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The story of Jewish POWs from western armies in German captivity during the Second World War is extraordinary.  While their civilian and Soviet POW brethren were being starved, worked to death, and murdered, these POWs were usually not discriminated against and were treated, in most cases, according to the 1929 Geneva Convention. Focusing on the experience of American and British Jewish POWs, this paper looks at the personal experience of these POWs and addresses the question, what was it like to be an American or British Jewish POW in Nazi captivity? Specifically, the paper looks at the lives of American and British Jewish POWs throughout their captivity lifecycle, from the moment of capture, facing the decision whether to declare one’s ethnicity, through their lives in the POW camps, the interaction they had with their captors, to the various ways they displayed their Jewish identity through religious and cultural activities and funerals, and their interaction with their doomed civilian brethren.

Dr Yorai Linenberg is an honorary research fellow of the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, London.


All welcome- this seminar is free to attend but advance registration is required.

This session is a hybrid session and in-person tickets are limited.