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Subversive Cross-Stitch by a Prisoner of War

While being held in a Nazi prisoner of war camp, British officer Major Alexis Casdagli did everything he could to resist his captors. He was skilled with a needle and thread, so among other projects, Casdagli made an excellent cross-stitch sampler which told the Nazis in a coded message where to shove it:

Over the next four years his work was displayed at the four camps in Germany where he was imprisoned, and his Nazi captors never once deciphered the messages threaded in Morse code: “God Save the King” and “F*ck Hitler”.

This subversive needling of the Nazis was a form of defiance that Casdagli, who was not freed from prison until 1945, believed was the duty of every PoW. “It used to give him pleasure when the Germans were doing their rounds,” says his son, Tony, of his father’s rebellious stitching. It also stopped him going mad. “He would say after the war that the Red Cross saved his life but his embroidery saved his sanity,” says Tony.

Link -via Craft | Photo: Graham Turner | Quote edited for content

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Date
September 7th, 2011

Author
Stranger to the World

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