Cruel Crossing: Escaping Hitler Across the Pyrenees (Paperback)
  • Cruel Crossing: Escaping Hitler Across the Pyrenees (Paperback)

Cruel Crossing: Escaping Hitler Across the Pyrenees (Paperback)

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Paperback Published: 27/02/2014
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The mountain paths are as treacherous as they are steep - the more so in the dark and in winter. Even for the fit the journey is a formidable challenge. Hundreds of those who climbed through the Pyrenees during the Second World War were malnourished and exhausted after weeks on the run hiding in barns and attics. Many never even reached the Spanish border. Today their bravery and endurance is commemorated each July by a trek along the Chemin de la Liberte - the toughest and most dangerous of wartime routes. From his fellow pilgrims Edward Stourton uncovers stories of midnight scrambles across rooftops and drops from speeding trains; burning Lancasters, doomed love affairs, horrific murder and astonishing heroism. The lives of the men, women and children who were drawn by the war to the Pyrenees often read as breathtakingly exciting adventure, but they were led against a background of intense fear, mounting persecution and appalling risk. Drawing on interviews with the few remaining survivors and the families of those who were there, Edward Stourton's vivid history of this little-known aspect of the Second World War is shocking, dramatic and intensely moving.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9780552777896

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“Eye-opening and heartbreaking”

I picked this up, thinking it would simply be a tale of triumphs and misfortunes for those who tried to escape the Third Reich during WWII.

It was that, but so much more. Oftentimes, in stories of the second world... More

Paperback edition
3rd April 2014
Helpful? Upvote 4

“A fascinating read”

Edward Stourton uses his own travels along the Chemin de la Liberté, an annual trek across the Pyrenees which during World War II acted as a border between occupied France and ‘free’ Spain, to tell the stories of the... More

Paperback edition
2nd May 2014
Helpful? Upvote 3

“A Moving History”

Edward Stourton's book is a well researched collection of personal stories which include tragedy, bravery and feats of derring do! I found the writing style to be a little disjointed, but overall it reminds the... More

Paperback edition
20th April 2014
Helpful? Upvote 3

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