“I have read in my earlier years about prisoners in the revolutionary war, and other wars. It sounded noble and heroic to be a prisoner of war, and accounts of their adventures were quite romantic; but the romance has been knocked out of the prisoner of war business, higher than a kite. It's a fraud
.” [more inside]
In the latter years of the second world war, the economist RA Radford was a prisoner of war. After the war ended, he wrote this
now well known (if you're an economist) article on the economic structures that emerged in the POW camps. (JSTOR link
) [more inside]
‘Even to this day the diary has a slight aroma of cocoa,’ says Steve Dickinson about a diary kept by his uncle Robert Dickinson
while a prisoner at Servigliano
, an Italian war camp, in the 1940s. The diary has a cover made of old cocoa tins (hence the smell) with a broadcast aerial design incorporating the title 'Servigliano Calling.' It begins with his capture by the Germans in November 1941, and finishes, about six months before his death, in September 1944. Via The Diary Junction
I didn't know there were POW camps in the US
during World War II, let alone so many of them. The list of camps
is extensive, but not on any list I've seen so far is the former Wright Field
(currently Wright-Patterson Air Force Base). The base is preserving the walls of the former mess hall where German POWs
left a cool set of freaky demonic murals
filled with old germanic folklore. The story behind them
is a interesting read.
"I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney
, You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood
. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they
told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"
You, Sir, are an unprivileged belligerent...
The US charge David Hicks, the one Australian in Guantanamo, with being an "unprivileged belligerent". Confused? Try this brief (PDF)
from Harvard's Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (cached HTML
) and learn how to ensure that your belligerentness stays privileged (and thus grants you rights as a prisoner of war).
Torture and Truth
and The Logic of Torture
--Mark Danner writes about Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade (The Taguba Report)
and Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the Treatment by the Coalition Forces of Prisoners of War and Other Protected Persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq During Arrest, Internment and Interrogation
in the former and concludes thusly in the latter:Behind the exotic brutality so painstakingly recorded in Abu Ghraib, and the multiple tangled plotlines that will be teased out in the coming weeks and months about responsibility, knowledge, and culpability, lies a simple truth, well known but not yet publicly admitted in Washington: that since the attacks of September 11, 2001, officials of the United States, at various locations around the world, from Bagram in Afghanistan to Guantanamo in Cuba to Abu Ghraib in Iraq, have been torturing prisoners. (More Within)
The last World War Two Japanese soldier surrendered in the Philippines in 1980
, ending a stream of holdouts. This is their story