Africa

Escape to Mount Kenya

In the footsteps of Felice Benuzzi who escaped from an English prison field to climb Mount Kenya and return to the field

January 1943: three Italian war prisoners led by Felice Benuzzi from Trieste flee from the prison camp 354 of Nanyuki, on the slopes of Mount Kenya.
Their aim is to climb the mysterious mountain that stands out beyond the barbed wire, that has become a mere object of desire, a symbol of freedom for the imprisoned people. They will conquer the peak of Lenana, reaching 4,985 metres, and failing the attempt to climb to the highest peak, Batian, 5,199 metres high. On the top they will leave “the three-coloured Italian flag, at last, after so many white flags” and a message in a bottle.
After achieving their goal, the mountaineers go back to the prison camp, where they receive the English coronel’s appreciation for their sporting achievement and a punishment for their breakout. Benuzzi wrote a book on their enterprise, that sings like a hymn to freedom.

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