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Old 21-01-21, 10:49 AM
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Default WW2 POW Repatriation???

Dear All,
I hope you are coping well with all these difficult conditions?
Can anyone please help me out regarding WW2 POW repatriations?
I have searched the Forum and can find articles on WW1 POW repatriation, but can't find anything about WW2 POW repatriations.
I have been looking at British POW's in German hands lists and note some being repatriated in 1942, 1943, etc, and wondered why this may be the case. My first thought was that they might be sick men being sent home to die, but I have nothing to base that upon, other than sympathetic female intuition.
Looking at the WW1 threads, it looks like an agreement was in place where men with more than 4 children were exchanged. I hadn't thought of that! Was that the case in WW2 as well?
Can anyone help please?
many thanks and stay safe.
Amy
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Old 21-01-21, 11:59 AM
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Amy
Don't know if you've tried but the International Red Cross archives may be of some assistance ... www.icrc.org
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Old 21-01-21, 12:07 PM
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Found this :
The Geneva Convention makes provision for the repatriation of all Prisoners of War, even during hostilities. During 1939-1945 it was only possible for the British and Germans to reach agreement over the seriously ill and disabled. For the majority of the 40,000 British servicemen who were taken prisoner in 1939 and 1940, the war was to be a very long and dispiriting experience.

Negotiations, conducted through the Red Cross, over the repatriation of seriously wounded men, had begun in late 1940. They did not progress very far because there were far fewer German men in this category than British. It was only after substantial numbers of Germans were taken prisoner in the Desert campaign of 1942 that the talks resumed. The actual exchange of prisoners did not take place until October 1943:

https://ww2today.com/19th-october-19...and%20disabled.


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Old 23-01-21, 10:40 AM
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Sunray9 / Mike Vee, very many thanks for your really very kind replies. I don't have many books or resources but do my level best to find things out for myself before asking for help. So, thank you fir helping me. So, I found that Britain and Germany had a deal regarding POW exchange during early WW2. However, Germany insisted on a one-for-one exchange rate. As they had over 40,000 of our POW's and we had very few Germans, nothing happened. However, as we starting to have big successes in North Africa, etc, the Germans came on board. So, in late 1943 our POW's started to be exchanged via Sweden/Denmark back to the U.K. I looked at these men and heartbreakingly I can see that many had TB, were blind or deaf and were amputees. This answers lots of questions for me and again can I please thank you Sinray9 and Mike Vee for taking the time and trouble to help me. If everyone gave a bit and took a bit we would all have a greater understanding of these events that have shaped all our lives thanks to the actions and in many cases sacrifices of our ancestors. Stay safe everyone, Amy
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Old 23-01-21, 10:40 AM
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Thank you Mike Vee.
Amy
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Old 23-01-21, 10:41 AM
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Thank you Sunray9
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Old 23-01-21, 10:49 PM
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My Grandfather was a corporal in the 2nd battalion The Royal Norfolk Regiment and was captured on the retreat to Dunkirk. He was horribly wounded and was lucky enough to be picked up by the Wehrmacht unlike some of his battalion....

He spoke highly of the skill, dedication and compassion of the German medical services who he owed his life to. My Grandmother didn't know of his fate for many months, which in todays society is almost incomprehensible.

So, after a spell in a POW camp (Stalag XXIA) he was one of the lucky ones that was repatriated in 1943 aboard a Swedish ship. I say lucky, but his life was never the same. He spent many years in and out of hospital, he walked with a terrible limp and the skin on his chest was like something out of a horror film. He also had some funny habits that as children we found highly amusing. It was only years later when we were older that we could finally understand what he had gone through, yet he never expected to be treated any different and like so many of his generation rarely spoke of it even when pressed by his inquisitive grandchildren.

When he passed away, he left me a box with his medals and a few badges and buttons in. There was also a lot of of paperwork and photos as well, which contained nearly every item relating to this repatriation from the labels that he wore to the magazine from the Swedish liner that he sailed home on.
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