The door to freedom slams shut and the lock snaps into place. Will this prison become your tomb?
The human spirit craves freedom, and when liberty is taken away, people go to great lengths to get it back. Great Escapes: Real Tales of Harrowing Getaways tells the histories of five ingenious departures. William and Ellen Craft, an enslaved couple, donned disguises in 1848 and made a 1,000-mile run for freedom. Douglas Mawson battled to escape a power greater than any human villain when Mother Nature trapped him in her icy Antarctic jaws in 1913. Nazi guards packed hundreds of Belgian Jews into train cars in 1943 and headed for the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Twelve-year-old Simon Gronowski was among these deportees, but he was determined to find a way off the moving train before it reached its ghastly destination.
Alcatraz was a rocky fortress designed to hold federal prisoners until the end of their sentence or death, whichever came first. Prison officials claimed the Rock was inescapable. But in 1962, three inmates vanished, never to be seen again. No less amazing is the escape of 57 East Germans from communist-controlled East Germany during the Cold War, through a tunnel under the Berlin Wall.
History is ripe with examples of people desperate to escape the traps in which they are snared. Get an up-close look at the guts, skill, determination, and luck of remarkable escape artists in Great Escapes: Real Stories of Harrowing Getaways.