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QINGDAO TODAY
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen -> 
The Battle for Castle Itter
    2019-07-09  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

An old proverb says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The truth behind this statement led to one of the strangest phenomena in any war, when Allied fighters and German soldiers fought together against other German soldiers.

Castle Itter, a small castle located in northern Austria, had been a prison for French captives considered valuable by the German leaders during the Second World War, including former prime ministers and commanders-in-chief, leaders of the French Resistance and trade unions, and a French tennis star.

The war was essentially over. Hitler had committed suicide five days earlier, and the German army was in disarray. Some units that had been ordered to stand down refused; others threw off their responsibilities and joined the Austrian Resistance. It was chaos.

But the prisoners had not been released. When, fearing for his life, the prison’s commander abandoned his post, and the resident German troops soon followed. The prisoners were in charge, but could not escape as they were surrounded by hostile Nazis.

Messages were snuck out via eastern European prison workers, seeking relief by American troops in the area. Although not successful at first, they eventually attracted the attention of yet another group of German soldiers who had thrown in with the local resistance, primarily to protect the local Austrian citizens from German reprisals. Their commander was looking forward to the arrival of the Americans, to whom he would surrender and under whose protection he would place himself and his people.

Instead, receiving the prisoners’ message, the German commander went to a town 13 kilometers to the north and petitioned the approaching Americans for help. Fourteen American soldiers and their captain, along with some 12 Germans, entered the castle. The small force of American and German soldiers and French prisoners held off a larger Nazi assault until American reinforcements could arrive, following the tennis star, who had vaulted over the wall and guided the relief forces in.

The prisoners were soon freed, and returned to France a few days later.

Vocabulary:

Which words above mean:

1. unfriendly, wanting to fight

2. observed occurrences

3. leaped, jumped

4. the act of killing oneself

5. old saying

6. illegal organization fighting to free an occupied country

7. formally requested

8. revenge

9. state of disorganization

10. people who have been caught

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