This is one of my favorite photos of all time.
The man’s name was Horace Greasley. He was a British POW famous for escaping over 200 times to visit his girlfriend, a local Jewish girl. Why did he keep going back? Loyalty. He returned every time with extra food or other contraband to share with his fellow captives. Greasley spent 5 years as a prisoner of war, during which time he served as camp barber and worked in the marble quarries.
Following capture, the men were forced to march for ten weeks from France to Poland. The men suffered deplorable conditions and spent a winter, in temperatures as low as -40C, lodged in an old horse stable. Those who survived the march and train transfer were beaten, tortured, and starved. Greasley was once beaten so badly he lay unconscious for 2 days. In 2008, he published his autobiography “Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?” Two years after its release, he died at age 91.
When I see this photo, I always admire the defiance in his face. He refused to be broken. Be that guy.
Oh and by the way, the German officer he’s staring down is Heinrich Himmler.