By Bob Moore, Barbara Hately-Broad
Until eventually lately, the preferred picture of global conflict II prisoners of battle has been framed through stories of heroic get away or great soreness by the hands of malevolent captors. For the overwhelming majority, although, the truth used to be very assorted. This assortment brings jointly new scholarship, mostly in response to resources from formerly unavailable jap eu or jap documents. Authors spotlight a couple of vital comparatives. while for the British and americans held via the Germans and jap, the top of the conflict intended a quick repatriation and demobilization, for the Germans it heralded the start of an imprisonment that, for a few, lasted till 1956. those and plenty of extra relocating tales are printed the following for the 1st time.
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Extra resources for Prisoners of War, Prisoners of Peace
Then it was the USSR demanding the release of all Soviet citizens in US custody, in the USA as well as in Europe. The possibility of retaliation by the German Reich disappeared, while the position of the USSR grew stronger. That was because the Germans had shifted Western Allied POWs as far eastward as possible to keep them out of Allied reach for as long as possible. As a result, the first liberated British and American POWs were released by the Red Army. The Soviet Union agreed to the hand over of the freed US citizens only on condition that the USA proceeded in the same manner.
Both sentences sound trivial, but the implications were profound. In future, POWs were not to be held until a peace treaty was concluded, as had often been the case during World War II. Henceforward they had to be released after the end of hostilities, which meant immediately after an armistice treaty, if this was the de facto peace treaty, but undoubtedly after a capitulation. Repatriation again became what it had been before World War II, a unilateral duty of the captor power. 23 The exclusion of individual POWs from repatriation to their home country was not permissible.
This was not a theoretical, but a deeply practical problem that emerged before the end of war. Of the 380,000 German POWs in American custody in the United States, 4,000 claimed not to be German but Soviet 02 POW 5/1/05 5:45 pm Page 19 Repatriation of POWs once Hostilities are Over • 19 citizens. Accordingly they demanded to be repatriated to the USSR. This placed the US government in a fix. If they deprived these men of the status as ‘German’ soldiers and sent them to the USSR, they risked the possibility that Germany might do the same with their US Jewish or Afro-American prisoners.
Prisoners of War, Prisoners of Peace by Bob Moore, Barbara Hately-Broad