We Were Each Other's Prisoners: An Oral History of World War II American and German Prisoners of War

Synopsis

During the Second World War, Germany captured nearly 94,000 American soldiers, while the Allies shipped almost 380,000 Germans to the United States. We Were Each Other's Prisoners compares, for the first time ever, stories of POWs from both sides of the conflict: From the anti-Nazi German soldier who tried desperately to turn himself in rather than fight for Hitler, to the U. S. prisoner who thrice escaped his German captors- the last time to join Russian troops in the Battle of Berlin, to the Jewish-American prisoner who was sent to a slave labor camp. Culled from more than 150 interviews with 35 American and German surviving POWs, the book addresses larger political and psychological issues:• What does it mean to be a prisoner, especially for men whose cultures prize individual heroism?• Why did conditions differ so dramatically in American and German camps? How were these men received upon their return to their homeland?• How have they coped with the long-term effects of incarceration?