Posted on February 2, 2018
Locked in a Nazi prison and suffering from pneumonia, in February 1945 journalist Frank Falla made a promise to himself: he would muster all his remaining strength to try to survive the sickness, beatings and starvation, hoping the advancing Allies would come to his rescue before it was too late. Only his survival, he believed, would guarantee that the families of six of his fellow Channel Islanders would know how their husbands, fathers, and sons had died. The “gentle” journalist, whose life story is told as part of a new exhibition at London’s Wiener Library, found himself in the brutal Naumburg prison for covertly sharing BBC news in his native Channel Island of Guernsey – British soil, occupied by Nazi Germany for five years. Witnessing prisoners dying at a rate of 10 a week, Falla would cling on, surviving the bout of pneumonia to be liberated two months later by US forces, when a doctor told him he was just days from death. He was lucky.