Colditz - The POW Camp of World War II
A Colditz achieved fame after World War Two as the prisoner of war camp that no one could escape from. Colditz was an isolated castle built on top of a cliff, overlooking the River Mulde in central Germany. To all intents it was seemingly impossible to escape from - so the Germans believed. However, this did not mean that men did not try to do so and by putting together the best escapees from POW(Prisoner of War) camps, the Germans effectively made a problem for themselves.
B In the early days and months of the war, Colditz was used as a transit camp for Polish troops after the surrender of Poland. On November 6th, 1940, a handful of British RAF officers arrived, quickly followed by six British Army officers. By the end of the year, the numbers had increased and included French, Dutch and Belgium POWs. Colditz was seen by the Germans as a ‘super-camp’ where men who could not be held by other POW camps were sent. Officially, Colditz was a Sonderlager (Special Camp), but it was also known as a Straflager (Punishment Camp).
C Men of all nationalities were brought to Colditz from 1941 onwards. It housed 600 POWs – British, French, Belgium, Dutch and Poles. Each nationality tended to stick to themselves, and there was little national intermingling. The French and British did set up language lessons between themselves, and some sport was played within the confines of the castle. However, the one thing that united all of them was that they were at Colditz for a good reason, and it was this defiance of German authority, despite being prisoners, that did unite all the POWs at the camp. The Germans had put together in one camp many experts in forgery, lock picking, tailoring and so on - all vital for the success of escaping. With such a collection of experts, it was only a matter of time before escape attempts were made.
D Hermann Goering had visited the castle and declared it to be escape proof. He was proved to be wrong. In the time Colditz was used as a POW camp, there were many escape attempts. One hundred and twenty of these men were recaptured after breaking out, but by the end of the war, 31 POWs had successfully got back home. No other POW camp in World War Two had the same rate of success.
E There was little to do at Colditz and time was spent trying to escape. Probably the most famous attempt at escape was the building of a glider in an attic above the castle chapel. When the glider was built, the idea was that the glider could be catapulted from the roof to the other side of the River Mulde with two men on board. The idea came from Bill Goldfinch and Anthony Rolt. Together with Jack Best and Stooge Wardle, they set about designing and building the glider. Using hundreds of pieces of wood - especially bed slats and floorboards - the men constructed the glider which they hoped would glide the 60 metres required to take two men to the other side of the Mulde. The skin of the glider was made from prison sleeping bags, and the material's pores were sealed by boiling prison issue millet and smearing it onto the material. However, their daring idea was never put to the test as the war ended before the glider had been completed.
F Tunnels were also built, but the thickness of the castle walls made digging tunnels very slow work. Also by 1944, the Germans had worked out many of the ways that POWs had been using to escape, and these lapses in security had been plugged. Colditz Castle was liberated on April 16th, 1945.
The reading passage has six paragraphs, A-F.
Choose the correct heading for each paragraph, A-F, from the list of headings below.
Write the correct number, i-ix, as your answer for each question.
List of Headings
- i A record number of jailbreaks
- ii The Punishment Camp
- iii Inmates from different nationalities
- iv The unsuccessful attempts to escape
- v Apparently invincible yet challenged
- vi A shared interest
- vii Social interaction between prisoners
- viii Overcoming the security breaches
- ix An extraordinary plan failed to materialise
1 Paragraph A
2 Paragraph B
3 Paragraph C
4 Paragraph D
5 Paragraph E
6 Paragrph F
Locating Information question type
The reading passage has 6 paragraphs, A-E.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A-E, as your answer to each question.
7 an initiative to be in the race
remotely situated machines managed to exchange a message
preference for new technology over the old
a test validating the need for an efficient technique
the first network via the telephone system
the earliest documents mentioning global computer network
YES/ NO/ NOT GIVEN question type
Questions 1- 5
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
Research on navigation has enriched our understanding of animals' ability to find directions.
When in a foreign land, animals manage remarkable feats of travel to find their home.
Pigeons rely more on their sense of smell than on familiar landmarks for navigation.
Experts have successfully explained the navigational skills of pigeons with the help of magnetic theory.
It is easy to determine the directions with the help of a compass.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Teaching English overseas gives the opportunity to
Choose TWO letters, A - E.
Questions 21 - 28
Summary Completion question type
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Remember, information in a summary-completion task may not be in the same order as in the passage. So to get correct answers, you are required to understand the organisation of the summary. At the same time, you may be required to relate the information from one paragraph to another. This task poses the same challenge. Refer to ‘Tips to Solve’.
Questions 29 - 32
Complete the table below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Questions 33 - 38
Complete the flowchart below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.
Questions 39 - 44
Label the diagram below.
Write ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A–G, below.
Write the correct letter, A-G, as your answer to each question.
|unusual in 1840.
|able to print sheets of 240 stamps.
|paid for by the sender.
|very difficult to achieve.
|very expensive to send.
|designed with two letters in the bottom corners.
After reforms, most mail was
Each steel printing plate was
Every penny black was
Putting a letter in an envelope was
Keeping the borders of each stamp was
Look at the following statements and the list of people below.
Match each statement with the correct person.
List of People
Felt that historical analysis was irrelevant.
Believed that it was impossible for all languages to be explained with one system.
Felt that human language was Divine.
Complete the sentences using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer
During World War One, Halifax Harbour was unable to handle the increased shipping traffic properly, and there were numerous
The Imo was not in the correct
and travelling too fast.
of people were watching the burning ship when it exploded.
The Halifax Explosion had about 56 of the power of the Hiroshima bomb.
Freezing weather brought by a blizzard caused the death of some survivors who were 57 under collapsed buildings.
Answer the short questions below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
What makes Vancouver similar to the big cities of North America?
What famous building was once the highest in the British Empire? 59
What was the profession of the park’s founding father?
What is one of the final aims of the park?
What event tries to encourage people to swim?
What can you eat in Chinatown?