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If You're Captured... <br />(Yank Magazine, 1943)If You're Captured...
(Yank Magazine, 1943)
This cautionary article seems like a collaboration between Emily Post, the Twentieth Century's High-Priestess of manners, and Sigmund Freud. It concerns one-part social instruction and one-part psychology. It offers wise words to the Yank readers as how best to behave when being interrogated by Axis goons; American mothers would have been proud to know that their tax dollars were well-spent advising their progeny to keep in mind manners, manners, manners and always anticipate the direction of the conversation:

"It's best to call your enemy questioner "Sir" or his rank, if you can figure out what it is. Then when you answer "I'm sorry, sir" to his questions, there isn't much he can do about it..."

Click here to read an article about the American POW experience during the Korean War.

The Capture of Heinrich Himmler  <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The Capture of Heinrich Himmler
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A quick read, which begins with the story of how the British Army of occupation in Germany managed to detain and identify Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler (1900 – 1945) when he was disguised in the Wehrmacht uniform of a sergeant. The remaining paragraphs are devoted to instructing the reader as to how similar ploys could be managed to identify other German war crimes suspects when they are in captivity.
Americans Tell of Japanese Prison Camps <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Americans Tell of Japanese Prison Camps
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A well illustrated magazine article which relays the tale of two Marines who were captured at the fall of Corregidor in 1941 and spent the remainder of the war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp on the island of Honshu, Japan. The two men told Yank correspondent Bill Lindau all about their various hardships and the atrocities they witnessed as well as the manner in which their lot improved when their guards were told that Japan had surrendered.

Click here to read an article about the American POW experience during the Korean War.

Click here if you would like to read about a World War One German P.O.W. camp.

Indian Sikhs Tell of Japanese Prison Camps <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Indian Sikhs Tell of Japanese Prison Camps
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
"Captured in the fall of Singapore, 66 soldiers of the 5/11 Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army were freed by our troops. Used as slave laborers since their capture in February 1942, the Indians were building jetties on Los Negros Island when they were rescued."

"Asked how they were treated by the Japanese, the Sikhs shake their heads sadly, smile and say, 'Not very well.'"

German Boy Soldiers in Captivity <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)German Boy Soldiers in Captivity
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A fascinating article reporting on "the Baby Cage", the Allied prisoner of war camp that held some 7,000 boy soldiers of the German army, ages 12 through 17.

In light of the fact that so manyGerman youths had been indoctrinated from their earliest days in Nazi dogma and then dumbfounded to a far greater degree within the Hitler Jugend system, the Allied leadership post-war government believed that this group needed to be instructed in the ways of tolerance before being let loose into the general population.

Click here to read about the Nazi indoctrination of German youth.

American P.O.W.s Massacred <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)American P.O.W.s Massacred
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Nine Americans recalled witnessing the deliberate torture and killing of American prisoners of war by their Japanese captors on the Pacific island of Palawan.

"The American began begging to be shot and not burned. He screamed in such a high voice I could hear him. Then I could see the Jap pour gasoline on one of his feet and burn it, and then the other. He collapsed..."

The Japanese Prison Camp at  Cabanatuan <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The Japanese Prison Camp at Cabanatuan
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Here is an interview with the American P.O.W.s who were strong enough to survive the abuses at the Japanese Prison Camp at Cabanatuan (Luzon, Philippines).These men were the survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March:

"You were on the Death March?" somebody asked him.

"Is that what they call it?...Yes, we walked to Capas, about 65 miles. Three days and three nights without food, only such water as we could sneak out of the ditches. We were loaded into steel boxcars at Campas, 100 men to a car - they jammed us in with rifle butts..."

The rescue of these men by the 6th Ranger Battalion (U.S. Army) was dramatized in a 2005 television production titled "The Great Raid".

Click here if you would like to read more about the 6th Rangers and the liberation of the Cabanatuan P.O.W. camp.

Prisoners of the Japanese <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Prisoners of the Japanese
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
An escaped Australian Private, having been rescued by a U.S. Navy submarine, recalls how life was in the hell of a Japanese jungle P.O.W. camp, where all Allied prisoners were forced to build a railroad for the Emperor:

"'I often sit and wonder what I'm doing here' reflected Pvt. James L. Boulton of Melbourne, Australia. 'By the law of averages I should have been dead two years ago, and yet here I am smoking Yank cigarettes, eating Yank food with Yank nurses taking care of me. When I was a PW in the jungles of Burma I never thought I'd survive the beatings and fevers and ulcers.'"

