THE ROLE OF CENTRAL PRISONER OF WAR: INFORMATION AGENCY FOR THE PROTECTION OF POW

5/19/2012 Department of Law, Northern University Shahara Nur Amin, ID #LLM 110360052 Course Name: International Humanitarian Law Course Code: LLM – 6308 Submitted to: Md. Milan Hossain, Lecturer, Department of Law

Table of Contents
Prisoners of War...................................................................................................................................... 3 Ancient times .......................................................................................................................................... 3 Middle Ages and Renaissance .................................................................................................................. 3 Modern times.......................................................................................................................................... 4 Hague Convention of 1899...................................................................................................................... 6 Hague Convention of 1907...................................................................................................................... 7 First Geneva Convention ......................................................................................................................... 8 Second Geneva Convention ................................................................................................................... 11 Third Geneva Convention ...................................................................................................................... 11 Fourth Geneva Convention.................................................................................................................... 15 Release of prisoners .............................................................................................................................. 19 Treatment of POWs by the Axis............................................................................................................. 20 Treatment of POWs by the Allies........................................................................................................... 23 Transfers between the Allies ................................................................................................................. 24 Final Words………………………………………………………………………………………………..25

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was to capture women. Middle Ages and Renaissance During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464. to demonstrate military victory. and to indoctrinate them in new political or religious beliefs. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase is dated 1660. if not a war. an Englishman who wrote a memoir about his years as a captive of the Nootka people on the Pacific Northwest Coast from 1802–1805. although women and children were more likely to be spared. by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels. Jewitt. the Bishop Acacius of Amida. Typically women had no rights. In Christian Europe. History Ancient times For most of human history. Later. the extermination of the heretics or "non-believers" was considered Page 3 of 25 . In the fourth century AD. to punish them. and letting them return to their country. whether civilian or combatant. took the initiative of ransoming them. little distinction was made between combatants and civilians. to recruit or even conscript them as their own combatants. In the later Middle Ages. a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Reasons for continuing custody Captor states hold captured combatants and non-combatants in continuing custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons. touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire—who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery. The first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite. Homer's Illiad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to enemies who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy. who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. Likewise the distinction between POW and slave is not always clear. the Rape of the Sabines was a large mass abduction by the founders of Rome. and were held legally as chattel. but this is not always accepted. a practice known as raptio.Prisoner of war A prisoner of war or "Missing-Captured" is a person. depending on the culture of the victors. to prosecute them for war crimes. Thracian and the Gaul (Gallus). to exploit them for their labor. see for example John R. to release and repatriate them in an orderly manner after hostilities. Typically. Some Native Americans captured Europeans and used them as both laborers and bargaining chips. the nun Geneviève (later canonised as the city's Patron Saint) pleaded with the Frankish King for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response. to collect military and political intelligence from them. For this he was eventually canonized—which testifies to his act being exceptional. combatants on the losing side in a battle could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved. They are held to isolate them from combatants still in the field. Sometimes the purpose of a battle.

and divided in accordance with their usual custom. Mecca was the first city to have the benevolent code applied. the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied. who were for the most part summarily executed. When asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers. If the prisoners were in the custody of a person.400 people over the course of four days. regardless of their religion. were sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. This was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other noncombatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army. both men and women. to ransom them. Muhammad changed this custom and made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing. on the Oxus: "all the people. During the early reforms under Islam. "Kill them all. Page 4 of 25 . In Termez. established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed about 80.desirable. and that after the fighting was over. The 1648 Peace of Westphalia. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487. those captives not executed were made to beg for their subsistence. on a reasonable basis. In the ancient Maya civilization of Mesoamerica more than a thousand years ago. The Aztecs were constantly at war with neighbouring tribes and groups. God will know His own". to enslave them. Modern times Russian and Japanese prisoners being interrogated by Chinese officials during the Boxer Rebellion. He established the rule that prisoners of war must be guarded and not ill-treated. to captives. However. Examples include the 13th century Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades. then the responsibility was on the individual. killers of the people for robbery or raping of women or children. which ended the Thirty Years' War. Likewise the inhabitants of conquered cities were frequently massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. the prisoners were expected to be either released or ransomed. The goal of this constant warfare was to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. It is misunderstood that the leader of the Muslim force capturing non-Muslim prisoners could choose whether to kill prisoners.400 persons" were sacrificed in the ceremony. According to Ross Hassing.000 and 80. author of Aztec Warfare. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. Every city or town that refused surrender and resisted the Mongols was subject to destruction. The freeing of prisoners in particular was highly recommended as a charitable act. then they were all slain". and because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In feudal Japan there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war. "between 10. Christians who were captured in the Crusades. In pre-Islamic Arabia. gangsters. their families would have to send to their captors large sums of wealth commensurate with the social status of the captive. or to cut off their hands and feet on alternate sides because this law is applied not to the of wars but instead to people (either Muslims or non-Muslims) who do mischief in the land. prisoners of war Figure 1: Aztec sacrifices were paraded before the king and his royal court and subjected to ritual humiliation and torture. upon capture. combatants and noncombatants alike. were driven out onto the plain.

even while the belligerents were at war. About 56. Illinois. existed. Hague and Geneva Conventions Specifically. The extensive period of conflict during the American Revolutionary War (or American War of Independence) and Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). with a death rate of 25%. 10% of its Confederate prisoners died during one cold winter month. Georgia. starting with the Brussels Conference of 1874. in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 The Hague Conventions were two international treaties negotiated at international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands: The First Hague Conference in 1899 and the Second Hague Conference in 1907. Of these.000 (28%) died. Although no agreements were immediately ratified by the participating nations. A third conference was planned for 1914 and later rescheduled for 1915. work was continued that resulted in new conventions being adopted and becoming recognized as international law that specified that prisoners of war be treated humanely and diplomatically. Remedial measures During the 19th century. the Hague Conventions were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the body of secular international law. more than 45. These were further expanded in the Third Geneva Convention of 1929. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive. with nations agreeing that it was necessary to prevent inhumane treatment of prisoners and the use of weapons causing unnecessary harm. asserting "that a definite political union of the states of the world has been created with the First and Second Conferences. French for "discourse". but never took place due to the start of World War I. The aim was to achieve a reduction in the number of prisoners held. very nearly equaled that of Andersonville. and its revision of 1949. The German international law scholar and neo-Kantian pacifist Walther Schücking called the assemblies the "international union of Hague conferences". while at the same time alleviating shortages of skilled personnel in the home country. If he swore not to escape. as a result of these emerging conventions a number of international conferences were held. During the 14 months the Camp Sumter. there were increased efforts to improve the treatment and processing of prisoners. Along with the Geneva Conventions." The various Page 5 of 25 . he could gain better accommodations and the freedom of the prison. Later. Chapter II of the Annex to the 1907 Hague Convention covered the treatment of prisoners of war in detail. A cartel was usually arranged by the respective armed service for the exchange of like-ranked personnel.000 soldiers died in prisons during the American Civil War—almost 10% of all Civil War fatalities. followed by the Anglo-American War of 1812.There also evolved the right of parole. and Elmira Prison in New York State. almost 13. he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. led to the emergence of a cartel system for the exchange of prisoners. and saw them as a nucleus of an international federation that was to meet at regular intervals to administer justice and develop international law procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes. located near Andersonville. At Camp Douglas in Chicago.000 Union soldiers were confined here.

