prisoner of war

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Nazi POW Leaves Life Savings to Village Where He Was Held

Heinrich Steinmeyer wanted his money to help the elderly in Comrie

(Newser) - A former German soldier has left his life's savings to a small Scottish village where he was held as a prisoner of war during World War II, the AP reports. Heinrich Steinmeyer, a Waffen SS soldier, was 19 when he was brought to POW camp at Cultybraggan near the... More »

How 2 Nazi POWs Escaped Into the Wilds of Minnesota

They were among 13 who escaped in Minnesota during WWII

(Newser) - Nazi Cpl. Heinz Schymalla, 22, and fellow captive Walter Mai, 21, were among some 200 Germans cutting timber for Minnesota's pulp industry in a prisoner-of-war camp in 1944. Both captured in Tunisia in May 1943, they gained momentary notoriety when, moved to act in part by news that Schymalla'... More »

McCain: Trump Should Say Sorry to POWs, Not to Me

'To denigrate that service in any way is offensive to veterans,' senator says

(Newser) - Donald Trump has been vocal in his refusal to apologize to John McCain, whose war hero status Trump mocked Saturday. Trump doubled down on that to the Today show's Matt Lauer this morning, saying, "I'm not a fan of John McCain. He's done a horrible job... More »

Meet the Guy Whose Face Is on the POW Flag

Jeffrey Heisley wasn't actually a prisoner of war

(Newser) - Jeffrey Heisley was never a prisoner of war—but his silhouette has represented POWs for decades. Suffering from hepatitis, Heisley had to leave the Marine Corps' officer candidate program as a young man. In the course of the illness, he tells Fox News , "I had all my hair cut... More »

Bergdahl Was Kept in Shark Cage for Weeks

US officials also say he's in decent shape physically; mentally still unready

(Newser) - Bowe Bergdahl tried in vain to escape his Taliban captors, US officials tell the New York Times , and as punishment, he says "they kept him in a shark cage in total darkness for weeks, possibly months," says one official; that's a drastically different scenario than the Taliban... More »

White House: We Thought Bergdahl Would Be Killed

Says it bypassed Congress because of threats by Taliban

(Newser) - The Obama administration has told senators it didn't notify Congress about the pending swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials because the Taliban had threatened to kill him if the deal was made public before it happened. That's according to three congressional officials who spoke to... More »

Taliban: Here's Video of Bergdahl Handover

Afghanistan meeting lasted less than a minute

(Newser) - The moment Bowe Bergdahl saw freedom after five years of captivity is captured in a dramatic video released by the Taliban. In the 17-minute video, a clean-shaven Bergdahl can be seen waiting in a pickup truck while Taliban soldiers stand guard in eastern Afghanistan, Reuters reports. "We told them... More »

What Bergdahl Faces: a Long, Tough Road

As platoon members say 'deserter' should face trial

(Newser) - The only American POW held in Afghanistan is now free —but experts believe it could take Bowe Bergdahl a very long time to get over the physical and psychological damage of his years in captivity. It's not clear whether he was tortured by his captors, but he is... More »

US Sweetens Taliban Deal in Bid to Get POW Back

Sources say officials are willing to set 5 Gitmo prisoners free at once

(Newser) - Time is ticking away for the US to extract American POW Bowe Bergdahl before the bulk of US forces withrdraw from Afghanistan this year, and the Obama administration is now once again considering a prisoner swap. The administration is looking to re-open talks with the Taliban about trading the Army... More »

Torture Changes the Way You Feel Pain Forever

Including psychological torture

(Newser) - Torture doesn't just hurt you once, it keeps on hurting you forever, a new study in the European Journal of Pain suggests. Researchers examined 104 Israeli soldiers who fought in the 1973 war between Syria and Egypt, 60 of whom had been taken captive and tortured, gauging their reaction... More »

US POW Manages to Get Letter to Parents

Handwritten letter 'definitely from Bowe': source

(Newser) - The father of the only American prisoner of war in Afghanistan has received an early Father's Day present from his son, who was captured while deployed in the country in 2009: a handwritten letter. Bob and Jani Bergdahl say they're confident the letter was indeed written by son... More »

POW's Parents Break Silence on Potential Taliban Swap

Bowe Bergdahl's father says US is bungling his son's case

(Newser) - The US has been considering a prisoner swap with the Taliban that would free the only American prisoner of war in Afghanistan, reports the New York Times . The negotiations have apparently stalled, however, and Bowe Bergdahl's father is so fed up with the lack of progress that he's... More »

Great Escape Forger Dead at 95

Flight Lt. Alex Cassie key figure in mass breakout of German camp in WWII

(Newser) - Flight Lt. Alex Cassie, the British bomber pilot whose work as a forger of Nazi documents was immortalized in The Great Escape, has died, reports the New York Times . He was 95. Seventy-six prisoners of war escaped from the Stalag Luft III camp in eastern Germany on March 24 and... More »

Great Escape Tunnel Set for Excavation

'George,' a lesser-known tunnel, was dug after initial escape

(Newser) - It's called "George," the lesser-known tunnel of the Great Escape, and historians hope to uncover World War II equipment or personal effects when engineers excavate it. Prisoners of war dug “Tom,” “Dick,” and “Harry” for the famous 1944 escape attempt from the Nazi... More »

New Taliban Video Shows Captive US Soldier

Bowe Bergdahl spotted in propaganda video

(Newser) - The Taliban's only known American captive appears in a new propaganda video posted online. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan nearly 18 months ago, was last seen in a Taliban video released in April . There is no indication when the scenes in the video were recorded, but Bergdahl's family... More »

Maybe Bagram Will Be the New Gitmo

Administration ponders how best to handle detainees

(Newser) - President Obama's security team is for the first time writing guidelines on how to handle captured terror suspects—specifically on whether any will be allowed to be detained indefinitely without trial, the Los Angeles Times reports. Draft guidelines predict that will be necessary for a small number of detainees, with... More »

GI's Family to Taliban: Please Release Our Son

Military says video may have been filmed months ago

(Newser) - The family of an American soldier captured in Afghanistan 6 months ago "pleads with the captors to let our only son come home." Today's statement from the relatives of Pfc. Bowe Robert Bergdahl, 23, follows the release of a video in which Bergdahl speaks against the US war... More »

Israel Will Free 20 Palestinian Prisoners for Video of Soldier

Hamas says footage proves Shalit is alive

(Newser) - Israel will release 20 Palestinian women from jail in exchange for a video from Hamas proving that a young soldier captured three years ago is alive. The swap is expected to take place Friday and will lead to further negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit, now 23, who was... More »

US to Honor Nazis' Secret Soldier Slaves

350 survivors vowed to keep abuses secret

(Newser) - After 64 years, the US Army will finally honor 350 American soldiers who were tortured and enslaved during the Holocaust's final months, CNN reports. The Nazis beat, starved and forced the war prisoners to work in a section of the Buchenwald  concentration camp. Some 100 of them died, and survivors... More »

Aiming to Right History, Group Sniffs Out Fake POWs

Pretending to be war prisoner is legal, but vets say it dishonors the true heroes

(Newser) - When Richard Cayton told a Texas newspaper about his harrowing escape from captors in Vietnam, former Navy SEAL Steve Robinson thought something smelled fishy. He ran some quick checks, and told the newspaper that it had been lied to—Cayton had never been a prisoner of war. Sniffing out such... More »

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