June 19, 2019: The Red Cross and Prisoners of War

Red Cross Prisoners of War Bulletin, published September 1943.

Among the items I cataloged today is a newsletter printed by the American Red Cross titled, “Red Cross Prisoners of War Bulletin,” dated September 1943. These bulletins were delivered to families whose relatives were prisoners of war across the world. Topics covered included information on the locations of prison camps and the conditions within the camps.

Part of my interest in World War II relates to the home front, and the sacrifices made by American civilians for the war effort. Working at the history center has helped broaden my understanding of how families coped with the war. This particular issue was addressed to Helen Thrasher, whose son, William, was a POW captured by the Japanese and killed in captivity in 1944. Prisoners of war held by the Japanese were subjected to terrible conditions, so undoubtedly these newsletters provided valuable information to assure families of the well being of their relatives.

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