his foreign minister. which was considered necessary to replace the institution of war. were instrumental in initiating the conference. failed to realize success either in 1899 or in 1907. II: Laws and Customs of War on Land III: Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of Principles of Geneva Convention of 1864 IV: Prohibiting Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons Declaration I: On the Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons Declaration II: On the Use of Projectiles the Object of Which is the Diffusion of Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases Declaration III: On the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body The main effect of the Convention was to ban the use of certain types of modern technology in war: bombing from the air. Nicholas and Count Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov. The First Conference was generally a success and was focused on disarmament efforts. led by Germany. 1899. including the United States. however. This effort. France. favored a binding international arbitration. Russia. and hollow point bullets. Page 6 of 25 . The Hague Convention of 1899 consisted of four main sections and three additional declarations (the final main section is for some reason identical to the first additional declaration):        I: Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. vetoed the idea. This section included the creation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Many of the rules laid down at the Hague Conventions were violated in the First World War. both conferences included negotiations concerning the laws of war and war crimes. Britain. rules of war. and the rights and obligations of neutrals. chemical warfare. for instance. which states that hostilities must not commence without explicit warning. and a few countries." A major effort in both the conferences was to create a binding international court for compulsory arbitration to settle international disputes. and established conventions regulating the collection of debts. was a violation of Hague III (1907). The convention was signed on July 29 of that year. "are agents or organs of the union. Most of the great powers. and Persia. Along with disarmament and obligatory arbitration. The German invasion of Belgium. Hague Convention of 1899 The peace conference was proposed on August 29. like the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The conference opened on May 18. 1898 by Russian Tsar Nicholas II. the Tsar's birthday. 1900.agencies created by the Conferences. and entered into force on September 4. China. The Second Conference failed to create a binding international court for compulsory arbitration but did enlarge the machinery for voluntary arbitration. but the condition was that the vote should be unanimous.

The British delegation included the 11th Lord Reay (Donald James Mackay). but postponed because of the war between Russia and Japan. which feared a British attempt to stop the growth of the German fleet. It consisted of thirteen sections. with few major decisions. and the rights and obligations of neutrals. the meeting of major powers did prefigure later 20th-century attempts at international cooperation. of which twelve were ratified and entered into force:     I: The Pacific Settlement of International Disputes II: The Limitation of Employment of Force for Recovery of Contract Debts III: The Opening of Hostilities IV: The Laws and Customs of War on Land o includes the Annex on The Qualifications of Belligerents. The Russian delegation was led by Fyodor Martens. the conference did enlarge the machinery for voluntary arbitration. whose contribution was essential for the defense of the principle of legal equality of nations. 1910. but were defeated by the other powers. However. and entered into force on January 26. The Uruguayan delegation was led by José Batlle y Ordóñez. 1907. modifying some parts and adding others. and established conventions regulating the collection of debts. The Final Agreement was signed on October 18. led by Germany. The British tried to secure limitation of armaments. Chapter II: Prisoners of War          V: The Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land VI: The Status of Enemy Merchant Ships at the Outbreak of Hostilities VII: The Conversion of Merchant Ships into War-Ships VIII: The Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines IX: Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War X: Adaptation to Maritime War of the Principles of the Geneva Convention XI: Certain Restrictions with Regard to the Exercise of the Right of Capture in Naval War XII: The Creation of an International Prize Court XIII: The Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War Two declarations were signed as well:   Declaration I: extending Declaration II from the 1899 Conference to other types of aircraft[6] Declaration II: on the obligatory arbitration The Brazilian delegation was led by the statesman Ruy Barbosa. The Second Peace Conference was held from June 15 to October 18. to expand upon the original Hague Convention. Germany also rejected proposals for compulsory arbitration. in 1907. was generally a failure. However. great defender of the Page 7 of 25 . with an increased focus on naval warfare. The second conference was called at the suggestion of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904.Hague Convention of 1907 The second conference. rules of war. 1907. Sir Ernest Satow and Eyre Crowe.

The treaties of 1949 were ratified. 1925 and entering into force on February 8. The singular term Geneva Convention denotes the agreements of 1949. The articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) extensively defined the basic rights of prisoners (civil and military) during war. in whole or with reservations. Poisonous or Other Gases. Between the fall of the first Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the rise of his nephew in the Italian campaign of 1859. It defines "the basis on which rest the rules of international law for the protection of the victims of armed conflicts. war had returned to Europe. the powers had maintained peace in Western Europe. for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. but was significantly updated in 1906. which is both the instigator for the inception and enforcer of the articles in these conventions. First Geneva Convention The First Geneva Convention. Poisonous or other Gases. and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. by 194 countries. is one of four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. and while those troubles were "in a distant Page 8 of 25 . and added a fourth treaty. and 1949. The protocol has since been augmented by the Biological Weapons Convention (1972) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (1993). The protocol grew out of the increasing public outcry against chemical warfare following the use of mustard gas and similar agents in World War I. it permanently bans the use of all forms of chemical and biological warfare in its single section. It is inextricably linked to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Geneva Protocol to Hague Convention Though not negotiated in The Hague." It was first adopted in 1864. Because the Geneva Conventions are about people in war. with the conflict in the Crimea.compulsory arbitration by creating the idea of an International Court of Arbitration. Yet. which updated the terms of the first three treaties (1864. 1906. and established protections for the civilians in and around a war zone. 1899. History The First Geneva Convention was instituted at a critical period in European political and military history. established protections for the wounded. negotiated in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939–45). the Geneva Protocol to the Hague Convention is considered an addition to the Convention. 1929). and fears that chemical and biological warfare could lead to horrific consequences in any future war. the articles do not address warfare proper— the use of weapons of war—which is the subject of the Hague Conventions (First Hague Conference. entitled Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating. that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war. and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. Signed on June 17. Geneva Conventions The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties. and three additional protocols. and the bio–chemical warfare Geneva Protocol (Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating. 1928. and an alliance of nations to force the arbitration. 1929). The Geneva Convention also defines the rights and protections of non-combatants. 1929. Second Hague Conference 1907).