Click here to read articles about post-war Japan.

Two Who Escaped the Germans <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Two Who Escaped the Germans
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Remarkable for lacking bravado and deeds of cunning daring-do, this is a war story about two hapless GIs of the 84th Division who got themselves captured and, do to a heavy U.S. artillery barrage (that served as a backdrop throughout much of the story), were able to escape and allude further incarceration. The German officers who (briefly) lorded over these men are beautifully painted as dunderheads that will surely amuse. Wandering in a southerly direction through the frost of Belgium, they make it back to their outfits in time for a New Year's Day supper.

Click here if you would like to read about a World War One German P.O.W. camp.

Remembering Captain Uemumra <br />(Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1947)Remembering Captain Uemumra
(Rob Wagner's Script Magazine, 1947)
An article in which Bataan Death March survivor Dean Sherry, tells the tale of his jailer, a kindly school teacher known only as Captain Uemumra, and remembers him with a tremendous sense of gratitude.

An unusual story during a horrible time.

Wounded POWs Liberated in Germany <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)Wounded POWs Liberated in Germany
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
A printable account from a YANK correspondent assigned to General Patton's Third Army as it swept through Germany and liberated the wounded Air Corps personnel who had been kept at a German military hospital during their recuperation.

Statistical data concerning the U.S. Army casualties in June and July of 1944 can be read in this article.

The SS Prisoner at the U.S. Army Field Hospital <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)The SS Prisoner at the U.S. Army Field Hospital
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
This tight little essay, titled "The German", serves to illustrate a small piece of life in a very big war. Written with a sense of melancholy by a winsome American medical orderly posted to a hospital not too far behind the front lines, it explains how he slowly got to know one of his German patients, a member of the SS, and how secretive and generally unpleasant he seemed to be.

Click here to read an article about the women of the SS in captivity.

P.O.W. Camp for the S.S. Women <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)P.O.W. Camp for the S.S. Women
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Among the many dubious legacies of the Second World War is a growing cult of males who have tended to feel that the German women of the SS are worthy of their attention (Kate Winslet's appearance in the 2008 movie, "The Reader" didn't help). This article (and the accompanying photographs) make it quite clear that no one would have found these men more pathetic than the G.I. guards of Prisoner of War Enclosure 334, who were charged with the task of lording over these Teutonic gorgons and who, to the man, found these women to be wildly unattractive.

"The girls who served in Adolf's army are a sorry, slovenly looking lot. In a P.O.W. camp near Florence they spill their gripes to G.I guards."

Click here to read about a member of Hitler's SS in captivity.

The Malmedy Massacre <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The Malmedy Massacre
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Attached is a stirring collection of eyewitness accounts by the American survivors of the Malmedy Massacre (December 17, 1944) that took place during the Battle of the Bulge.

"The German officer in the car stood up, took deliberate aim with a pistol at an American medical officer in the front rank of the prisoners and fired. As the medical officer fell, the Germans fired again and another American dropped. Immediately two tanks at the end of the field opened up with their machine guns on the defenseless prisoners..."

By thew war's end it was revealed that 43% of American prisoners of war had died in Japanese camps; by contrast, 1% had died in German POW camps.

Click here to read about the Nazi murder of an American Jewish P.O.W.

Sports in Japanese Prison Camps <br />(Yank Magazine, 1944)Sports in Japanese Prison Camps
(Yank Magazine, 1944)
Assorted yarns told by liberated Allied soldiers as to the types of games played in Japanese prison camps between bouts of malaria, dysentery and gangrene:

"We had a big fellow with us in camp, a guy named Chris Bell, who was 6 feet 2 and the rocky sort. The Jap guards were having a wrestling tournament at the guardhouse and they wanted Bell to come down and wrestle one of those huge sumo men. These sumo wrestlers weigh about 300 pounds and are very agile..."

This was NOT the first time that a Japanese baseball team had faced Americans.
Click here to read about that game.

Suggested Reading:
POW Baseball in World War II: The National Pastime Behind Barbed Wire

Drawings of German POWs in America <br />(Click Magazine, 1943)Drawings of German POWs in America
(Click Magazine, 1943)
"This account of life aboard a U.S. train carrying Nazi prisoners of war to prison camps is an authentic bit of after-the battle reporting by an army MP who was a civilian artist. That his eye missed no telling detail is evident from both his first-person story and his on-the-spot pencil sketches."

