Eric Lomax, ex-POW who forgave captor, dies at 93

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 8:15 am •  Published: October 9, 2012
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LONDON (AP) — It's an unusual man who can forgive his wartime torturer — or whose quest to do so can touch so many people around the world.

Eric Lomax, a former British prisoner of war whose moving tale of wartime torture and forgiveness is being turned into a film, died Monday in Berwick-upon-Tweed in northern England, his publisher, Vintage Books, reported. Lomax was 93.

Lomax was a British army officer when he was captured by Japanese forces as they overran Singapore in 1942. Lomax endured horrific conditions and savage beatings as he and thousands of others were put to work building the infamous Burma to Siam railroad.

Lomax endured years of suppressed rage at the torture he suffered at the hands of his Japanese captors, but when he tracked his interrogator down, it set the stage for a dramatic act of forgiveness that formed the heart of his celebrated 1996 memoir, "The Railway Man."

Rachel Cugnoni, publisher of Vintage Books, called "The Railway Man" one of the landmark works of the 1990s, a testament to the "great capacity of the human spirit for forgiveness."

"It tells Eric's incredible and moving story with grace, modesty and exceptional humility. All characteristics Eric had as a man," she said in a statement.