenuity before the alarm sounded. 76 men escaped Only three made it to freedom. were executed by the Gestapo. 50 of the recaptured escapees that were going on in the camps Even with all the distractions day in, day out the ordeal of being behind wire of many prisoners. affected the mental state got a bit overcome Some of the blokes by the conditions if a chap after roll-call, and it was noticed that he'd go straight back to the hut, get back into bed and stay there until he came out for roll-call again in the evening. was... pull him out of bed, make him walk round the parade ground with everybody else. After a few days it wore off and he got back to normal but to lie in bed like that meant, well, losing your marbles. We walked around the compound talking, chatting, gossiping.

The whole morning we'd spend just walking round the compound, walking up and down, you see animals in cages just walking. we were doing the same thing, But life wasn't totally unbearable. Most camps had someone intoxicating beverages. with knowledge of how to brew from their Red Cross parcels With ingredients and others they had bartered for

to produce liquor they were able, in secret, such as Christmas. for special occasions which was made of turnips The Jerries used to give us jam and that would brew up quite nicely. because I didn't know how to brew Well, I didn't, who knew what to do. but there was always somebody

out of the Red Cross parcels We had all saved all the dried fruit and there were all sorts of brews. to brew up, The Germans, if they found them, would throw them over but we managed to hide ours under a big pile of coke in the boiler house. And it was put into a barrel in the loft of the hut and it used to rumble like mad

and of course when there was an inspection, everybody sang because the thing was like thunder up there. And put it outside to ferment. In the night-time it blew up. The Jerries were firing their guns everywhere thinking we escaped or something like that. we brought it down And of course when it matured and you were flat on your back. and you only had one glass about Christmas Day at all. I didn't know anything on Christmas Day. We were out for the count blind for days, And it would send some of them it were awful stuff. And if you give the guards stuff to the Russian Front next. you were likely to be sent Schnapps tasted horrible, you could burn it. but it was lethal, we had two milk churns for a toilet, But one of the chaps, and vomiting in the other. well, he was sitting on one of them that had had rotten brew You could see the huts of diarrhoea right through the snow because there was a long, wide line from all directions. right up to the wash-house While imprisonment continued the war outside the camps began to enter its final phase. In June 1944, Operation Overlord was being unleashed on the beaches of Normandy. On the Eastern Front the Russian Red Armies began their bloodthirsty campaign advancing towards German soil.

What lay directly in their path were the POW camps along the Polish border with over 200,000 inmates. The National Broadband Network is already making a difference around Australia. Alice Springs and put the dish up, I was here when they came out from for the first time. and we tried it out

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information, industry trends. Current information, industry You couldn't do that in the past. If you picture Australia, we're pretty much bang in the middle.

so it is quite remote. Mail plane gets here once a week, with the NBN here Having that ability to operate as a business has really allowed us in the way it really should. the National Broadband Network, To learn more about visit australia.gov.au/nbn drive as much these days. Honestly, I don't But we still need the car. are with Apia - That's why Jeff and I for us over-50s. the experts in insurance

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If you're over 50, The National Broadband Network rollout is underway, more reliable broadband and delivers high-speed, using a variety of technologies. Learn more at australia.gov.au/nbn for almost five years Many prisoners have been in camps how Germany was winning the war. and Nazi propaganda described up and down The Germans, they'd be marching

singing 'Gegen England', you know, I think. to try and get your morale down, he used to be on the loudspeaker And old Haw-Haw, and London was flat. telling us that England had finished But the prisoners knew differently. they became very inventive With their electrical know-how

of how the war was progressing. and knew the true situation (WHIRRING RADIO SIGNAL) We got wireless sets in the camp to put together that the blokes had managed by bribing the German guards... bribing - it was blackmail really, or something like that gave them chocolate

then threatened to report them for having taken the chocolate. These chaps were pretty ingenious, they used to make wirelesses and they used to make everything that they possibly could. That's why the pieces of wire and anything they found was brought back into the camp for them to use. And the coils were some aluminium wire wrapped round a stick of shaving soap

and the smoothing coils were razor blades that went together like this. So we had two or three radio sets in the camp which you could pick up the BBC news. A chap had made a wireless and they used to keep it in the coal house where they used to stoke the boiler. They had it hid up there and a chap used to be on watch at the door of each hut while the newscaster came round and gave us all the latest news.

