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Click to enlargeHe is alive! He will come home!image ref:
This is a photomontage from the Russian propaganda illustrated news-sheet Front-Illustrierte dropped over the German front lines in the East in 1942. It shows a happy family, the father sitting out the war safely in a Russian PoW camp and his wife and children at home in receipt of his letters, happy in the knowledge that he will eventually return to them. The reality of surrender was, of course, very different. Any soldier who fell for this ploy would receive very harsh treatment and few PoWs survived to return to Germany.
Click to enlargeChoosing a book in the Camp libraryimage ref:
This is one of a series of 12 leaflets dropped by the Germans over Allied troops in Italy in 1944. They all depict scenes of life in a PoW camp. This one, no.6 in the series, shows the camp library and states, in the text on the reverse, that a prisoner "can even aquire a university degree as special boards of examination recignised by your country are appointed fir this purpose". This is not so fanciful as it seems and there is one case known to War Images where a British PoW was able to satisfy the requirements for a law degree whilst in a German camp. The necessary books and papers were acquired through the Red Cross and a Cambridge academic who was also a prisoner was able to supervise the examination. The degree congregation was held after the war.
Click to enlargeThe treatment of German PoWs by the British and Americansimage ref:
In 1994, this leaflet was disseminated by the Allies in Germany to addresses the belief that the reported good treatment of German PoWs was a lie. It was thought too good to be true. To counter this, the leaflet contains photos of prisoners in the camps, this one showing them eating a meal, and reproduces excerpts from letters written home by named prisoners extolling the conditions they were living in.
Click to enlargeMom's apple pieimage ref:
In 1944, this leaflet was dropped by the Royal Australian Air Force over starving Japanese soldiers in the New Guinea and New Britain area. It is a surrender leaflet, the text on the revers reading, "The bearer has ceased resistance (the word surrender would cause offence to a Japanese soldier and was not used) . He should be treated well, in accordance with International Law". The picture of food is designed to illustrate the good treatment in a PoW camp, but is meat and rice, finished off with a piece of mom's apple pie and custard, likely to appeal to the ordinary Japanese soldier? It is questionable!
Click to enlargeWhy be hungry?image ref:
Dropped over North Korean Army soldiers in 1951, this leaflet (coded 1122) shows a communist soldier, safe behind UN lines, enjoying hot rice. The leaflet says, "with his stomach filled with hot rice and vegetables he now enjoys life away from the war ... But what about you soldier? ... Why be hungry when the UN offers you an abundance of good food ... save your life - escape to the UN lines."
Click to enlargeIn the club of a detention campimage ref:
Amongst the leaflets the North Vietnamese disseminated to American soldiers in Vietnam were a number of photocards each showing a scene of the good life enjoyed in a "detention camp" for captured and surrendered GIs. This one shows two First Lieutenants leisurely playing pool. The reality of life in communist PoW camps was, of course, quite different. It was brutal with few creature comforts. The picture quite subtly does the talking as the short message on the reverse does not refer to surrender or the conditions in the camps. It urges that "Not one more American to be turned into a killer of the Vietnamese paople. Demand that Nixon end the war of aggression in Vietnam, withdraw all U.S. troops .... and let the Vietnamese settle their own affairs".

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