"The Nazis are extremely curious about America, they gaze out of the windows constantly...War plants along our routes are the real eye-openers to the Nazis; those factories blazing away as we travel across America day after day. At first the prisoners look with mere interest and curiosity, then they stare unbelievingly, and before we reach the camps they just sit dumbfounded at the train windows."

Click here to read about Hitler's slanderous comment regarding the glutinous Hermann Goering.

The Re-Education of German Prisoners of War <br />(The American Magazine, 1946)The Re-Education of German Prisoners of War
(The American Magazine, 1946)
During the earliest days of 1944, the U.S. Army's Special Projects Division of the Office of the Provost Marshal General was established in order to take on the enormous task of re-educating 360,000 German prisoners of war. Even before the Allies had landed in France it was clear to them that the Germans would soon be blitzkrieging back to the Fatherland and in order to make smooth the process of rebuilding that nation, a few Germans would be required who understood the virtues of democracy. In order to properly see the job through, two schools were set up at Fort Getty, Rhode Island and Fort Eustis, Virginia.
70,000 American Prisoners of  War <br />(PM Tabloid, 1945)70,000 American Prisoners of War
(PM Tabloid, 1945)
In a manly display of boastful "trash-talking" a few weeks before VE-Day, the over-burdened P.R. offices of the German high command issued a statement indicating that their military had in their possession some "70,000" U.S Prisoners of war. This was in contrast to the records kept by the Pentagon whose best guess stood in the neighborhood of 48,000.

"The statement revealed that 27 of the 78 prisoner of war camps in Germany have been overrun by the Red Army and U.S./British forces, and that 15,000 Yanks have been liberated."

German and Italian P.o.W.s in America <br />(United States News, 1945)German and Italian P.o.W.s in America
(United States News, 1945)
By the end of 1944 the P.o.W. population within the U.S. stood somewhere in the neighborhood of 340,000 and was growing at a rate between 25,000 to 30,000 each month. The vast majority of them (300,000) were from the German Army and 51,000 were Italians:

"There are reports that these prisoners often are pampered, that they are getting cigarettes when American civilians cannot get them, that they are being served in their camps by American soldiers, that they are often not working at a time when war workers are scarce. The general complaint is that the 46,000 American prisoners in Germany are not faring as well as 3000,000 Germans in this country."

Read about the escaped German POWs who the FBI never found...

Fast facts about Axis P.O.W. can be read here...

German Prisoners Resisted Soviet Coercion <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1949)German Prisoners Resisted Soviet Coercion
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1949)
The article posted above pointed out that the American-held German P.O.W.s who participated in the U.S. Army's Special Projects Division were all volunteers and willing participants in the program. These Germans had shown some enthusiasm and an interest to learn about democracy and little coaxing was needed. Contrast this with the column linked to the title above that illustrated the crude manner in which the unforgiving Soviet Army chose to propagandize the malnourished German P.O.W.s who fought at Stalingrad:

"If communism provides the Utopia that Marx, Lenin and Stalin claim, why does Russia have to rule by the bayonet?"

As many of you know, the U.S.S.R. did not release most of their German P.O.W.s until the death of Stalin in 1953.

The POW Count <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945)The POW Count
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
 The Surrender of a Gestapo General <br />(Yank Magazine, 1945) The Surrender of a Gestapo General
(Yank Magazine, 1945)
Within the moldy, dank confines an abandoned brewery located within the walls of Metz, a troupe of exhausted GIs stumbled upon a German general who was earnestly hoping to avoid capture.

"He turned out to be Major General Anton Dunckern, police president of Metz and Gestapo commander for Alsace-Lorraine. He's the first big Gestapo man we've taken; he ranks close to Himmler and is one of the prize catches of the war."

The German Who Escaped <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1953)The German Who Escaped
(Collier's Magazine, 1953)
Read this unbelievable adventure by a former Afrika Korps Panzer Grenadier who, having been captured and subsequently shipped to the U.S., made good his escape from an Illinois prisoner-of-war camp - whereupon he assumed a fake identity and easily acquired a Social Security number. After having rented an apartment and worked several jobs in Chicago, he started a successful business just two years after his escape, married an American woman, sired a daughter - and he might very well have eluded the FBI entirely if he hadn't insisted all the while on sending foodstuffs to his mother in war-ravaged Germany.

