Kriegie Life

The Story Behind the Book

Kriegie Life: The Book, Part One
Kriegie Life: The Book, Part Two
Kriegie Life: The Book, Part Three
Kriegie Life: The Book, Part Four
The Story Behind the Book
Unpublished Portraits and Illustrations
About Carl Holmstrom
Contact Page
Links and Other Material

This is the story behind the production of the Kriegie Life book. Many fans of The Great Escape film know many details of Stalag Luft III POW camp. Carl Holmstrom book not only confirmed the depiction of a "kriegie's life," but added another dimension to the story by illuminating the visuals. Holmstrom's book gave people an idea of what a typical POW would think that Americans would be interested in when it came to their experiences.  

For instance, after the war it surprised Holmstrom (and every other POW) that most Americans were under the illusion that American GI's had it easy in German POW camps. Several propaganda stories published in the U.S. gave citizens the false impression that Nazi internment camps were similar to luxury hotels, complete with swimming pools! Besides, the war was over, and the country was war-weary. So it was no wonder that when Carl Holmstrom shopped his proposal for a book of his artwork and an honest description of life behind enemy lines, it was rejected at all turns. 
Undaunted, Carl decided to self-publish his book.

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Kriegie Life: Sketches by a Prisoner of War in Germany
© 2009, by Elizabeth Holmstrom, John Holmstrom, Susan Kohnowich and Anne Shumate.