Prisoners of War

“For you, the war is over” went the greeting that the Germans allegedly offered newly captured Allied soldiers. While their imprisonment may have meant an end to combat, for prisoners of war (POWs) held during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, incarceration marked the beginning of a new chapter of pain, suffering, and deprivation. Whether they were held by the enemy for five months or five years, prisoners of war routinely faced torture, starvation, and disease. Often cut off from any communication with their loved ones, POWs relied on each other for support and survival. Here, we present stories from POWs who endured some of the worst that these wars had to offer.