The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/11/17

                                                              [Page 607]

                   CHAPTER 1.-Generalities
                         ARTICLE 27

Belligerents may utilize the labor of able prisoners of war, according
to their rank and aptitude., officers and persons of equivalent status

However, if officers or persons of equivalent status request suitable
work, it shall be secured for them so far as is possible.

Noncommissioned officers who are prisoners of war shall only be required
to do supervisory work, unless they expressly request a remunerative

Belligerents shall be bound, during the whole period of captivity, to
allow to prisoners of war who are victims of accidents in connection
with their work the enjoyment of the benefit of the provisions
applicable to laborers of the same class according to the legislation of
the detaining Power. With regard to prisoners of war to whom these legal
provisions might not be applied by reason of the legislation of that
Power, the latter undertakes to recommend to its legislative body all
proper measures equitably to idemnify the victims.

             CHAPTER 2-Organization of the Labor
                         ARTICLE 28

The detaining Power shall assume entire responsibility for the
maintenance, care, treatment and payment of wages of prisoners of war
working for the account of private persons.

                         ARTICLE 29

No prisoner of war may be employed at labors for which he is physically

                         ARTICLE 30

The length of the day's work of prisoners of war, including therein the
trip going and returning, shall not be excessive and must not, in any
case, exceed that allowed for the civil workers in the region employed
at the same work. Every, prisoner shall be allowed a rest of twenty-four
consecutive hours every week, preferably on Sunday.

                 CHAPTER 3-Prohibited Labor
                         ARTICLE 31

Labor furnished by prisoners of war shall have no direct relation with
war operations. It is especially prohibited to use pris-

                                                              [Page 608]

oners for manufacturing and transporting arms or munitions of any kind,
or for transporting material intended for combatant units.

In case of violation of the provisions of the preceding paragraph,
prisoners, after executing or beginning to execute the order, shall be
free to have their protests presented through the mediation of the
agents whose functions are set forth in Articles 13 and 44, or, in the
absence of an agent, through the mediation of representatives of the
protecting Power.

                         ARTICLE 32

It is forbidden to use prisoners of war at unhealthful or dangerous

Any aggravation of the conditions of labor by disciplinary measures is

                 CHAPTER 4-Labor Detachments
                         ARTICLE -33

The system of labor detachments must be similar to that of
prisoners-of-war camps, particularly with regard to sanitary conditions,
food, attention in case of accident or sickness.. correspondence and the
receipt of packages.

Every labor detachment shall be dependent on a prisoners' camp. The
commander of this camp shall be responsible observation, in the labor
detachment, of the provisions of the present Convention.

                       CHAPTER 5-Wages
                         ARTICLE 34

Prisoners of war shall not receive wages for work connected with the
administration, management and maintenance of the camps.

Prisoners utilized for other work shall be entitled to wages to be fixed
by agreements between the belligerents.

These agreements shall also specify the part which the camp
administration may retain, the amount which shall belong to the prisoner
of war and the manner in which that amount shall be put at his disposal
during the period of his captivity.

While awaiting the conclusion of the said agreements, payment for labor
of prisoners shall be settled according to the rules given below:

a. Work done for the State shall be paid for in accordance with the
rates in force for soldiers of the national army doing the same

                                                              [Page 609]

work, or, if none exists, according to a rate in harmony. with the work

b. When the work is done for the account of other public administrations
or for private persons, conditions shall be regulated by agreement with
the military authority.

The pay remaining to the credit of the prisoner shall be delivered to
him at the end of his captivity. In case of death, it shall be forwarded
through the diplomatic channel to the heirs of the deceased.

                         ARTICLE 35

Upon the outbreak of hostilities, belligerents shall publish the
measures provided for the execution of the provisions of this seetion.

                         ARTICLE 36

Each of the belligerents shall periodically determine the number of
letters and postal cards per month which prisoners of war of the various
classes shall be allowed to send, and shall inform the other belligerent
of this number. These letters and cards shall be transmitted by post by
the shortest route. They may not be delayed or retained for disciplinary

Within a period of not more than one week after his arrival at the camp,
and likewise in case of sickness, every prisoner shall be enabled to
write his family a postal card informing it of his capture and of the
state of his health. The said postal cards shall be forwarded as rapidly
as possible and may not be delayed in any manner.

