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Graham Hough

8 May 1986
To the Kwai and Back: War Drawings 1939-1945 
by Ronald Searle.
Collins/Imperial War Museum, 192 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 00 217436 7
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A World Apart 
by Gustav Herling, translated by Joseph Marek.
Heinemann, 262 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 434 35710 3
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... Life as a prisoner of war is an indeterminate sentence, and for that reason nothing you say about it afterwards can ever be quite true. In its more mitigated forms, with Geneva conventions, Red Cross parcels, letters from home and all that, no doubt a sense of the normal order of things can be maintained. But in some forsaken gulag, outside all the rules, with all information filtered through the enemy, you enter a new dimension whose nature is hardly communicable in words ...

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