Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Berga: Soldiers of Another War
Stories of Berga What Would You Do? Timeline & Maps Berga and Beyond War Crimes
Intro Part I. Identity Part II. Escape Part III. Sabotage Part IV. Death March
Part III. Sabotage -- Do you sabotage the machinery?Prisoners working
Prisoners working; outside the mines

According to the provisions of the Geneva Convention, most P.O.W.s were required to perform labor for their captors. Enlisted men were required to perform whatever labor they were asked and able to do, so long as it was not dangerous and did not support the German war effort. Officers were not required to work, although they could volunteer; non-commissioned officers were only required to work in a supervisory role.

Nearly all of the 350 American prisoners at Berga were forced to work, without adequate clothing or rest, in unventilated mines, digging tunnels for an underground armaments factory -- clearly a violation of the Geneva Convention's guidelines. Not all of the soldiers were aware of how egregiously their rights were being violated, but in any case the soldiers were mindful of how directly their work contributed to their enemy's war effort. Some felt the logical thing to do was to undermine the progress of the mine tunnels in any way they could.

Question: Do you sabotage the machinery? Answer:
Yes No

© 2003 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

E-mail this page Print this page About the Film For Teachers Resources Pledge Sitemap