Hollywood is planning on telling the story of the British World War 2 POW, Horace Greasley, who broke in and out of prison camp to romance his German sweetheart. Robert Pattinson and Alex Pettyfer's names are being bandied about for the lead role.
The amazing story began when Corporal Greasley was captured in Northern France in May 25 1940, just two days before the Dunkirk evacuation. He eventually found himself in a work camp in Silesia, quarrying marble.
Rosa Rauchbach was the daughter of the Quarry owner and she acted as interpreter between dad and the POW's. Chemistry, the laws of attraction struck and they started to find ways to meet in private. First in the camp workshop during lunch, taking care not to wake the sleeping guard and then out in the forest when Horace had the solo job of blowing up chunks of marble.
However, the romantic interlude had to end some time. The SS took their prisoners to another camp in Freiwaldau in the Czech Republic. But love finds a way. One day Horace received a letter from Rosa. After endlessly searching, she had found her man.
Horace now had the problem of how to go about getting back into her arms. He soon devised a way. By removing the bars on his room window, and replacing them with wooden mock-ups, he was able to sneak out and back in over 200 times to visit his sweetheart. He had ruled out a home run due to being surrounded by Nazi-occupied countries.
He would bring back food and even parts for a radio from his excursions, and shared all with his fellow POW'S. Close to the war's end he successfully pleaded with her to find somewhere safe to live as he knew she would not be safe from the advancing Russians and newly freed Czech's out for blood against the German people. He gave her his parent's mailing address and promised her that no matter what he would tell the world about his love for her and her good deeds by writing a book.
The war ended for Horace when they were deserted by their German guards during a forced march. He returned home to Leicestershire and opened his own barbershop (His pre-war job) During 1945 he got a letter from Rosa. She was well and in Germany at an American air-base. After Horace verified that she had helped Allied prisoners she was given a job as a translator for the American occupation forces.
They wrote back and forth, Horace tried to get across to Germany to see her, but the letters from Rosa stopped in December 1945. Horace found out what had happened a year later when a friend of Rosa's wrote to him, telling of her death during childbirth. The child did not survive and there was no way to confirm whether Horace was the father.
Horace was true to his word and in 2008 his story was published. He was a bit of a celebrity though even before he told his story. He is the man, captured in the famous photo, who showed Heinrich Himmler his protruding ribs and demanded more food for the Allied PoWs.
He died on the 4th February 2010, aged 91.
Filming is due to commence in Poland, Pinewood Studios and Hollywood next spring.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia