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 fingers in the course of international conflict II survived captivity in German POW camps and again domestic virtually once the struggle ended? In Confronting Captivity, Arieh J. Kochavi deals a behind-the-scenes examine the residing stipulations in Nazi camps and lines the activities the British and American governments took--and did not take--to make sure the protection in their captured squaddies. drawback in London and Washington in regards to the defense of those POWs was once mitigated by way 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, besides the fact that, Allied apprehension over the protection of POWs changed into anxiousness for his or her very lives. but Britain and the U.S. took the calculated threat of hoping on a quick end to the warfare because the Soviets approached Germany from the east. finally, Kochavi argues, it was once 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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Additional info for Confronting Captivity: Britain and the United States and Their POWs in Nazi Germany
By now, Britain, and particularly London, were suffering mass bombing attacks by the German Luftwaffe that greatly disrupted all aspects of life. In early November 1940, mp Major General A. Knox, Conservative, reprew h i t e h a l l a n d b r i t i s h p ow s 19 senting the Wycombe division of Buckinghamshire since 1924, asked Prime Minister Winston S. ’’ As the Red Cross had been given sole responsibility for the dispatch of parcels to British pows, Knox—who would become a major critic of Whitehall’s handling of the pow problem—proposed that the government appoint one of its ministers to the council of the Red Cross.
There was frequent theft of tobacco and food parcels, items that were immediately suspended as a collective punishment for small offenses by individual pows. Blankets prisoners owned were described as worn out, small, ﬁlthy, and lousy. ∫∑ In mid-May, Swiss inspectors Gabriel Naville, who was also the head of the British Interests Division in Berlin, and Dr. Folke Malmquist paid a short visit to the Stalag viii b base camp. Bathing facilities improved thereafter, as each man was given a chance to shower with hot water at least once every ten days.
Secretary of state for war. ≤π Almost from the outset of the war, there was concern in Parliament over how food and clothing could be guaranteed to reach British pows in Germany. ≥∞ The brcs opened its ﬁrst packing center in November 1939. The contents of the parcels, based on professional medical and dietetic advice, sought to offer the right proportions of starch, protein, and sugar as a supplement to the weekly rations for one prisoner as established by the Geneva Convention. An effort was made to include items for which prisoners themselves had expressed a liking.