• World War II in Color

    German POWs on the Farm



    In 1946, the year after the end of World War Two, more than 400,000 German prisoners of war (POWs) were still being held in Britain, with POW camps on the outskirts of most towns. Clement Attlee's post-war government deliberately ignored the Geneva Convention by refusing to let the Germans return home until well after the war was over.
    During 1946, up to one fifth of all farm work in Britain was being done by German POWs, and they were also employed on road works and building sites. Fraternisation between the soldiers and the local population was strictly forbidden by the British government, and repatriation progressed extremely slowly. Then the ban on fraternisation was finally lifted - just in time for Christmas 1946. In towns across Britain, many people chose to put the war behind them and invite German POWs to join them for a family Christmas - the first the men had experienced in years.
    Source: BBC
    Prisoner of war camps in the UK: German PoWs somewhere in England bring in the harvest. 

    German POWs helping on an English farm. In the partly-industrialized countryside, these men proved invaluable. Many were asked if they wanted to come back in a civilian capacity.


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