Oflag IV-C referred to by its location at Colditz Castle, overlooking Colditz, was one of the most noted German Army prisoner-of-war camps for captured enemy officers during World War II. This thousand year old fortress was in the heart of Hitler's Reich, four hundred miles from any frontier not under Nazi control, its outer walls were seven feet thick and the cliff on which it was built had a sheer drop of two hundred and fifty feet to the River Mulde below. The first prisoners arrived in November 1939. Most of them were transferred to other Oflags. In October 1940, Donald Middleton, Keith Milne, Howard Wardle became the first British prisoners at Colditz. On 7 November, six British officers, the "Laufen Six", named after the camp from which they made their first escape, arrived: Harry Elliott, Rupert Barry, Pat Reid, Dick Howe, Peter Allan, Kenneth Lockwood, they were soon joined by a handful of British Army officers and by Belgian officers. By Christmas 1940 there were 60 Polish officers, 12 Belgians, 50 French, 30 British, a total of no more than 200 with their orderlies.
200 French officers arrived in February 1941. A number of the French demanded that French Jewish officers be segregated from them and the camp commander obliged. By the end of July 1941, there were more than 500 officers: over 250 French, 150 Polish, 50 British and Commonwealth, 2 Yugoslavian. In April 1941, a French officer, Alain Le Ray, become the first prisoner to escape from the Colditz Castle. On 24 July 1941, 68 Dutch officers arrived members of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army, who had refused to sign a declaration that they would take no part in the war against Germany. According to the German Security Officer, Captain Reinhold Eggers, the Dutch officers appeared to be model prisoners at first. For other internees in the camp, among the 68 Dutch was Hans Larive with his knowledge of the Singen route; this route into Switzerland was discovered by Larive in 1940 on his first escape attempt from an Oflag in Soest. Larive was caught at the Swiss border near Singen; the interrogating Gestapo officer was so confident the war would soon be won by Germany that he told Larive the safe way across the border near Singen.
Larive did not forget and many prisoners escaped using this route. Within days after their arrival, the Dutch escape officer, Captain Machiel van den Heuvel and executed his first of many escape plans. On 13 August 1941 the first two Dutchmen escaped from the castle followed by many more of which six officers made it to England. Afterwards a number of would-be escapees would borrow Dutch greatcoats as their disguise; when the Wehrmacht invaded the Netherlands they were short of material for uniforms, so they confiscated anything available. The coats in Dutch field grey in particular remained unchanged in colour, since it was similar to the tone in use by the Germans, thus these greatcoats would be nearly identical with minor alterations. In May 1943, the Wehrmacht High Command decided that Colditz should house only Americans and British, so in June the Dutch were moved out, followed shortly thereafter by the Poles, the Belgians, the French. By the end of July there were a few Free French officers, 228 British officers, with a contingent consisting of Canadians, New Zealanders, South Africans and one Indian.
On 23 August 1944 Colditz received its first Americans: 49-year-old Colonel Florimund Duke — the oldest American paratrooper of the war, Captain Guy Nunn, Alfred Suarez. They were all counter-intelligence operatives parachuted into Hungary to prevent it joining forces with Germany. Population was 254 at the start of the early winter that year. On 19 January 1945 six French Generals — Lieutenant-General Jean Adolphe Louis Robert Flavigny, Major-General Louis Léon Marie André Buisson, Major-General Arsène Marie Paul Vauthier, Brigadier-General Albert Joseph Daine, Brigadier-General René Jacques Mortemart de Boisse — were brought from the camp at Königstein to Colditz Castle. Major-General Gustave Marie Maurice Mesny was murdered by the Germans on the way from Königstein to Colditz Castle. On 5 February, Polish General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, deputy commander of the Armia Krajowa and responsible for the Warsaw Uprising, arrived with his entourage. In March, 1200 French prisoners were brought to Colditz Castle, with 600 more being imprisoned in the town below.
On 16 April, Oflag IV C was captured by American soldiers from 1st US Army. Among the more notable inmates were British fighter ace Douglas Bader. There were prisoners called Prominente, relatives of Allied VIPs; the first one was Giles Romilly, a civilian journalist, captured in Narvik, Norway, a nephew of Winston Churchill's wife Clementine Churchill. Adolf Hitler himself specified that Romilly was to be treated with the utmost care and that: The Kommandant and Security Officer answer for Romilly's security with their heads, his security is to be assured by any and every exceptional measure you care to take. When the e
For the 19th-century baseball player, see John Lowry, for the film restorer see John D. Lowry. John Terence Lowry is the General Secretary of the Workers' Party in Ireland, he is a native of the Lower Falls area of Belfast. Lowry first stood for the Workers' Party in the 1986 Lagan Valley by-election; as the only candidate to challenge Jim Molyneaux of the Ulster Unionist Party, he picked up 9.3% of the vote. Lowry stood again in Lagan Valley at the 1987 general election, but owing to his facing several candidates, his vote dropped below 3%. For the 1992 general election he moved to contest Belfast West, has contested this unsuccessfully at each subsequent election, except in 2010 and the 2011 by-election when he did not stand. Lowry was the Workers' Party's candidate in the Northern Ireland constituency at the European Parliament election in 1994, coming well down the field with only 0.45% of the votes cast. He topped the party's list in Belfast West for the Northern Ireland Forum election of 1996, has contested the same seat at each election to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Lowry has stood for Belfast City Council in the Lower Falls ward in each election since 1993. In 2005, Lowry was one of three people to post bail for Workers' Party President Seán Garland, but forfeited £9,000 after Garland failed to appear in court. Lowry is registered with the Electoral Commission as the leader and nominating officer of the Workers' Party in Northern Ireland