Despite its intent of ameliorating the ravages of war the inception of the First Geneva Convention inaugurated "a renewal of military activity on a large scale." The movement for an international set of laws governing the treatment and care for the wounded and prisoners of war began when relief activist Henri Dunant witnessed the Battle of Solferino in 1859. especially in times of war. personnel. 1864 several European states congregated in Geneva. Kingdom of Denmark 4. it required a body of rules to govern its own activities and those of the involved belligerent parties. Upon return to Geneva. On August 22. be a "need for voluntary agencies to supplement… the official agencies charged with these responsibilities in every country. while recognizing that it is "primarily the duty and responsibility of a nation to safeguard the health and physical well-being of its own people.000 wounded soldiers left on the field due to lack of facilities." while the bloodshed was not excessive the sight of it was unfamiliar and shocking. to which the people of western Europe had not been accustomed since the first Napoleon had been eliminated. Kingdom of Italy Page 9 of 25 . Grand Duchy of Baden (now Germany) 2." knew there would always. fought between French-Piedmontese and Austrian armies in Northern Italy. Switzerland and signed the First Geneva Convention: Figure 2: The signing of the First Geneva Convention 1. and truces to give them medical aid moved Dunant to action. The subsequent suffering of 40. The International Committee of the Red Cross. Kingdom of Belgium 3. through his membership in the Geneva Society for Public Welfare. Dunant published his account Un Souvenir de Solferino and. Grand Duchy of Hesse (now Germany) 6." To ensure that its mission was widely accepted. he urged the calling together of an international conference and soon helped found the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. French Empire 5.and inaccessible region" northern Italy was "so accessible from all parts of western Europe that it instantly filled with curious observers.

Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross. However." principally through the revision and expansion of these basic principles of the original Geneva Convention. always lags behind charity. 2. Not only was it the first. Kingdom of Württemberg (now Germany) Norway and Sweden signed in December." as such it is the duty of the Red Cross "to assist in the widening the scope of law. It was updated again in 1929 when minor modifications were made to it. the recognition of the Red Cross symbol as a means of identifying persons and equipment covered by the agreement. it is tardy in conforming with life’s realities and the needs of humankind." This first effort provided only for: 1. Kingdom of Prussia (now Germany) 10. Kingdom of Spain 11. however. and 4. Page 10 of 25 . and in particular should not be killed. the protection of civilians providing aid to the wounded. as well as medical and religious personnel. Summary of provisions The original ten articles of the 1864 treaty have been expanded to the current 64 articles. This article is the keystone of the treaty. Kingdom of Portugal 9. the personnel entrusted with the care of the wounded (Chapter IV). the impartial reception and treatment of all combatants. as Jean S. Kingdom of the Netherlands 8. "the law. and defines the principles from which most of the rest the treaty is derived. 3. and civilians in the zone of battle. buildings and material (Chapter V). Pictet. it was also the most basic and "derived its obligatory force from the implied consent of the states which accepted and applied them in the conduct of their military operations. or subjected to biological experimentation. Despite its basic mandates it was successful in effecting significant and rapid reforms. including the obligation to respect medical units and establishments (Chapter III). the immunity from capture and destruction of all establishments for the treatment of wounded and sick soldiers.7. on the assumption that… law will retain its value. and the protective sign (Chapter VII). noted in 1951. injured. Swiss Confederation 12. This lengthy treaty protects soldiers that are hors de combat (out of the battle due to sickness or injury). medical transports (Chapter VI). Among its principal provisions:  Article 12 mandates that wounded and sick soldiers who are out of the battle should be humanely treated. largely at the Second Geneva Convention in 1906 and Hague Convention of 1899 which extended the articles to maritime warfare. Due to significant ambiguities in the articles with certain terms and concepts and even more so to the rapidly developing nature of war and military technology the original articles had to be revised and expanded. tortured.

The neutral vessels cannot be captured. Article 21 allows appeals to be made to neutral vessels to help collect and care for the wounded. cared for. Article 16 mandates that parties to the conflict should record the identity of the dead and wounded. and transmit this information to the opposing party.   Article 15 mandates that wounded and sick soldiers should be collected. sick. sick. as well as medical and religious personnel. relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. and protected. though they may also become prisoners of war. and shipwrecked. Articles 36 and 37 protect religious and medical personnel serving on a combat ship. It was first adopted in 1906. It was first adopted in 1929. It defines humanitarian protections for prisoners of war. There are currently 194 countries parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Second Geneva Convention The Second Geneva Convention. but was significantly updated in 1929 and again in 1949. it can hold the wounded. For a detailed discussion of each article of the treaty. It adapts the main protections of the First Geneva Convention to combat at sea. sick. Article 9 allows the International Red Cross "or any other impartial humanitarian organization" to provide protection and relief of wounded and sick soldiers. see the original text and the commentary. is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. Page 11 of 25 . but was significantly updated in 1949. after the Russo-Japanese war. and owing to their humanitarian mission. The most essential provisions of the treaty are:      Articles 12 and 18 requires all parties to protect and care for the wounded. For a detailed discussion of each article of the treaty. Third Geneva Convention The Third Geneva Convention. see the original text and the commentary. There are currently 194 countries parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Article 14 clarifies that although a warship cannot capture a hospital ship's medical staff. including this first treaty but also including the other three. they cannot be attacked or captured. Article 22 states that hospital ships cannot be used for any military purpose. for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded. including this second treaty but also including the other three. and shipwrecked. and shipwrecked as prisoners of war. Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Summary of Provisions The treaty is a lengthy document consisting of 63 articles.

