Prisoners of War 1914-1918 : Download original documents

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Introduction

Our aim on this site is to provide interesting and useful content relating to WW1 prisoners of war. We also offer a number of downloadable PDF files (eBooks) which were compiled from contemporary primary documents.

At present, the site consists of four main 'Sections' with each offering  information about prisoners and the camps they were in. In addition - and also within the sections - a number of relevant eBooks are displayed (compiled from official, semi-official and private sources) which are available to download at low prices.

The Sections can be accessed from the top navigation bar. There are also a number of sub-pages offering more content and eBooks to download. The sub-pages can be accessed from the menu on the left of this text.

 


The Sections

The PDF files in Section 1  are mainly about the camps and the running of them, from the perspective of both the Allies and Central Powers. For example, in this section is a (1917) private publication which informed the public of the whereabouts of the main prison camps (180) in Germany and Austria and a map showing the location of a large number of them. Also in this section is a booklet (c.1915) telling of alleged cruel treatment imposed on some British prisoners as they were taken into Germany early in the war. In addition, an extremely informative book (1918) comments on Britain's treatment of prisoners.

The PDF files in Section 2  are particularly interesting. These are some of the so called 'White Papers'. This was an informal name for parliamentary papers which reflected government policy or proposed action or as in this case, reports provided by inspectors of prison camps and prisoners. Mr. James W. Gerard, United Stares Ambassador in Berlin, directed the investigations until the USA entered the war in 1917.

The PDF files in Section 3  are mainly official and semi-official Red Cross and comforts for Prisoners  reports. In addition, there are PoW related accounts by the popular press and 'war weeklies' and chapters that appeared in multi-volume histories of the conflict.

The PDF files in Section 4  are copies of journals and periodicals produced by camp inmates or the camp authorities. The eBooks will include material published in prisoner of war camps, civilian internee camps and by prisoners exchanged to camps in neutral countries - such as Switzerland and Holland.

 

 

About the eBooks

Some of the documents offered on this site can be quite difficult lo find as original publications. Here is an opportunity to obtain copies of them without a complicated (and perhaps futile) search elsewhere.

All the documents (as eBooks) are viewed exactly as they were produced almost a hundred years ago. They are not amended or altered in any shape or form. One or two may have small stains or rust-spots or folds-marks on a page here and there or slight fading of the text, but this is often the case with documents almost a century old and particularly when many were printed on low quality war-time paper.

However, most of the items are O.K., all are readable and you may just find the information you have been searching for.

For easier reading, the pages of each eBook can be printed-out and then read as a physical book.

 

Family Historians
If you are researching the military aspect of your Family History during WW1, particularly so, if one of your ancestors was a prisoner of war or perhaps held captive as a civilian internee during the conflict, you may find useful information in these primary content eBooks.

For example, You could discover the rules and regulations that applied at a given camp and the conditions prevailing there during your ancestors period of captivity. For instance, many of the official so called 'white papers' go into quite extensive detail when describing the camps.