Jul 17, 2022Liked by Jeff Stein, Peter Eisner

A building can be the star of a complex tale -- why not? It seems that Colditz in its inimitable ways deserves the billing in this book, and also in this excellent review!

Expand full comment

From Michael J. Birkner, Professor of History, Gettysburg College:

Reading this post from SpyTalk reminds me of a moment in time going back 27 years. It was the fall of 1995 and I was teaching that term at the University of Essex in Wivenhoe, England. I used to troll the stacks in the university library, and one day when rather aimlessly looking at titles I came across Airey Neave’s book, They Have Their Exits. I sat down expecting to read a page or two but simply could not put it down. It is one of the most gripping books I have ever read – rather in the vein of your work on The Freedom Line and MacArthur’s Spies. Neave managed, as Macintyre notes, to escape Colditz after several abortive tries. How he did it and how he told the story is just remarkable.

The great irony, if you will, of Neave’s life is that after WWII he became active in Tory politics, was an MP and an adviser to Margaret Thatcher, who named him her representative in Northern Ireland. The IRA assassinated him in the early 1980s. What the Nazis failed to do, the IRA accomplished.

Expand full comment