1. detention." It is the only article of the Geneva Conventions that applies in non-international conflicts. Article 3 also states that parties to the internal conflict should Endeavour to bring into force.Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention.. and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds. ".. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power. or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely. affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. It describes minimal protections which must be adhered to by all individuals within a signatory's territory during an armed conflict not of an international character (regardless of citizenship or lack thereof): Noncombatants. the party will remain bound until the non-signatory no longer acts under the strictures of the convention.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps. That it applies to occupations of a "High Contracting Party".   Page 12 of 25 . That the relationship between the "High Contracting Parties" and a non-signatory. including prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity. that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I). the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. including those of organized resistance movements.Part I: General provisions This part sets out the overall parameters for GCIII:   Articles 1 and 2 cover which parties are bound by GCIII Article 2 specifies when the parties are bound by GCIII o That any armed conflict between two or more "High Contracting Parties" is covered by GCIII. Article 4 defines prisoners of war to include: o  4. if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof. all or part of the other provisions of GCIII. provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:   o that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates.1 Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict and members of militias of such armed forces 4. that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war." o o  Article 3 has been called a "Convention in miniature. by means of special agreements. that of carrying arms openly. The passing of sentences must also be pronounced by a regularly constituted court. Article 3's protections exist even if one is not classified as a prisoner of war. combatants who have laid down their arms.

1. without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units. Part III: Captivity This part is divided into several sections: Section 1 covers the beginning of captivity (Articles 17–20).4 Civilians who have non-combat support roles with the military and who carry a valid identity card issued by the military they support. Article 12 states that prisoners of war are the responsibility of the state. food and clothing (Articles 25–28) 3. who do not benefit by more favorable treatment under any other provisions of international law.3 makes explicit that Article 33 takes precedence for the treatment of medical personnel of the enemy and chaplains of the enemy. 4. 4.1.3 Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power. nor any other form of coercion". provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war. The treatment of enemy medical personnel and chaplains retained to assist prisoners of war (Article 33) 5. not the persons who capture them. Religious. and that they may not be transferred to a state that is not party to the Convention. o o o o  Article 5 specifies that prisoners of war (as defined in article 4) are protected from the time of their capture until their final repatriation. Articles 13 to 16 state that prisoners of war must be treated humanely without any adverse discrimination and that their medical needs must be met.1. It dictates what private property a prisoner of war may keep and that the prisoner of war must be evacuated from the combat zone as soon as possible. Quarters. General observations (Articles 21–24) 2. who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces. they should be treated as such until their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.o 4. Part II: General Protection of Prisoners of War This part of the convention covers the status of prisoners of war. Hygiene and medical attention (Articles 29–32) 4. It also specifies that when there is any doubt whether a combatant belongs to the categories in article 4.5 Merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict. 4.6 Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory. 4.1. intellectual and physical activities (Articles 34–38) Page 13 of 25 . It dictates what information a prisoner must give and interrogation methods that the detaining power may use "No physical or mental torture. Section 2 covers the internment of prisoners of war and is broken down into 8 chapters which cover: 1.

6. and that even if the prisoner of war works for a private person the military authority remains responsible for them. Transfer of prisoners of war after their arrival in a camp (Articles 46–48) Section 3 (Articles 49–57) covers the type of labour that a prisoner of war may be compelled to do. acts as a conduit between the authorities of the detaining power and the prisoners. Juridical proceedings (Articles 99–108) Part IV: Termination of Captivity This part is divided into several sections: Section 1 (Articles 109–117) covers the direct repatriation and accommodation in neutral countries. Prisoner of war representatives (Articles 79–81). The Detaining power has the right to censor all mail. Where there is no senior officer available in a camp the section stipulates that "prisoners shall freely elect by secret ballot. age. medical facilities. General provisions (Articles 82–88) 2. 3. Part V: Information Bureau and Relief Societies for Prisoners of War The Information Bureau is an organization that must be set up by the Detaining Power to facilitate the sharing of information by the parties to conflict and neutral powers as required by the various provisions of the Third Geneva Convention. 1. The sub-section on "Penal and disciplinary sanctions" is subdivided into three parts: 1. Section 5 (Articles 69–74) covers the relations of prisoners of war with the exterior. Section 6 covers the relations between prisoners of war and the detaining authorities: it is broken down into three chapters. Section 2 (Articles 118–119) covers the release and repatriation of prisoners of war at the close of hostilities. Discipline (Articles 39–42) 7. [a representative] every six months". The representative. Complaints of prisoners of war respecting the conditions of captivity(Article 78) 2. but must do so as quickly as possible. including parcels. taking such factors as rank. Military rank (Articles 43–45) 8. Disciplinary sanctions (Articles 89–98) 3. whether the senior officer or an elected person. Section 3 (Articles 120–121) covers the death of a prisoner of war. This covers the frequency of which a prisoner of war can send and receive post. and sex into consideration. Section 4 (Articles 58–68) covers the financial resources of prisoners of war. and that which because it is unhealthy or dangerous can only be done by prisoners of war who volunteer for such work. Rates of pay for work done are covered by Article 62 in the next section. It goes into details about such things as the accommodation. It will correspond freely with "A Central Prisoners of War Page 14 of 25 .

Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany (towards Russian POW) were notorious for atrocities against prisoners during World War II. The German military used the Soviet Union's refusal to sign the Geneva Convention as a reason for not providing the necessities of life to Russian POWs. armed conflicts where war has not been declared and in an occupation of another country's territory. Article 3 states that even where there is not a conflict of international character the parties must as a minimum adhere to minimal protections described as: noncombatants. including this fourth treaty but also including the other three. members of armed forces who have laid down their arms. with the following prohibitions: Page 15 of 25 . Part VI: Execution of the Convention Consists of two sections: Section 1 (Articles 126–132) General provision Section 2 (Articles 133–143) Final provisions. some guerrilla fighters and certain civilians. or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely. thus making them binding on non-signatories to the Conventions whenever they engage in armed conflicts. rank and service number (if applicable). During the 20th century. Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention protects captured military personnel. and the Soviets similarly killed Axis prisoners or used them as slave labor. North Korean and North and South Vietnamese forces routinely killed or mistreated prisoners taken during those conflicts.Information Agency . The provisions of this part are contained in Articles 122 to 125. The central prisoners of war information agency was created within the Red Cross. is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. commonly referred to as the Fourth Geneva Convention and abbreviated as GCIV. However. One of the main provisions of the convention makes it illegal to torture prisoners and states that a prisoner can only be required to give their name. and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds.. date of birth. and outlaws the practice of total war. Fourth Geneva Convention The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. created in a neutral country" to act as a conduit with the Power to which the prisoners of war owe their allegiance. Part I. detention. and defines humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone. nations vary in their dedication to following these laws.. There are currently 194 countries party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. It applies from the moment a prisoner is captured until he or she is released or repatriated. the United Nations Security Council adopted a report from the Secretary-General and a Commission of Experts which concluded that the Geneva Conventions had passed into the body of customary international law.[1] In 1993. and historically the treatment of POWs has varied greatly. General Provisions This sets out the overall parameters for GCIV: Article 2 states that signatories are bound by the convention both in war. It was adopted in August 1949.

