Economics and External Relations of Prisoners of War
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After the average prisoner of war had been captured, processed, and sent to a permanent camp, the next major evolution in his captivity which he could expect was the beginning of a work regime. It was, according to all of the countries which had signed the Geneva Convention, entirely reasonable to expect that at least some of the costs for maintaining the prisoners would be defrayed by putting them to work, and the Convention dedicated a separate section, comprised of articles 27 to 34, to this issue. The basic rule was that, with the exception of officers, the Detaining Power had the right to require labor of any prisoner who was physically fit. Noncommissioned officers could only be compelled to work in a supervisory capacity. Officers could, upon their request and if work “suitable” to their rank existed, be employed for pay; noncommissioned officers could likewise be employed for pay as general laborers (and not supervisors), if they so requested. Accident benefits and compensation for prisoners of war were to be the same as those which existed for normal workmen in the country.1
KeywordsExternal Relation Geneva Convention Main Camp German Manual German Worker
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