American prisoners of war line up outside the Parcel Post Office at Rastatt with ten days' supply of food in the boxes on their shoulders. This food was sent to the prison camp by the American Red Cross to make sure that American soldiers survived their captivity in Germany. The line in the front of the photograph is carrying out their parcels while the line in the rear enters the building to receive their rations. The generous amount of food received by American POW's during the famine conditions in Germany caused by the Allied naval blockade caused a great deal of consternation among German authorities, especially when guards caught American POW's "playing with their food." As one prisoner pointed out, canned food would not spoil even if the prisoners had a little fun playing games.
Germany, Rastatt, Welfare, Parcels, American Red Cross, American POWs, World War 1914-1918