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AAF Prisoners of the Germans

Germany was a signatory of the Geneva Convention of 1929, which prescribed humane treatment for prisoners of war (POWs). However, there were many failures to abide by the convention's provisions and marked differences in treatment of POWs and in living conditions at German World War II camps. Officers in at least one camp controlled by German air force personnel at times found camaraderie existed among flyers of the warring nations. They received reasonably humane treatment, including distribution of recreational equipment, some medical and dental care, and delivery of mail and Red Cross food parcels. But conditions in some other officer camps fell below this level. Enlisted AAF POWs often faced the harshest conditions, such as shortages of food and water, no medical care, no mail or clothing distribution, and brutal treatment by guards. By late 1944, as the war progressed and conditions in Germany deteriorated, the plight of all POWs had worsened, sometimes almost to starvation. Fortunately at war's end, most of these AAF POWs returned home, often bitter, but safe at last.

Click here to return to the WWII Prisoners of War Overview.