By Arieh J. Kochavi
How was once it attainable that the majority of the approximately 300,000 British and American troops who fell into German arms in the course of international warfare II survived captivity in German POW camps and lower back domestic nearly once the battle ended? In Confronting Captivity, Arieh J. Kochavi bargains a behind-the-scenes examine the residing stipulations in Nazi camps and strains the activities the British and American governments took--and did not take--to make sure the safeguard in their captured infantrymen. quandary in London and Washington in regards to the defense of those POWs was once mitigated by means of the popularity that the Nazi management tended to stick to the Geneva conference while it got here to British and U.S. prisoners. Following the invasion of Normandy, even if, Allied apprehension over the protection of POWs became nervousness for his or her very lives. but Britain and the U.S. took the calculated probability of relying on a speedy end to the battle because the Soviets approached Germany from the east. finally, Kochavi argues, it used to be much more likely that the lives of British and American POWs have been spared as a result of their race instead of any activities their governments took on their behalf.
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Extra info for Confronting Captivity: Britain and the United States and Their POWs in Nazi Germany
Coombe-Tennant, quoting complaints by pows in Oﬂag vii c/h, called on the House of Commons to press for an ofﬁcial inquiry into the way the Red Cross was functioning. ’’ The paper claimed that no adequate arrangements had been made in Britain to pack and dispatch parcels of food and clothing for the pows and that the government had left everything to the Red Cross. Never once, the paper maintained, had the weekly total of food parcels sent amounted to even 37,000. Quoting a statement on 7 November by Lord Clarendon, director of the Prisoners of War Department of the Red Cross, that letters from prisoners showed that parcels from Britain were then being safely received in the camps, the story contended that even if each parcel had arrived safely, ‘‘nearly 20,000 prisoners must have gone short, because only 23,888 food parcels .
The prisoners received ﬁfty pfennings per day for work in the main camp, while the basic salary in the work camps was seventy pfennings a day. Overtime—over eight hours a day—was w h i t e h a l l a n d b r i t i s h p ow s 37 counted and paid at a rate of thirty-three pfennings an hour. Ω∑ As soon as this report had reached London, the British legation in Bern was instructed to urge Berlin (through the Swiss) to make sure British prisoners throughout Stalag xx b were properly and humanely treated and that all defects be remedied.
At the time of the visit, there was no stock at all. Clothing improved but was still insufﬁcient. A great need remained for battle dresses, shirts, greatcoats, and boots. ’’∫∫ Complaints on the absence of parcels led James Grigg, who had become secretary of state for war in February 1942, to explain in Parliament in April the difﬁculties involved in getting Red Cross parcels to their destination: The dispatch of food parcels to British prisoners in Germany and Italy involves many difﬁcult and complicated processes.
Confronting Captivity: Britain and the United States and Their POWs in Nazi Germany by Arieh J. Kochavi