As a general rule, correspondence of prisoners shall be written in their
native language. Belligerents may allow correspondence in other

                         ARTICLE 37

Prisoners of war shall be allowed individually to receive parcels by
mail, containing foods and other articles intended to supply them with f
ood or clothing. Packages shall be delivered to the addresses and a
receipt given.

                         ARTICLE 38

Letters and consignments of money or valuables, as well as parcels by
post intended for prisoners of war or dispatched by them, either
directly, or by the mediation of the information bureaus provided for in
Article 77, shall be exempt from all postal duties in the countries of
origin and destination, as well as in the countries they pass through.

                                                              [Page 610]

Presents and relief in kind for prisoners shall be likewise exempt from
all import and other duties, as well as of payments for carriage by the
State railways.

Prisoners may, in cases of acknowledged urgency, be allowed to send
telegrams, paying the usual charges.

                         ARTICLE 39

Prisoners of war shall be allowed to receive shipmentsof books
individually, which may be subject to censorship.

Representatives of the protecting Powers and duly recognized and
authorized aid societies may send books and collections of books to the
libraries of prisoners' camps. The transmission of these shipments to
libraries may not be delayed under the pretext of censorship

                         ARTICLE 40

Censorship of' correspondence must be effected within the shortest
possible time. Furthermore, inspection of parcels post must be effected
under proper conditions to guarantee the preservation of the product,,,
which they- may contain and, if possible, in the presence of the
addressee or an agent duly, recognized by him.

Prohibitions of correspondence promulgated by the belligerents for
military or political reasons, must be transient in character and as
short as possible.

                         ARTICLE 41
Belligerents shall assure all facilities for the transmission of
instruments, papers or documents intended for prisoners of war or signed
by them, particularly of powers of attorney and wills.

They shall take the necessary measures to assure, in case of necessity,
the authentication of signatures made by prisoners.

   CHAPTER 1-Complaints of Prisoners of War Because of the
                   Conditions of Captivity
                         ARTICLE 42
Prisoners of war shall have the right to inform the military authorities
in whose power they are of their requests with regard to the conditions
of captivity to which they are subjected.

They shall also have the right to address themselves to representatives
of the protecting Powers to indicate to them the points on which they
have complaints to formulate with regard to the conditions of captivity.

                                                              [Page 611]

These requests and complaints must be transmitted immediately.

Even if they are recognized to be unfounded, they, may not occasion any

        CHAPTER 2-Representatives of Prisoners of War
                         ARTICLE 43

In every place where there are prisoners of war, they shall be allowed
to appoint agents entrusted with representing them directly with
military authorities and protecting Powers.

This appointment shall be subject to the approval of the military

The agents shall be entrusted with the reception and distribution of
collective shipments. Likewise, in case the prisoners should decide to
organize a mutual assistance system among themselves, this organization
would be in the sphere of the agents.

Further, they may lend their offices to prisoners to facilitate their
relations with the aid societies mentioned in Article 78.

In camps of officers and persons of equivalent status, the senior
officer prisoner of the highest rank shall be recognized as intermediary
between the camp authorities and the officers and persons of equivalent
status who are prisoners. For this purpose, he shall have the power to
appoint a prisoner officer to assist him as an interpreter during the
conferences with the camp authorities.

                         ARTICLE 44

When the agents are employed as laborers, their activity as
representatives of prisoners of war must be counted in the compulsory
period of labor.

All facilities shall be accorded the agents for their intercourse with
the military authorities and with the protecting Power. This intercourse
shall not be limited.

No representative of the prisoners may be transferred without the
necessary time being allowed him to inform his successors about affairs
under consideration.

     CHAPTER 3.-Penalties Applicable to Prisoners of War
                    1. General Provisions
                         ARTICLE 45

Prisoners of war shall be subject to the laws. regulations, and orders
in force in the armies of the detaining Power.

