Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dan Culler--An American Hero

Dan Culler's story is still relatively unknown, despite the fact that Donald Miller touched on it in his book Masters of the Air, which has been a big seller in the United States. I covered Dan's story in detail in my own book Untold Valor a few years ago, and have maintained a close friendship with Dan to this day.

Dan was imprisoned by the Swiss for trying to escape from internment after his B-24, filled with flak and bullet-holes, was forced to land in Switzerland. He spent time in hell, at the Wauwilermoos Federal Prison, where he was tortured and his wounds were left untreated. He still suffers from these wounds today. The camp was run by a Swiss Nazi named Andre Beguin. The American military attache in Switzerland, a man by the name of Barnwell Legge, did nothing to help the Americans who tried to escape, and in fact refused to acknowledge the existence of this camp. Fifty years later, the President of Switzerland, Kaspar Villager, personally apologized to Dan for his suffering during the war.


Wauwilermoos Swiss Federal Prison. Dan's barracks second from left

This dramatic and heart-rending story only gets worse, but I'm not going to go into detail here. Dan wrote of the experience in a book entitled 'Black Hole of Wauwilermoos', which has never gotten the sales it deserves and which is a tremendous--if highly disturbing--read. Anyone wishing to buy a copy signed by Dan can contact me and I'll see what I can do. I know Dan has copies available.

Dan Culler is one of my heroes. I do not use the term 'hero' lightly. Here is a man who was forgotten by his own government who never stopped loving America . He is an author, an inventor, and a frequent commentator on the state of America. He doesn't so much harp on what is wrong as try to come up with solutions.
Dan receives his Prisoner of War Medal, 1996, accompanied by his wife Betty. Also present, his Distinguished Flying Cross.

Dan Culler, I salute you as a great American.
For more on Wauwilermoos and American internment in Switzerland, check out the Swiss Internee website at http://swissinternees.tripod.com/wauwilermoos.html

More information and reviews on Dan's book can be found on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Black-Hole-Wauwilermoos-Airmans-Story/dp/188777601X/ref=sr_1_1/102-6987722-7900953?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183007683&sr=8-1

5 comments:

Richard Havers said...

People still fail to understand what went on in Switzerland during WW2.

r morris said...

It is one of the forgotten stories of WWII. I'd say more, but somebody without the historical background would probably accuse me of being anti-Swiss, so I'll just say 'read the literature out there'.

Les said...

Regarding Dan & his book, what a tremendous story of courage, suffering, determination and survival. I've never read anything quite like it, and was indeed disturbed by his story. Here he is, 63 years later still going strong, writing and trying to come up with solutions for the problems our country faces. Thank you Rob, for writing about him and leading me to him & his book. What a tremendous hero.

About Switzerland, I had never even heard about this until picking up Don Miller's, your's and then Dan's books. Hard to believe this aspect of WWII hasn't gotten more publicity.

Unknown said...

This is my grandfather he passed away this morning and I would like all to share this touching story.....I've read his books and have heard first had some of the horror he went through...... You you be greatly missed.......he is my hero

Jesse Bowen said...

This is my grandfather he passed away this morning and I would like all to share this touching story.....I've read his books and have heard first had some of the horror he went through...... You you be greatly missed.......he is my hero