in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. mutilation. No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. find themselves. corporal punishments. torture. Page 16 of 25 . mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment' While popular debate remains on what constitutes a legal definition of torture. A protected person/s shall not have anything done to them of such a character as to cause physical suffering or extermination . Collective punishments Article 33. in particular. The provisions of Part II cover the whole of the populations of the countries in conflict. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. in response to experiments by German and Japanese doctors during World War II. religion or political opinion. the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands. Part III. in part. (b) taking of hostages. The prohibition on scientific experiments was added. nationality. cruel treatment and torture. as a precaution against alternate definitions of torture. Pillage is prohibited. in particular humiliating and degrading treatment (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court.(a) violence to life and person. This prohibition applies not only to murder. (c) outrages upon personal dignity. ICRC and other humanitarian organizations may aid Protected persons.. and are intended to alleviate the sufferings caused by war. Status and Treatment of Protected Persons Section I. Protected person is the most important definition in this section because many of the articles in the rest of GCIV only apply to Protected persons. General Protection of Populations against Certain Consequences of War Article 13. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited. Article 4 defines who is a protected person: Persons protected by the Convention are those who. at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever. on race.. of whom Josef Mengele was the most infamous. But it explicitly excludes Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention and the citizens of a neutral state or an allied state if that state has normal diplomatic relations within the State in whose hands they are. even the most mundane physical abuse is thereby forbidden by Article 32. Provisions common to the territories of the parties to the conflict and to occupied territories Article 32. A number of articles specify how Protecting Powers. in case of a conflict or occupation. without any adverse distinction based. Part II. affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. the ban on corporal punishment simplifies the matter. in particular murder of all kinds.

By collective punishment. Germans executed Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity. Additional concern also addressed the United States' atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Care and education of children Article 53 . captured service members must be lawful combatants entitled to combatant's privilege—which gives them immunity from punishment for crimes constituting lawful acts of war such as killing enemy troops. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentary to the conventions states that parties to a conflict often would resort to "intimidator measures to terrorize the population" in hopes of preventing hostile acts. As well as numerous provisions for the general welfare of the inhabitants of an occupied territory.49). To qualify under the Third Geneva Convention." Additional Protocol II of 1977 explicitly forbids collective punishment.Population transfer Article 50 . without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units". GCIV Article 33 is the one more commonly quoted. Article 49 . a combatant must have conducted military operations according to the laws and customs of war. which. Section III. in turn. wear a "fixed distinctive marking. caused death and disease to millions of Japanese civilians as well as their decedents. be part of a chain of command. In the First World War. such as persons "who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces. Occupied territories Articles 47-78 impose substantial obligations on occupying powers. reiterated the principle of individual responsibility. Execution of the Convention This part contains "the formal or diplomatic provisions which it is customary to place at the end of an international Convention to settle the procedure for bringing it into effect are grouped together under this heading (1).Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. or deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into occupied territory (Art. Qualifications To be entitled to prisoner-of-war status. the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World Wars I and World War II. visible from a distance" and bear arms openly. In World War II.Medical services Part IV. to counter this. Entire villages or towns or districts were held responsible for any resistance activity that took place there. but such practices "strike at guilty and innocent alike.) Page 17 of 25 . (The Convention recognizes a few other groups as well. an occupier may not forcibly deport protected persons. But as fewer states have ratified this protocol than GCIV.Destruction of property Article 56 . Nazis carried out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance. They are similar in all four Geneva Conventions. The conventions.

both sides treated captured troops as POWs. about 8 million men surrendered and were held in POW camps until the war ended. presumably out of reciprocity. In practice. and francs-tireurs. regardless of service branch. Over half the Russian losses were prisoners as a proportion of those captured. or otherwise providing their enemy captors aid and comfort. is in command). However. in civil wars. In 2000 the U. Individual surrenders were uncommon. and requires them to support their leadership. The criteria are applied primarily to international armed conflicts. Military replaced the designation "Prisoner of War" with "Missing-Captured". The Code of Conduct also requires service members to resist giving information to the enemy (beyond identifying themselves). mostly gained in the period just before the Armistice in 1918. and in general the POWs had a much higher survival rate than their peers who were not captured. the Code of Conduct reminds them that the chain of command is still in effect (the highest ranking service member eligible for command. At Tannenberg 92. wounded or killed. guerrillas and other irregular combatants generally cannot expect to receive benefits from both civilian and military status simultaneously. insurgents are often treated as traitors or criminals by government forces. It was created primarily in response to the breakdown of leadership and organization. Russia held 2. When the besieged garrison of Kaunas surrendered in 1915. for example. receiving special favors or parole. Since the Vietnam War. mercenaries and spies do not qualify.3 million men became prisoners. The US held 48.000. This change remains relatively unknown even among experts in the field and "Prisoner of War" remaines widely used in the Pentagon which has a "POW/Missing Personnel Office" and awards "Prisoner of War" Medals. When a military member is taken prisoner. The Page 18 of 25 . The United States Military Terminology and Code of Conduct The United States Military Code of Conduct was promulgated in 1955 via Executive Order 10631 under President Dwight D.S. All nations pledged to follow the Hague rules on fair treatment of prisoners of war. but captured guerrillas are often granted POW status. Guerrillas.5 million prisoners.000 Russians surrendered during the battle. This name change was introduced in order to distinguish between enemy and US captives. terrorists.000. uniforms and/or badges are important in determining prisoner-of-war status.000 Russians became prisoners. World War I During World War I.9 million. The German Empire held 2. However. and are sometimes executed. A January 2008 directive states that the reasoning behind this is since "Prisoner of War" is the international legal recognized status for such people there is no need for any individual country to follow suit. the official US military term for enemy POWs is EPW (Enemy Prisoner of War). 20. these criteria are rarely interpreted strictly. Eisenhower to serve as a moral code for United States service members who have been taken prisoner. and Britain and France held about 720. About 3. although the Union regarded Confederate personnel as separatist rebels. saboteurs. usually do not wear a uniform or carry arms openly. specifically when US forces were POWs during the Korean War. usually a large unit surrendered all its men.Thus. in the American Civil War.