                                                              [Page 612]

An act of insubordination shall justify the adoption towards them of the
measures provided by such laws, regulations and orders.

The provisions of the present chapter, however, are reserved.

                         ARTICLE 46

Punishments other than those provided for the same acts for soldiers of
the national armies may not be imposed upon prisoners of war by the
military authorities and courts of the detaining Power.

Rank being identical, officers, non-commissioned officers or solders who
are prisoners of war undergoing a disciplinary punishment, shall not be
subject to less favorable treatment than that provided in the armies of
the detaining Power with regard to the same punishment.

Any corporal punishment, any imprisonment in quarters without daylight
and, in generalf any form of cruelty, is forbidden.

Collective punishment for individual acts is also forbidden.

                         ARTICLE 47

Acts constituting an offense against discipline, and particularly
attempted escape, shall be verified immediately; for all prisoners of
war, commissioned or not, preventive arrest shall be reduced to the
absolute minimum.

Judicial proceedings against prisoners of war shall be conducted as
rapidly as the circumstances permit; preventive imprisonment shall be
limited as much as possible.

In all cases, the duration of preventive imprisonment shall be deducted
from the disciplinary or judicial punishment inflicted, provided that
this deduction is allowed for national soldiers.

                         ARTICLE 48

Prisoners of war may not be treated differently from other prisoners
after having sulTered the judicial or disciplinary punishment which has
been imposed on them.

However, prisoners punished as a result of attempted escape may be
subjected to special surveillance, which, however, may not entail the
suppression of the guarantees granted prisoners by the present

                         ARTICLE 49

No prisoner of war may be deprived of his rank by the detaining Power.

Prisoners given disciplinary punishment may not be deprived of the
prerogatives attached to their rank. In particular, officers and persons
of equivalent status wo suffer punishment involving

                                                              [Page 613]

deprivation of liberty shall not be placedin in the same quarters as
noncommissioned officers or privates being punished.

                         ARTICLE 50

Escaped prisoners of war who are retaken before being able to rejoin
their own army or to leave the territory occupied by the army which
captured them shall be liable only to disciplinary punishment.

Prisoners who, after having succeeded in rejoining their army or in
leaving the territory occupied by the army which captured them, may-
again be taken prisoners, shall not be liable to any, punishment on
account of their previous flight.
                         ARTICLE 51

Attempted escape, even if it is a repetition of the otfense, shall not
be considered as an aggravating circumstance in case the prisoner of war
should be given over to the courts on account of crimes or offenses
against persons or property committed in the course of that attempt.

After an attempted or accomplished escape, the comrades of the person
escaping who assisted in the escape may incur only, disciplinary
punishment on this account.

                         ARTICLE 52

Belligerents shall see that the competent authorities exercise the
greatest leniency in deciding the question of whether an infraction
committed by a prisoner of war should be punished by disciplinary or
judicial measures.

This shall be the case especially when it is a question of deciding on
acts in connection with escape or attempted escape.

A prisoner may not be punished more than once because of the same act or
the same count.

                         ARTICLE 53
No prisoner of war on whom a disciplinary punishment has been imposed,
who might be eligible for repatriation, may be kept back because he has
not undergone the punishment.

Prisoners to be repatriated who might be threatened with a penal
prosecution may be excluded from repatriation until the end of the
proceedings and, if necessary, until the completion of the punishment;
those who might already be imprisoned by reason of a sentence may be
detained until the end of their imprisonment.

Belligerents shall communicate to each other the lists of those who may
not be repatriated for the reasons given in the preceding Paragraph.

                                                              [Page 614]

                 2. Disciplinary Punishments
                         ARTICLE 54
Arrest is the most severe disciplinary punishment which may be imposed
on a prisoner of war.

The duration of a single punishment may not exceed thirty days.

This maximum of thirty days may not, further, be exceeded in the case of
several acts for which the prisoner has to undergo discipline at the
time when it is ordered for him, whether or not these acts are

When, during or after the end of a period of arrest, a prisoner shall
have a new disciplinary punishment imposed upon him, a space of at least
three days shall separate each of the periods of arrest, if one of them
is ten days or more.

