The History Place - World War I

French prisoners exit their barracks and report for morning roll call at Zossen prisoner of war camp south of Berlin. Below: Incoming British prisoners from the Western Front, now in Germany.

Below: German censors read all incoming and outgoing mail at Döberitz POW camp northwest of Potsdam, Germany.

Below Left: French colonial troops lined up inside Zossen POW camp. Non-European and Irish prisoners were routinely scrutinized by the Germans who were keen to detect any religious or political attitudes that could be exploited for military gain against the British in the Middle East or Ireland. Below Right: Two British youths, age 14 and 16, imprisoned at Döberitz.


Below: A work detail of British POWs returns to Döberitz. The POW camp attracted worldwide press attention after British Private William Lonsdale punched a German guard in November 1914 and was sentenced to death. Lonsdale and 250 fellow captives had failed to assemble quickly enough for the Germans and a general fracas then erupted between British prisoners and the guards. Bowing to international pressure, the death sentence was commuted to 20-years in January 1915, followed by an outright pardon from the Kaiser, seizing the propaganda opportunity.

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