Encrypted WW2 Cross Stitch

Craft & Design

Nazis, needlework.jpg
CRAFT columnist Julie Jackson (of Subversive Cross Stitch) just sent me this fascinating Guardian article, Nazis, Needlework, and My Dad, about how Major Alexis Casdagli endured his time in a Nazi Germany POW camp cross-stitching. Like other artists before him, he was able to hide secret messages within his work.

Around decorative swastikas and a banal inscription saying he completed his work in December 1941, the British officer stitched a border of irregular dots and dashes. Over the next four years his work was displayed at the four camps in Germany where he was imprisoned, and his Nazi captors never once deciphered the messages threaded in Morse code: “God Save the King” and “F— Hitler.”

The photo above is of the Major’s son, Tony Casdagli, holding up a piece created by his father that depicted his cell. Tony, who served in the Royal Navy, is also a cross stitcher and has two pieces currently showing in the Power of Making exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Read more.

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