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This is an introduction to the First World War Central Power POW Camps photo gallery that is a companion work to Steuer's e-book, Pursuit of an "Unparalleled Opportunity": The American YMCA and Prisoner-of-War Diplomacy among the Central Power Nations during World War I, 1914-1923. The images include a wide range of photographs, drawings, paintings, maps, and other images from Austrian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, German, and Turkish prison camps during the First World War which illustrate the daily life of Allied war prisoners in and outside of prison facilities. The text and database images show the activities in these camps and address the general topics of capture, prison camp order and operations, nutrition, fire safety and prevention, welfare and relief services, entertainment, education, sports, religion, medical care, hygiene and sanitation, postal systems, labor, finances and banking, crime and punishment, repatriation, and post-war relief work for Russian war prisoners. A detailed overview of the subject headings and key terms used in the categorizing the collection are provided in an appendix. While life in Central Power prison camps was difficult for Allied POW's, German and Austro-Hungarian authorities attempted to follow international law and promote the health and welfare of war prisoners under their care. Exceptions to this thesis were few in number and often implemented by individual camp commandants. In contrast to Allied POW experiences in World War II, Entente prisoners received far better treatment and care in the Great War.


Attached is a list of keywords to use in searching this photo gallery.

POW Camps - Search terms.pdf (122 kB)
Key Word List