Prisoner of the Swiss

A World War II Airman's Story

Daniel Culler

After surviving an air crash, US airman Dan Culler was imprisoned and tortured in a Swiss camp during WWII. Perceived as a benign, neutral country, for some unfortunate aircrew, it proved anything but. In a camp run by a sadistic Nazi, Culler was subjected to horrific treatment that was hushed up by the authorities.
Publication date:
November 2017
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Editor :
Rob Morris
Illustration :
16 pages of b/w photos
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612005546

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
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• The gripping story of one man's bravery and strength of spirit
• Lifts the lid on the little-known Swiss internment of American airmen
• Brings the story up to date with recent developments

During World War II, 1,517 members of US aircrews were forced to seek asylum in Switzerland. Most neutral countries found reason to release US airmen from internment, but Switzerland took its obligations under the Hague Convention more seriously than most. The airmen were often incarcerated in local jails, and later transferred to prison camps. The worst of these camps was Wauwilermoos, where at least 161 U.S. airmen were sent for the honorable offense of escaping. To this hellhole came Dan Culler, the author of this incredible account of suffering and survival. Not only did the prisoners sleep on lice-infested straw, were malnourished and had virtually no hygiene facilities or access to medical care but worse, the commandant of Wauwilermoos was a die-hard Swiss Nazi. He allowed the mainly criminal occupants of the camp to torture and rape Dan Culler with impunity. After many months of such treatment, starving and ravaged by disease, he was finally aided by a British officer.


Betrayal dominated his cruel fate - by the American authorities, by the Swiss, and in a last twist in a second planned escape that turned out to be a trap. But Dan Culler's courage and determination kept him alive. Finally making it back home, he found he had been abandoned again. Political expediency meant there was no such place as Wauwilermoos. He has never been there, so he has never been a POW and didn't qualify for any POW benefits or medical or mental treatment for his many physical and emotional wounds. His struggle to make his peace with his past forms the final part of the story. Rob Morris's introduction and notes provide historical background and context, including recent efforts to recognise the suffering of those incarcerated in Switzerland and afford them full POW status.


This is an horrific story, one that explodes the myth of Switzerland being a peaceful country anxious not to become involved in local wars...Dire conditions, dreadful inhuman treatment - my view of the Swiss has nosedived as a result of reading this book!
Books Monthly

The book is printed to Casemate's usual high standard with relevant illustrations and runs to 120 pages.
Army Rumour Service

...incredible account of suffering and survival.
Recollections of World War II