Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York


When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

When questioned, a prisoner of war is required by the Geneva Conventions and this Code to give name, rank, service number (SSN) and date of birth. The prison should make every effort to avoid giving the captor and additional information. The prisoner may communicate with captors on matters of health and welfare and additionally may write letters home and fill out a Geneva Convention "capture card."

It is a violation of the Geneva Convention to place a prisoner under physical or mental duress, torture, or any other form of coercion in an effort to secure information. If under such intense coercion, a POW discloses unauthorized information, made an unauthorized statement, or performs an unauthorized act, that prisoner’s peace of mind and survival require a quick recovery of courage, dedication, and motivation to resist anew each subsequent coercion.

Actions every POW should resist include making oral or written confessions and apologies, answering questionnaires, providing personal histories, creating propaganda recordings, broadcasting appeals to other prisoners of war, providing any other material readily usable for propaganda purposes., appealing for surrender or parole, furnishing self-criticisms, communicating on behalf of the enemy to the detriment of the United State, its allies, its Armed Forces, or other POWs.

Every POW should also recognize that any confession signed or any statement made may be used by the enemy as a false evidence that the person is a "war criminal" rather than a POW. Several countries have made reservations to the Geneva Convention in which they assert that a "war criminal" conviction deprives the convicted individual of prison of war status, removes that person from protection under the Geneva Convention, and revokes all rights to repatriation until a prison sentence is served.

Recent experiences of American prisoners of war have proved that, although enemy interrogation sessions may be harsh and cruel, one can resist brutal mistreatment when the will to resist remains intact.

The best way for prisoner to keep faith with country, fellow prisoners and self is to provide the enemy with as little information as possible.

Site  | Directories
Submit Search Request