Nazi castle prison that was a hotbed of snobbery, bullying – and cross dressing 

With his waxed ginger handlebar moustache and mutton-chop beard, hardened veteran Stabsfeldwebel (Sergeant Major) Gustav Rothenberger was an unmistakable figure at Colditz Castle, the grim, towering, medieval fortress in Nazi Germany that had been turned into a supposedly escape-proof prisoner-of-war camp.

A stickler for routine, every evening this martinet personally inspected the castle perimeter. The last stop on his rounds was always a narrow terrace carved out of the rock, the mighty castle wall on one side and a sheer drop on the other.

Guards with machine guns were posted every 30 ft along the walkway, which led to a barbed wire gate. On the other side lay parkland and woods. Two more sentries guarded the gate itself, one patrolling a raised metal catwalk with a clear line of fire across the terrace.

Shortly before midnight on a warm September night in 1943, Rothenberger, whiskers brushed, clipped and waxed to points, appeared on the terrace, accompanied by two soldiers with…

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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