But nothing was ever printed or anything like that, it was all word of mouth. Mind you, they raided the camp, the barrack rooms very often, quite often, to try to find them. They knew we'd got radio sets but where they were they didn't know. These chaps were very ingenious. They used to leave a bit of equipment on a table and as soon as the Germans found this they said we found it, we found it, and off they'd go. They'd found something that was valuable

and of course we were allowed back in the hut from there.

The guards on the prison camps were not the cream of the German army, they were rag-tag. It meant that if they were looking for radio sets they didn't see knives or anything like that. They weren't looking for knives, they'd been told to look for radio sets so everything else was left alone. So we had contact with the news all the time. We knew what was happening better than what the Germans knew. We could tell them the news three days before they told us. We knew about D-Day before the Germans did. RADIO ANNOUNCER: This is London calling at home, overseas and European... Headquarters have just described naval forces supported by strong air forces... began landing allied armies this morning on the north coast of France. The news of the landings in Normandy in the summer of 1944 reached the camps. This welcome, long-awaited news set the prisoners into a rush of excitement. When night shift came home in marching fashion, orderly in through the gate, counted, and as soon as they got into the space between the barrack rooms they started yelling and screaming and chucking their hats in the air

and of course that woke up the sleeping shift and everybody got out saying "What the... is going on?" It was D-Day but on the German newspaper was a huge V in red, front page. The V1 has been launched against Angleterre, England. And course we saw that and thought "Good Christ, now they're bombing London and all the big towns in England. One of the guards in the camp was a First World War chap and when we heard through the radio that D-Day had happened he was more happy than what we was. He said "Oh lovely" he said, "Won't be long till it'll be over now. You'll be home soon." The excitement over the news of the Allied advance was short-lived. Their hopes of liberation were shattered as the weeks passed and the Allied progress slowed. Life in the camps continued as normal with the thought of another hard winter behind wire in front of them. Along the Eastern Front the Russians advanced in fearless fashion.

This sent the Germans into a blind panic. Fear of being taken prisoner or being shot for their brutality during the Russian campaign. And every morning the man of confidence came round every hut and shut the doors, and everybody was on watch while he read us out the latest news so we were up to date with what was happening. He said the Russians are coming very near, he said. That was the big thing that was really frightening the Germans. Working parties on remote farmlands continued to carry out their duties, unaware of the advancing Russians. Never had a clue what was happening at all with the war. I never heard anything. Everybody was scared to talk. We didn't even know until the Russians were 100 mile away, that they were so near. The two Polish men who looked after the horses, and they had always said that when the Russians got near enough they were going to do a bunk and they did. In the camps along the Eastern Front things began to change. We had a good idea because we could hear artillery fire and lighting etc. non-existent in the camp, there was hardly any, you know, it was petering out. So we knew that something was going desperately wrong so far as the Germans were concerned. We had noticed that all the factories had stopped producing anything, all the civilian workers had disappeared and the Jews apparently overnight had been shipped up to, I think they went to Belsen. And they stopped us going to the coalmines. We said there's something up here so, we started hearing the guns, some guns going. I thought "Oh, they're gonna leave us here now. They're going to shoot off and leave us in the camp. As the Russian armies approached, anxiety amongst the prisoners intensified. We demanded from the German Kommandant we should go too, and he said, you will not go until I get the orders from Berlin to move you. We could hear the Russians fighting up the road at Katowice, we thought "We're good here, we're going to get released." And then the first week in January the Jerries walked in the camp and told us to pick up what gear you could carry, we're marching you out. Half past nine, ten o'clock the loudspeakers suddenly announced "Compounds 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be ready to march in one hour." And we thought "What a time to take us and move us to another place." We thought we were going somewhere else to work. We had no idea. And so started the grimmest chapter in the prisoners' lives. Their thoughts of being liberated by the Russians were short-lived. All the harsh experiences so far were not even a taste of the suffering and the horrors that were to come. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2012 This program is captioned live.

