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Confronting CaptivityBritain and the United States and Their POWs in Nazi Germany$
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Arieh J. Kochavi

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780807829400

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807876404_kochavi

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(p.1) Introduction
Confronting Captivity

Arieh J. Kochavi

University of North Carolina Press

During World War II, more than 2 million Allied soldiers were captured by Nazi Germany. These prisoners of war (POWs) included some 200,000 British Commonwealth and 95,000 U.S. army troops, tens of thousands of whom had spent as long as five years in prison camps. This book examines the way British and American policies on POWs evolved in the course of the war with respect to Nazi Germany and, later, Soviet Russia. In particular, it looks at the life and fate of British and American POWs in German camps, and the circumstances behind the diverging attitudes of the two governments toward the problem. The book also discusses the course of the negotiations initiated by the belligerent countries over the mutual exchange of severely wounded and sick POWs. In addition, it outlines the response of Britain and the United States to the evacuation of tens of thousands of British and American POWs to Germany following the decisive Soviet offensive early in 1945, and how the POW problem was exploited by the Soviet Union to get leverage in its negotiations with London and Washington.

Keywords:   prisoners of war, World War II, Nazi Germany, prison camps, Soviet Union, United States, Britain, POWs

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