Many were weak and starved when they surrendered and 4. All commissioned officers had to write a report on the circumstances of their capture and to ensure that they had done all they could to avoid capture. Upon arrival at the receiving camp the POWs were registered and "boarded" before being dispatched to their own homes.000 internees held in neutral Switzerland. thanks in part to the efforts of the International Red Cross and inspections by neutral nations. while only one officer died. when helpless soldiers were sometimes shot down.4 million POWs died in captivity. It read as follows: "The Queen joins me in welcoming you on your release from the miseries & hardships. in Mesopotamia. The first British prisoners were released and reached Calais on 15 November. The most curious case came in Russia where the Czechoslovak Legion of Czechoslovak prisoners (from the Austro-Hungarian army): they were released in 1917. many from malnutrition. roughly 25% of its 2 to 2. One third of all Australian prisoners were captured on Gallipoli including the crew of the submarine AE2 which made a passage through the Dardanelles in 1915. including 3. Nearly 375. written in his own hand and reproduced on a lithograph. On 13 December 1918 the armistice was extended and the Allies reported that by 9 December 264.000 men. armed themselves. A very large number of these had been released en masse and sent across Allied lines without any food or shelter. which you have endured with so much patience and courage. Release of prisoners At the end of the war in 1918 there were believed to be 140.000 of the 500.800 British soldiers. Gerard. as recorded by the American ambassador to Germany (prior to America's entry into the war).000 British prisoners of war in Germany. About 50% of the Australian prisoners were light horsemen including 48 missing believed captured on 1 May 1918 in the Jordan Valley. most of them Indians. Some 11. in April 1916. became prisoners after the five-month Siege of Kut.250 died in captivity. Once prisoners reached a POW camp conditions were better (and often much better than in World War II).000 prisoners had been repatriated. Palestine and the Levant. During the Sinai and Palestine campaign 217 Australian and unknown numbers of British. New Zealand and Indian soldiers were captured by Ottoman Empire forces. which could later be used for demobilization. who published his findings in "My Four Years in Germany". It was particularly bad in Russia. briefly culminating into a military and diplomatic force during the Russian Civil War. The Ottoman Empire often treated prisoners of war poorly. James W. Forced marches and crowded railway journeys preceded years in camps where disease. This created difficulties for the receiving Allies and many released prisoners died from exhaustion. In Germany food was short but only 5% died. Even worse conditions are reported in the book "Escape of a Princess Pat" by the Canadian George Pearson. Plans were made for them to be sent via Dunkirk to Dover and a large reception camp was established at Dover capable of housing 40. poor diet and inadequate medical facilities prevailed. Each returning officer and man was given a message from King George V. The released POWs were met by cavalry troops and sent back through the lines in lorries to reception centres where they were refitted with boots and clothing and dispatched to the ports in trains. There was however much harsh treatment of POWs in Germany. About 25 % of other ranks died. Australian Flying Corps pilots and observers were captured in the Sinai Peninsula.most dangerous moment was the act of surrender. Page 19 of 25 . where starvation was common for prisoners and civilians alike.000 Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war taken by Russians perished in Siberia from smallpox and typhus.

During these many months of trial. many of which had to serve as forced labour. starvation rations and poor medical treatment. which had signed but never ratified the Second Geneva Convention of 1929. Moreover. While the Allied prisoners were sent home at the end of the war. the United States. Prisoners of war from China. medical experimentation.15% 0. Australia. also did not treat prisoners of war in accordance with international agreements. according to a directive ratified on 5 August 1937 by Hirohito. World War II Niall Ferguson tabulated the total death rate for POWs in World War II as follows: Percentage of POWs that Died Russian POWs held by Germans German POWs held by Russians American POWs held by Japanese British POWs held by Japanese British POWs held by Germans German POWs held by French German POWs held by Americans German POWs held by British 57. Canada.5% 35.8% 33.0% 24. & that back in the old Country you will be able once more to enjoy the happiness of a home & to see good days among those who anxiously look for your return. Britain. brutal treatment. the Netherlands. the same treatment was not granted to Central Powers prisoners of the Allies and Russia. e. including provisions of the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907). in France. The most notorious use of forced labour was in the construction of the Burma–Thailand Death Railway.5% 2. New Zealand and the Philippines held by the Japanese armed forces were subject to murder.9% Treatment of POWs by the Axis Empire of Japan The Empire of Japan. the constraints of the Hague Conventions were explicitly removed on Chinese prisoners. either during the Second Sino-Japanese War or during the Pacific War because the Japanese viewed surrender as dishonorable.8% 3. the early rescue of our gallant Officers & Men from the cruelties of their captivity has been uppermost in our thoughts. They were released after many approaches by the ICRC to the Allied Supreme Council. forced labour. beatings.g. India.03% German POWs held by Eastern Europeans 32.58% 0. We are thankful that this longed for day has arrived. Page 20 of 25 . until 1920. summary punishment.