                         ARTICLE 55

Subject to the provisions given in the last paragraph of Article 11,
food restrictions allowed in the armies of the detaining Power are
applicable, as an increase in punishment, to prisoners of war given
disciplinary punishment.

However, these restrictions may be ordered only if the state of health
of the prisoners punished permits it.

                         ARTICLE 56

In no case may prisoners of war be transferred to penitentiary
establishments (prison, penitentiaries, convict prisons, etc.) there to
undergo disciplinary punishment.

The quarters in which they undergo disciplinary punishment shall conform
to sanitary requirements.

Prisoners punished shall be enabled to keep themselves in a state of

These prisoners shall every day be allowed to exercise or to stay in the
open air at least two hours.

                         ARTICLE 57

Prisoners of war given disciplinary punishment shall be allowed to read
and write, as well as to send and receive letters.

On the other hand, packages and money sent may not be delivered to the
addressees until the expiration of the punishment.  If the packages not
distributed contain perishable products, these shall be turned over to
the camp infirmary or kitchen.

                         ARTICLE 58

Prisoners of war given disciplinary punishment shall be allowed, on
their request, to be present at the daily medical inspec-

                                                              [Page 615]

tion. They shall receive the care consicterect necessary by the doctors
and, if necessary, shall be removed to the camp infirmary or to

                         ARTICLE 59

Excepting the competence of courts and higher military authorities,
disciplinary punishment may be ordered only by an officer provided with
disciplinary powers in his capacity as commander of a camp or
detachment, or by the responsible otlicer replacing him.

                      3. Judicial Suits
                         ARTICLE 60

At the opening of a judicial proceeding directed against a prisoner of
war, the detaining Power shall advise the representative of the
protecting Power thereof as soon as possible, and always before the date
set for the opening of the trial.

This advice shall contain the following information:

a. Civil state and rank of prisoner;

b. Place of sojourn or imprisonment;

c. Specification of the [count] or counts of the indictment, giving the
legal provisions applicable.

If it is not possible to mention in that advice the court which will
pass upon the matter. the date of opening the trial and the place where
it will take place, this information must be furnished to the
representative of the protecting Power later, as soon as possible, and
at all events, at least three weeks before the opening of the trial.

                         ARTICLE 61

No prisoner of war may be sentenced without having had an opportunity to
defend himself.

No prisoner may be obliged to admit himself guilty of the act of which
he is accused.

                         ARTICLE 62

The prisoner of war shall be entitled to assistance by a qualified
counsel of his choice, and, if necessary, to have recourse to the
services of a competent interpreter. He shall be advised of his right by
the detaining Power, in due time before the trial. In default of a
choice by the prisoner, the protecting Power may obtain a counsel for
him. The detaining Power shall deliver to the protecting Power, on its
request, a list of persons qualified to present the defense.

Representatives of the protecting Power shall he entitled to attend the
trial of the case.

                                                              [Page 616]

The only exception to this rule is the case where the trial of the case
must be secret in the interest of the safety of the State. The detaining
Power should so advise the protecting Power.

                         ARTICLE 63

Sentence may be pronounced against a prisoner of war only by the same
courts and according to the same procedure as in the case of persons
belonging to the armed forces of the detaining Power.

                         ARTICLE 64

Every prisoner of war shall have the right of appeal against any
sentence rendered with regard to him, in the same way as individuals to
the protecting Power immediately.

                         ARTICLE 65

Sentences pronounced against prisoners of war shall be communicated to
the protecting Power immediately.

                         ARTICLE 66

If the death penalty is pronounced against a prisoner of war, a
communication setting forth in detail the nature and circumstances of
the ofTense shall be sent as soon as possible to the representative of
the protecting Power, for transmission to the Power in whose armies the
prisoner served.

The sentence shall not be executed before the expiration of a period of
at least three months after this communication.

                         ARTICLE 67

No prisoner of war may be deprived of the benefit of the provisions of
Article 42 of the present Convention as a result of a sentence or

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