This is coolbert:
Continuing with extracts and comments from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier".
Prisoner of War. POW!
And those two words from the era of the Second World War [WW2] as associated with POW being PRODIGIOUS and ALAS.
A. Prodigious in that on both sides so many POW captured?
B. Alas that so many POW perishing!
Attitudes toward the POW both barbaric, cruel, even sadistic.
1. "War Against the Subhumans"
"'All you have to do is look at the Russian prisoners. Hardly ever do you see the face of a person who seems rational and intelligent. They all look emaciated and the wild half-crazy look in their eyes makes them appear like imbeciles. And these scoundrels, led by Jews and criminals, wanted to imprint their stamp on Europe, indeed on the world. Thank God that our Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, is preventing this from happening! . . . This war against these sub-human beings is about over. It's almost insulting when you consider that drunken Russian criminals have been let loose against us. We really let them have it!'" - - Fuchs, Nazi officer
"'the War against Russian will be such that is cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of the ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness . . . I insist absolutely that my orders be executed without contradiction. The [Red] commissars are the bearers of ideologies directly opposed to National Socialism. Therefore the [Red] commissars will be liquidated. German soldiers guilty of breaking international law . . . will be excused.'" - - A. Hitler.
2. "Prisoners of War and War Criminals"
"Of the 9 million German soldiers serving in the Wehrmacht in 1945, more than 7 million became prisoners of war. More than 4 million were taken prisoner by the Americans and British before and after the surrender. All German POW's still being held by the western Allies were freed by 1948, but three hundred thousand had died of a result of mistreatment while in American and French captivity. The death rate among the 6 million Germans taken captive by the Russians over the course of the war was much higher, with well over half perishing."
"Up to twenty thousand Germans died clearing minefields in France - - a direct violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention, which prohibited use of POW's for dangerous work."
We have to be absolutely clear so even persons possessing a mere baccalaureate degree can understand this with 100 % certainty.
Enormous numbers of POW continuing to expire long AFTER HOSTILITIES AND ACTUAL SHOOTING HAD FINISHED!!
3. "German Prisoners of War"
Allied forces, American and British it generally being conceded that their treatment of the German POW more humane.
* "After interrogation, German POW's were classified based on their political nature. Each man was graded White, Grey, or Black."
* "'Whites' were those judged to be anti-Nazi and who might be persuaded to work actively for the Allies"
* "The 'Greys' were those POW's who showed themselves not to have any particular political allegiance but were thought unlikely to work for the Allies."
* "'Blacks' however, were those prisoners who showed true loyalty to Hitler and National Socialism . . . most were sent to Canada or America."
4. "Chaos and Revenge"
See item # 1 above!
"Conditions were harsh for all POW's taken by the Germans, but in the Soviet Union the Wehrmacht was given great latitude and even encouragement to either kill outright or starve to death prisoners of war. Nearly 6 million Soviet soldiers were captured by the Germans. Almost 60 percent of them died in captivity. This death rate was unprecedented in modern warfare and derives from several factors."
* "First the Germans executed POW's who were Communists, intellectuals, and Jews immediately upon capture. Military historians estimate that over half a million Russian POW's did not survive their first day as prisoners."
* "Second, the Germans did little to prepare for the huge numbers of Russian prisoners they captured and so killed them through deliberate neglect. POW's were routinely exposed to the elements . . . given little or no medical attention, and fed very little."
Indeed, according to my understanding, those first German military units reconstituted in the aftermath of WW2 Kriegsmarine sailors organized into sea-mine clearing contingents under the commander of Kapitan Rossing! German POW willing to do work no one else wanted to do.