Confronting Captivity: Britain and the United States and Their POWs in Nazi Germany

Front Cover
University of North Carolina Press, 2005 - History - 382 pages
0 Reviews
How was it possible that almost all of the nearly 300,000 British and American troops who fell into German hands during World War II survived captivity in German POW camps and returned home almost as soon as the war ended? In Confronting Captivity, Arieh J. Kochavi offers a behind-the-scenes look at the living conditions in Nazi camps and traces the actions the British and American governments took--and didn't take--to ensure the safety of their captured soldiers.

Concern in London and Washington about the safety of these POWs was mitigated by the recognition that the Nazi leadership tended to adhere to the Geneva Convention when it came to British and U.S. prisoners. Following the invasion of Normandy, however, Allied apprehension over the safety of POWs turned into anxiety for their very lives. Yet Britain and the United States took the calculated risk of counting on a swift conclusion to the war as the Soviets approached Germany from the east. Ultimately, Kochavi argues, it was more likely that the lives of British and American POWs were spared because of their race rather than any actions their governments took on their behalf.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Years of Long Captivity
Washington and American pows
Exchanging Seriously Wounded and Sick pows

5 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

World War II
G. Kurt Piehler
Snippet view - 2007

About the author (2005)

Arieh J. Kochavi is professor of modern history and chair of the history department at the University of Haifa. He is author of Post-Holocaust Politics: Britain, the United States, and Jewish Refugees, 1945-1948 and Prelude to Nuremberg: Allied War Crimes Policy and the Question of Punishment.

Bibliographic information