Diplomatic solution - China says it

may allow blind dissident to leave

for overseas study.

Osama bin Laden's deadly plan - the

assassination of Barack Obama.

Wefr to work - the Government to

slash payments in Tuesday's budget.

And out of the darkness - the light-sensitive microchip helping

the blind to see.

ANNOUNCER: From SBS, this is World

News Australia.

Good evening. I'm Peta-Jane Madam.

In developing news, US Secretary of

State Hillary Clinton has just

confirmed what looks like a deal to

resolve the diplomatic storm with China over blind dissident Chen

Guangcheng. It involves him being

allowed to leave China to study in

the United States. For now, Chen

remains in a Beijing hospital.

He sought the help of the US

Congress.

After more than a week of

diplomatic tension, the first sign

that a face-saving deal has been

worked out. The foreign ministry announcing Chen Guangcheng can

apply to study abroad.

Commenting directly on the case for

the first time since arriving in

Beijing, Hillary Clinton said she

was encouraged by China's move. We

will be staying in couch with him

as this process moves forward.

It followed Chen's call for help to

the US Congress. His plea played on

speakers to US law-makers.

TRANSLATION: I want to meet with Secretary Clinton.

I hope I can get more help from her.

In Hong Kong, demonstrators marched

to the Chinese government office, deannouncinging the treatment of

the dissident. I think this is...

US ambassador Gary Locke was by his

side as he was taken to the

hospital almost a week after the US

embassy. He has been facing

questions over whether the US

bungled his bid for freedom. It is

apparent that he has had a change

of heart. We have always...

REPORTER: He was explicit. I

understand. He wants to leave the

country. Are you going to be able

to facilitate that? We need to have

first the conversation with him. We

have been very clear and very

committed to honouring both his

choices and our values.

Chen says authorities have now

installed security cams ra at his

home in the village of eastern

shang doing.

One analyst said the episode is

reflecting badly on both countries.

The best scenario we can hope for

is that he is safe and free from

harassment if he avoids political

activities. Allegations have

surfaced of mistreatment and

detention of his supporters. The

wife of human rights right tong

Jiang Jiang Yong said that her

husband was beaten by police at the

hospital and warned against supporting Chen.

Barack Obama ordered the raid that

killed Osama bin Laden, but now it

has been revealed that the head of

al-Qaeda had been planning to assassinate the US President.

The plot was uncovered in letters

seized from the Bin Laden compound,

and only now made public.

The last days of Osama bin Laden,

holed up in his walled compound in

Pakistan, before he was killed by

US navy commanders last year.

Now we are getting a small glimpse

of the so-called Treasurer trove of

6,000 documents seized from the

compound. One year on, from the

moment President Barack Obama

authorised the raid, the US is

reminding the world in an election

year it finally got its man. The

Bin Laden files reveal he tasked

two groups with the mission of

anticipating and spotting the

visits of President Barack Obama or

General pet race to Afghanistan or

Pakistan to target the aircraft of

either one of them. But vice-

president Joe Biden was not to be

targeted. The plan was for him to

become President because he thought

he was incompetent. His thoughts on the al-Qaeda network are also

revealed in the documents. The

branch in Iraq, led earlier by this

man, Zarkawai, was out of control.

He was on the run in a sense but he

was still very much in touch with

his global terror empire, and

frustrated. He was frustrated that

his global terror empire was under

more pressure than it had been

before, and frustrated with his

subbordates who did not seem to be

able to learn any lessons from

previous mistakes. By the time he

was killed a year ago, Osama bin