Listening To The Generals

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In 1943, the secret recording of captive German officers, provided invaluable information to the allied war effort, but placed an intolerable burden on the mostly Jewish 'listeners' who transcribed details they often couldn't bear to hear.

Between 1942 and 1945 captured high-ranking German officers were imprisoned in Trent Park, a large mansion with extensive grounds in North London.

This was no Colditz.

The captives were treated well, given access to films and newspapers, and taken for walks in the capacious grounds.

Churchill was horrified to discover that they were even being taken on daytrips to Windsor and Eton.

But the aim was to get them to relax - and talk.

The newspapers and films were carefully chosen to provoke conversation and they made use of stoolpigeons to get the officers talking.

And then through bugs placed in every room and even in the garden, the British Intelligence Service listened as they talked amongst themselves.

Everything was recorded and transcribed - for use as evidence at what was to become the trials at Nuremburg.

One of the Jewish 'listeners' tasked with the, at times, infuriating job of recording and transcribing, was Peter Ganz - the author's father.

During World War Two, German generals were imprisoned in Trent Park in North London.

Unbeknownst to them their conversations were being recorded and transcribed by German Jews, forced to flee the Nazis.

HELEN: Rebecca Saire

PURFLEET: Malcolm Tierney

ANTON: MATT ADDIS

CHARLES: BENJAMIN ASKEW

VON THOMAS: NICK DUNNING

CRUWELL (CREWVELL): Sam Dale

BOES (BURRS): Paul Rider

MAYER (MAIER): Jonathan Tafler

HARDT: Philip Fox

THE SINGER: DAVID REVELS

LISTENING TO THE GENERALS was directed in Belfast by Eoin O'callaghan.

How Jews were tasked with recording the conversations of Second World War German generals.

2009041520100616

By Adam Ganz.

The story of how German Jews who had fled the Nazis were tasked with secretly recording and transcribing the conversations between German generals imprisoned in a north London mansion during the Second World War.

Helen....Rebecca Saire

  • anton....Matt Addis
  • boes (burrs)....Paul Rider
  • charles....benjamin askew
  • cruwell (crewvell)....Sam Dale
  • hardt....Philip Fox
  • mayer (maier)....Jonathan Tafler
  • purfleet....Malcolm Tierney
  • the pianist....michael harrison

    directed by Eoin O'callaghan.

    how jews were tasked with recording the conversations of second world war german generals

  • the singer....david revels
  • von thoma....nick dunning