Archives of the International Prisoners of War Agency, 1914-1923

Documentary heritage submitted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2007.

© ICRC

August 1914. The world went to war and, for 52 months, the human race was torn apart by brutality, violence and unspeakable suffering.

The archives of the International Prisoners of War Agency (IPWA), a body created during the early days of the war, bear witness to the scale of the suffering endured by victims of the war across the world. Seven million soldiers were taken prisoner, many civilians were interned on enemy soil and millions more endured military occupation by the enemy or fled from combat zones and occupied territories. These documents are symbolic of an event that shaped the modern world.

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