A lecture entitled "Prisoners, escapers and their helpers in Thessaloniki’s WW2 POW Camp" will be presented by author and historian Jim Claven, this Sunday 13 November, at the Greek Centre. The lecture is organised by the Thessaloniki Association "The White Tower" in collaboration with the Greek Comminuty of Melbourne.
This presentation will tell the story of Allied prisoners of war in Greece and Crete, focusing on the main POW transit camp at Thessaloniki – Dulag 183 - to which almost all Allied prisoners were transported from the various temporary camps to which they were allocated on capture. The camp held thousands of prisoners, in terrible and inhumane conditions. Yet many escaped – from the camp itself or on the train journey north to other camps in Germany. And they would be helped and protected by the brave local Greek population – at great risk to themselves. It is a story of capture, of terrible privation and captivity, of bravery, escape and freedom.
Jim Claven is a published author and Monash University history graduate, holding a Master of Arts degree from that University. A former government adviser on Veterans Affairs, he is secretary of the Melbourne-based Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, a member of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council and honorary member of the Thessaloniki Association “The White Tower”. He is currently researching the Anzac connections with Greece across both World Wars and developing associated commemorative travel trails in Greece.