Publisher description for The 100-year secret : Britain's hidden WWII massacre / Benjamin Jacobs ; with Eugene Pool.


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On May 3, 1945, the Royal Air Force attacked a fleet of ships carrying ten thousand survivors of the Neuengamme concentration camp. The war was nearly over, and the survivors had endured one of history's most hellish ordeals, only to die at the hand of their allies.

The bodies, in the striped black-and-white uniforms of camp prisoners, were soon washing ashore on the beach by the town of Timmendorf, near the Baltic port of Neustadt. Benjamin Jacobs, then twenty-five, survived by escaping the hold and clinging to wreckage. He was one of only 350 survivors, and one of the last of those. Days before, Jacobs had boarded the Cap Arcona, along with thousands of other prisoners. A commandeered luxury liner, the Cap Arcona was a dilapidated wreck. Nearby, the freighter Theilbeck, in similar condition, was also attacked.

There is reason to believe the Germans were intending to sink it themselves. Though they claimed the prisoners were headed to Sweden, the ships may have been nonfunctional. The RAF believed the ships contained escaping SS officers. Tragically, British intelligence may have known who was on the ships, which may explain why the RAF has sealed the records until 2045. This story appears in no history books-not in Germany, England, or the United States. No one tells it. So Benjamin Jacobs must.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: World War, 1939-1945 Prisoners and prisons, German, Bombing, Aerial Germany Lčubeck Bay, World War, 1939-1945 Aerial operations, British, Cap Arcona (Ship)Neustadt in Holstein (Germany) History 20th century, Jacobs, Benjamin, 1919-World War, 1939-1945 Personal narratives, Jewish