The Escaped P.O.W.s That The F.B.I. Never Found <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1953)The Escaped P.O.W.s That The F.B.I. Never Found
(Collier's Magazine, 1953)
Unlike Reinhold Pabel, the W.W. II German P.O.W. whose story is told in the article posted above, the five escapees in this article remained at large long after the war ended. Five minutes researching their names on the internet revealed that every single one of them remained in the U.S. where they held jobs, paid taxes and raised families well into their golden years.
Prison Bust in Libya <br />(Yank Magazine, 1942)Prison Bust in Libya
(Yank Magazine, 1942)

Click here to read about Sikh POWs held by the Japanese...

Captured Hitlerjugend <br />(Stars & Stripes, 1944)Captured Hitlerjugend
(Stars & Stripes, 1944)
Among the thousands of German POWs captured during the Normandy campaign was this 17 year-old alumnus of the Hitler Jugend program who is the subject in the attached column. The editors at The Stars and Stripes were dumbfounded to discover how thoroughly he had been brainwashed - to prove the point, they printed their interview with the teen.

Q. If Germany wins the war, will you punish the United States?

A. We want living space.

Japanese Prisoners at Camp McCoy <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1944)Japanese Prisoners at Camp McCoy
(Collier's Magazine, 1944)
"A midget Jap submarine went aground on the morning of December 8, 1941, off the island of Oahu in Hawaii, and a lieutenant just one year out of the Imperial Naval Academy walked ashore and became the first, and for many weeks our only, W.W. II prisoner. He eventually wound up at Camp McCoy..."
He Represented Four Million POWs <br />(The American Magazine, 1943)He Represented Four Million POWs
(The American Magazine, 1943)
Here is a petite profile of Tracy Strong (1887 - 1968), who, as Director of the YMCA War Prisoners Aid Committee, had license to enter every combatant nation in order to see to the health and welfare of all POWs. Much of his work involved procuring books, sporting equipment and musical instruments to the incarcerated.
Inhumanity <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)Inhumanity
(Newsweek Magazine, 1944)
Here is a short column that recalls the bestial treatment that was meted out to the American and Filipino prisoners of war by their Japanese masters.

"For example, in August of last year, some 300 Japs attacked an unarmed litter train on the Munda Trail. They hacked twenty of the wounded to death..."

Restless Nazis in Canada <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1942)Restless Nazis in Canada
(Newsweek Magazine, 1942)
Here is an article about all the goings-on at the POW camp in Bowmanville on Lake Ontario, Canada. It concerns the German inclination to escape and the methods employed by the Canadians to keep them in place.
Nightmare At Stalag IXB <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Nightmare At Stalag IXB
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
On April 2, 1945, elements of the American First Army liberated a German prison camp adjacent to the little town of Orb, Germany:

"What they found there appalled even the toughest GI and seemed to demonstrate that in some cases at least the Germans had treated British and American prisoners of war as badly as any of the pitiful slave laborers."

An American POW On Radio Tokyo <br />(American Magazine, 1942)An American POW On Radio Tokyo
(American Magazine, 1942)
When the bright boys at Radio Tokyo decided to allow one of their half-starved American prisoners to flatter them on air, they couldn't imagine that he would take the opportunity to broadcast vital information needed by the U.S. Navy, but that's just what he did.

Click here to read an article about the American POW experience during the Korean War.

''Anger at Nazi Atrocities'' <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)''Anger at Nazi Atrocities''
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
Three Doolittle Raiders Released from Captivity <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Three Doolittle Raiders Released from Captivity
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
A report from NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE on the August 21, 1945 liberation of three Doolittle Raiders who had been in captivity since April 18, 1942.

Click here to read about the Canadian POWs who collaborated with the Nazis.

Canadian Collaborators <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Canadian Collaborators
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
A report from the trials that were held in late August, 1945, in order to prosecute those Allied POWs who collaborated with their Nazi captors. The four who were discussed in this column were all Canadians.
Repatriating The Axis PoWs <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)Repatriating The Axis PoWs
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
"For the 417,034 Axis prisoners of war in this country, the War Department last week had word that repatriation was in sight. The 362,170 Germans and 49,784 Italians definitely would be home by early Spring; the 5,080 Japanese, as soon as General of the Army MacArthur was ready to receive them."
The Murder of Grefreiter Kunz <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)The Murder of Grefreiter Kunz
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)