However.583 prisoners from the United Kingdom. Allied POW camps and ship-transports were sometimes accidental targets of Allied attacks. and who was captured by the Germans in Greece in 1941. is the sub-camp for U. Major Yitzhak Ben-Aharon.000 POWs shipped by the Japanese were killed at sea while Donald L..500 from the Netherlands and 14. seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians. plant juices and blood for paint. because they had been disguised as civilians when they were apprehended. POWs at Berga an der Elster. experienced four years of captivity under entirely normal conditions for POWs. the USA and other western Allies in accordance with the Geneva Convention (1929). German guards forced western Allied POWs to walk long distances towards central Germany. As Soviet ground forces approached some POW camps in early 1945. or 21 percent of the detachment. Canadian. Page 21 of 25 . for a variety of reasons including being Jewish. Some of their works were used as evidence in the trials of Japanese war criminals. France. out of 257." Life in the POW camps was recorded at great risk to themselves by artists such as Jack Bridger Chalker. Miller states that "approximately 21. officially called Arbeitskommando 625. due to blockade conditions. Commonwealth and Dominions.500 of them died as a result. Only a small proportion of western Allied POWs who were Jews —or whom the Nazis believed to be Jewish—were killed as part of the Holocaust or were subjected to other antisemitic policies.800 of the 50. one in three was killed on the water by friendly fire". western Allied officers were not usually made to work and personnel of lower rank were usually compensated.000 POWs. the number for the Chinese was only 56. which had been signed by these countries. Ashley George Old and Ronald Searle.473 from the United States were released after the surrender of Japan. Another well-known example was a group of 168 Australian. and toilet paper as the "canvas".000 Allied POWs died at sea.S. Thus.According to the findings of the Tokyo Tribunal. or not required to work either. 80 of the 350 POWs were Jews. Daves states that 10. Human hair was often used for brushes. Consequently. For example. Berga was the deadliest work detachment for American captives in Germany. Germany Western Allied POWs Germany and Italy generally treated prisoners from the British Commonwealth. The number of deaths which occurred when Japanese "hell ships"—unmarked transport ships in which POWs were transported in harsh conditions—were attacked by US Navy submarines was particularly high. British. the death rate of Western prisoners was 27. a small number of Allied personnel were sent to concentration camps. Two possible reasons have been suggested for this incident: German authorities wanted to make an example of Terrorflieger (―terrorist aviators‖) and/or these aircrews were classified as spies. perished in two months. The death rate of Chinese was much larger. It is estimated that. although this fate was shared by German personnel and civilians. New Zealand and US aviators who were held for two months at Buchenwald concentration camp. The main complaints of western Allied prisoners of war in German Army POW camps—especially during the last two years of the war— concerned shortages of food. while 37. As the US historian Joseph Robert White put it: "An important exception . about 19. it became clear that there existed a high command order – issued from the War Ministry in Tokyo – to kill all remaining POWs. No direct access to the POWs was provided to the International Red Cross. about 80. Gavan Daws has calculated that "of all POWs who died in the Pacific War. two of the POWs died at Buchenwald.000 were subject to such marches and up to 3. 73 men who participated. Philip Meninsky. After the war. Escapes among Caucasian prisoners were almost impossible because of the difficulty of men of Caucasian descent hiding in Asiatic societies.1%. 28. a Palestinian Jew who had enlisted in the British Army.000 of them killed by friendly fire. often in extreme winter weather conditions..

This 'note' was left unanswered by Third Reich officials. only after Joseph Stalin had died.000 Italian POWs died in Russia. instead they were allegedly sent to the USSR to be used as bargaining chips. the Soviets captured 3. Between the launching of Operation Barbarossa in the summer of 1941 and the following spring. the Axis powers took about 5. By comparison. on their return to the USSR. the Soviets took a harsh position towards captured Soviet soldiers as they expected each soldier to fight to the death and automatically excluded any prisoner from the "Russian community". The remainder was barred from all but the most menial jobs.5% of the total captured) died during their captivity. Treatment of POWs by the Soviet Union According to some sources.Eastern European POWs Germany did not apply the same standard of treatment to non-western prisoners.348 Western Allied prisoners died in German camps during 1939–45 (3. in that their status changed but they remained under German authority.000 Polish prisoners of war taken by the Soviet army. This was not legally justifiable. Japanese With the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945 Japanese soldiers became prisoners in the Soviet Union.3 million prisoners (57. especially many Polish and Soviet POWs who suffered harsh conditions and died in large numbers while in captivity. where they.7 million Soviet prisoners. with a mortality rate of 84.6 million Soviet prisoners were taken by the Axis powers.000 total). hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers became prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. 2.2 million Soviet prisoners taken died while in German hands. A little over 500. Out of the 230. Tolstoy discusses that the German Government as well as the International Red Cross made several efforts to regulate reciprocal treatment of prisoners until early 1942. Soviet troops in some cases overran German camps containing US POWs. The Americans As the Soviet Union entered into German territory during the later stages of the war. of whom only 5. An official justification used by the Germans for this policy was that the Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva Convention.000 either escaped or were liberated by the Red Army. German soldiers were for many years after the war kept as forced labour.5 million Axis servicemen (excluding Japanese) of which more than a million died. had to remain as labour for several years.8 million of the 3. just as other Axis POWs.8 million were found alive in camps after the war and 318. Some Soviet POWs and forced laborers transported to Nazi Germany were.5% of the 232. Beevor indicates that about one month after the German invasion in 1941 an offer was made by the USSR for a reciprocal adherence to the Hague conventions. The last German POWs (those who were sentenced for war crimes. of which 1. At least 54.770 were released by the Axis during the war and were then drafted into the Soviet armed forces again.000 survived. only 82. over 20. but received no answers from the Soviet side. The Poles As a result of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939. many already starved and ill. The remaining 3. Thousands of them were executed. 8.000 survived the war.000 more were found alive in camps after the war. Some 930. Between 1941 and 1945. Further. One specific example of the tragic fate of the German POWs was after the Battle of Stalingrad. In contrast.000 Polish military personnel and civilians perished in the Katyn massacre. Allegations have been made that some of these POWs were never repatriated. 4. About one million of them were released during the war.5%. during which the Soviets captured 91.000 German troops. as under article 82 of the Geneva Convention (1929). many times without sufficient reasons) were released by the Soviets in 1955. Page 22 of 25 . signatory countries had to give POWs of all signatory and non-signatory countries the rights assigned by the convention. Out of Anders' 80. however.000 evacuees from Soviet Union gathered in the United Kingdom only 310 volunteered to return to Poland in 1947. According to Russian military historian General Grigoriy Krivosheyev. treated as traitors and sent to gulag prison camps.

