The Great War Part 233, February 1st 1919

402 The Great War indicating the harsh treatment of German prisoners by Great Britain. That must have been the impression which he intended to give and it was a deliberate misrepresentation, for from his position he could not but be well aware that German prisoners were treated in hospital precisely the same as British soldiers no difference being made between them by the doctors and nurses. Wherever it was practicable German-speaking nurses were provided for these prisoners besides official interpreters were in attendance and when these were unavailable the orderlies made use of small conversation books furnished for the express purpose in order that they might understand and minister to the requirements of these Germans. Such were the facts and it was impossible to believe that Hinden-burg was not familiar with them particularly as the war had been ongoing for more than two years when he made his statement. Hindenburgs calumniating remark was published in January 1917. Long before that the German Government, through the medium of the American Embassy in Berlin and “NOT SINGLES PIE B S U TIN BAT T A LIONS .”Batch of German prisoners taken by the British in France. The men assembled atone of the clearing depots represented a single days capture on one sector of the front. On each successive day during the closing months of the war the depot was thronged by a similar crowd of captives. from other disinterested sources had obtained unimpeachable evidence with respect to the British treatment of German prisoners of war. In his famous book “My Four Years ”in Germany Mr. James W. Gerard stated that when he was American Ambassador so many reports came to Germany about the “bad treatment in England of German prisoners of war ”that he arranged to send a member of his staff to Great Britain to investigate and say what really was the case. This gentleman was the American inquiry Hon. John B. Jackson formerly American into the facts Minister to the Balkan States who had volunteered to assist Mr. Gerard at the beginning of the war. He had been Secretary of the Embassy in Berlin for twelve years in a previous period of his career and therefore was well acquainted not only with Germany hut with German official life and customs. He also was the personal choice of the German authorities for this particular inquiry. The British Government before whom the matter was brought by Mr. Page then American Ambassador in London, gave permission to Mr. Jackson to inspect all the prison camps in the United Kingdom a task for which he was peculiarly well qualified, inasmuch ashe had conducted similar investigations with regard to the prison camps in Germany a short time before. Mr. Jackson arrived in England in the course of the winter of 1914-15 and he was authorised by the British Government to visit all the prison camps in the country without any previous intimation of his coming and to talk freely with any of the German prisoners without any third party being present. He issued his report in April, 1915 having gone over thirteen places and nine ships in which were interned Germans of whom there were then about 26000 the great majority being civilians including ordinary seamen. A t that time there were more than 70000 German subjects or persons of German birth in the United Kingdom, and the number of those interned was under 20000. Mr. Jackson heard of no woman being interned. He was given every opportunity of seeing every­thing and of finding out anything if there was anything to find out. He conversed with the prisoners and listened to all they had to tell him there was no supervision dictation or interference of any sort by the British authorities during these talks Mr. Jackson and the prisoners were left absolutely to themselves and he got at what really was in their minds. Twice he had luncheon with German officer prisoners no British officer or soldier being present. Without exception the German officers assured him that they had always been treated as “officers and gentlemen ”by the British. He discovered that while in their camps these officers did practically what they pleased and that there was no direct contact between them and the British officers and soldiers on guard except when they were outside the wire enclosure. Speaking of the camps generally Mr. Jackson noted that the German prisoners did their own police and fatigue work. He observed that at Frith Hill Camp at Frimley near Aldershot the prisoners ran their “own
Add Names

Disclaimer

We have sought to ensure that the content of this website complies with UK copyright law. Please note however, that we may have been unable to ascertain the rights holders of some items. Where we have digitised items, we have done so with items that to the best of our knowledge, following due investigations, are in the public domain. While the original works are in the public domain we reserve all rights to the usage of the digital works.

The document titled The Great War Part 233, February 1st 1919 is beneath this layer.

To view this document now, please sign up as a full access member.

Free Account Registration

Please enter your first name
Please enter your surname
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter your password
By creating an account you agree to us emailing you with newsletters and discounts, which you can switch off in your account at any time

Already a member? Log in now
Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait