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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

Traditional Laws of War
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Dead soldiers

Dead Confederate soldiers in the Battle of Gettysburg's "slaughter pen" during the U.S. Civil War.

Old cannon

A cannon used in the American Civil War.

The Lieber Code broke new ground in dictating military conduct during warfare. Principally, it created a clear distinction between permissible conduct towards combatants (also called belligerents) and non-combatants. Non-combatants -- the civilian population -- were to receive fundamentally different treatment during armed conflict, including protection from the conflict. In addition, the Lieber Code established specific conditions for the treatment of prisoners of war by the capturing forces.

The Lieber Code broke new ground in dictating military conduct during warfare, distinguishing between soldiers and civilians.
Pervasive throughout the Lieber Code was an understanding that all soldiers were to be treated equally regardless of "class, color, or condition." Professor Lieber was particularly concerned about the treatment African-American Union soldiers would receive if captured by the Confederacy. The importance of this tenet, however, did not end with the United States Civil War; it and would play an important role in World War II, when, as happened at Berga, Jewish Allied soldiers were not afforded the required prisoner-of-war protections.
Next: World War II and Berga

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