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Berga: Soldiers of Another War
Stories of Berga What Would You Do? Timeline & Maps Berga and Beyond War Crimes
Intro POWs and the Laws of War WWII and Its Legacy
POWs and the Laws of War
Intro Traditional Laws of War World War II and Berga The Legacy of WWII

World War II and Berga
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Soldiers being carried

Dead and wounded soldiers being removed from the battlefield.
The most significant early development in the law governing the treatment of prisoners of war stemmed from the experiences of World War I. The 1929 Conventions Between the United States of America and Other Powers, Relating to Prisoners of War -- often called the 1929 Geneva Convention -- was based in large part on these practical experiences as well as on two previous international agreements: the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions on the Laws and Customs of War on Land.


The 1899 Hague Convention's Annex devoted eighteen of its sixty articles to laying out the treatment and maintenance of prisoners of war.

Soldiers in line

Captured soldiers being escorted to prisoner camps.
The 1899 Hague Convention's Annex devoted eighteen of its sixty articles to laying out the treatment and maintenance of prisoners of war. These same eighteen articles, with minor changes in text, were included in the 1907 Hague Convention. These early conventions set forth basic principles that continue to govern the treatment of prisoners of war. Most importantly, these conventions defined who qualified for protection as a prisoner of war.

In order to qualify, one must be a belligerent. A belligerent is a person who is part of an army, militia, or volunteer corps that is (1) commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (2) wears a fixed, distinctive emblem that is recognizable at a distance; (3) carries arms openly; and (4) conducts its operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. Under these Conventions, if an individual captured by the enemy met this criteria, he or she was entitled to be treated as a prisoner of war.
Berga - The Investigation and Trial

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