852 RARE: The Weekly Special – One Man’s War

Among the more interesting surprises to emerge among books being moved from a Library storage area recently was a collection of newspaper articles by an escapee from a World War II German prisoner of war camp. The writer was Lucien Roger Lièvre, a former member of the French Army—who also happened to have earned an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 1938.

Harvard Law School yearbook, 1938, p. 304
Lièvre's 1938 HLS yearbook photo

It’s unclear where his serial account–written in English under the pseudonym Lucien R.L. Leroy–was published, but it came out while the war was still in progress; the Library acquired it in May 1942. Knowing that adds an immediacy and a poignancy to the now-yellowed newsprint account of deprivations—and ultimately, Lièvre’s escape to freedom.

First page of Lièvre's article.
In and out of a Nazi prison camp. By 1st lieut. Lucien R.L. Leroy of the French Army
"Design for Escape" (as drawn by Lièvre after the escape)
Lièvre's escape route, as drawn by him after the fact.
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