The "London Cage". Some breaches of the Convention took place. They drew the attention of the authorities to this fact." Their emotional state was worsened "from the anxiety and hope of the first half of 1946 to the depression and nihilism of 1948. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practicing it. however. "During their visits.Treatment of POWs by the Allies Germans During the war the armies of Allied nations such as the US. Chief US prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials. Towards the end of the war in Europe. Page 23 of 25 . the International Red Cross was prohibited from providing aid such as food or visiting prisoner camps in Germany. Controversy has arisen about how Eisenhower managed these prisoners. According to Stephen E." Hungarians Hungarians became POWs of the Western Allies. After the surrender of Germany in May 1945. "by September 1945 it was estimated by the French authorities that two thousand prisoners were being maimed and killed each month in accidents" In 1946 the UK had more than 400. with some justice. 1946. Jackson. France etc. many had been transferred from POW camps in the US and Canada. the Red Cross was permitted to visit and assist prisoners also in the US occupation zone of Germany. the POW status of the German prisoners was in many cases maintained. The US also shipped 740. of the roughly 1. However. The Allies also shipped POWs between them. although only with very small quantities of food." A public debate ensued in the UK. with for example 6. the delegates observed that German prisoners of war were often detained in appalling conditions. Many died when forced to clear minefields in Norway. UK. as well as to provide relief to the prisoners held there. Canada and Australia were ordered to treat Axis prisoners strictly in accordance with the Geneva Convention (1929). On February 4. Many of these were for over three years after the German surrender used as forced labour. "slave labour" were increasingly used in the media and in the House of Commons. since by then they made up 25 percent of the land workforce. some of these were just as the Germans used as forced labour in France after the cessation of hostilities. in October 1945 told US President Harry S. an MI19 prisoner of war facility in the UK used for interrogating prisoners before they were sent to prison camps during and immediately after World War II. "slaves". After the German surrender. as a form of "reparations".000 German POWs as forced labourers to France from where newspaper reports told of very bad treatment. roughly one-third told him they had seen US troops kill German prisoners. Judge Robert H. Ambrose. A lot of these soldiers were kept in open fields in various Rheinwiesenlagers. where words such as "forced labour". as large numbers of Axis soldiers surrendered. the US created the designation of Disarmed Enemy Forces (DEF) so as not to treat prisoners as POWs.. In 1947 the Ministry of agriculture argued against rapid repatriation of working German prisoners. Truman that the Allies themselves: "Have done or are doing some of the very things we are prosecuting the Germans for. and gradually succeeded in getting some improvements made".000 German prisoners.000 German officers transferred from Western Allied camps to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp that now was under Soviet Union administration. "The POWs referred to themselves as 'slave labour'. was subject to allegations of torture.000 US combat veterans that he had interviewed. The French are so violating the Geneva Convention in the treatment of prisoners of war that our command is taking back prisoners sent to them. and they wanted to use them also in 1948. after making approaches to the Allies in the autumn of 1945 it was allowed to investigate the camps in the British and French occupation zones of Germany. and they were for several years used as forced labour in countries such as the UK and France.

According to Edward Peterson the U.000 Japanese soldiers present at the beginning of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Japanese prisoners were tortured by a variety of methods. however. who put them in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp which at the time was one of the NKVD special camp and from which it is known that there were transfers further east to Siberia. since due to the labour shortages in the UK and the USA they were retained as POWs there. filled with foodstuffs that they (with other released prisoners) ate. Italians In 1943 Italy overthrew the Dictator Mussolini. chose to hand over several hundred thousand German prisoners to the Soviet Union in May 1945 as a "gesture of friendship". Page 24 of 25 . where they were held for the duration of WW2. the casual murder of individual prisoners by guards and how when they were released (now in a German camp) they found a deserted German town. Treatment of the prisoners was generally poor. the United States and the United Kingdom signed a Repatriation Agreement with the USSR. at the conclusion of the Yalta Conference. Transfers between the Allies The United States handed over 740. Japanese prisoners sent to camps fared well. U. The International Red Cross could do nothing for them. Italian officers were arrested and taken to German internment camps in East Europe. In some instances. over 20. A method of torture used by the Chinese National Revolutionary Army (NRA) included suspending the prisoner by the neck in a wooden cage until they died. Of the 30. Some Japanese prisoners in POW camps died at their own hands. while 35. Of the 22. This did not mean any change in status for Italian POWs however.S. and handed them over to the Soviet Union instead.000 were killed and only 216 were taken prisoner. but the prisoners held the status of "Military Internees". and became a co-belligerent with the Allies. He wrote about the hungers of semi-starvation. either directly or by attacking guards with the intention of forcing the guards to kill them. some Japanese were killed when trying to surrender or were massacred just after they had surrendered. The author Giovanni Guareschi was among those interned and wrote about this time in his life. forces also refused to accept the surrender of German troops attempting to surrender to them in Saxony and Bohemia.000 German prisoners to France. After the war many Japanese were kept on as Japanese Surrendered Personnel until mid-1947 and used as forced labour doing menial tasks. In September 1943. The book was translated and published as "My Secret Diary". some were beheaded by sword. The forced repatriation operations took place in 1945-1947. It is also known that 6000 German officers were sent from camps in the West to the Soviets. and a severed head was once used as a soccer ball by Chinese National Revolutionary Army (NRA) soldiers.000 Japanese troops that defended Saipan.000 were kept on in arms within their wartime military organisation and under their own officers and used in combat alongside British troops seeking to suppress the independence movements in the Dutch East Indies and French Indochina. most fought until they were killed or committed suicide.Japanese Although thousands of Japanese were taken prisoner. Cossacks On 11 February 1945. less than 1. The interpretation of this Agreement resulted in the forcible repatriation of all Russians (Operation Keelhaul) regardless of their wishes.S.000 remained alive at battle's end. The Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva Convention. a signatory of the Geneva Convention. as they were not regarded as POW's. In very rare cases.

15. and Warsaw Uprising World War II World War II 90.000 taken by Germany. does not include Pacific or Commonwealth figures) ~130.000 taken in Europe. These are also the highest numbers in any war since the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War entered into force on 19 June 1931.7–3.127. Denmark (the death rate for German prisoners of war was highest in Yugoslavia with over 50%)  1. Belgium.000 taken by Germany in Warsaw in 1944) ~200.380 taken by USSR (474. listed in descending order.368 taken by India.000 (135.000 taken by Coalition of the Gulf War Gulf War Page 25 of 25 .000 taken by the Soviets in 1939. Armies Soviet Union Number of POWs held in captivity 4–5.000 (420.967 died in captivity) (according to an other source 1.Final Words This is the final list of nations with the highest number of POWs since the start of World War II.532 taken by Germany) World War II Invasion of Poland.3 million unknown  Name of conflict World War II (Total) Nazi Germany World War II France Poland United Kingdom United States Pakistan Iraq 1.000 (95.094.800.250 died in captivity (35.8 %)  Unknown number in Yugoslavia. Poland. The USSR had not signed the Geneva Convention. Till date. Later released by India in accordance with the Indo-Pakistani War Simla Agreement of 1971 ~175.7 million taken by Germany (2.000 taken by Germany 675. Netherlands. 240.3 million died in German POW camps) 3.

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