Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Prisoners of War Exhibit at the National World War One Museum

On 28 October 2022,  the National World War Museum at Kansas City, MO, will open a special show titled Captured. Below are some examples of the specimens they will be sharing from their own and contributing collections. They describe the intention of their program:

During four brutal years of the Great War, nearly 9 million people were held as prisoners of war at some point during the conflict. From the shores of Southeast Asia and the Siberian tundra, to mere miles from the Western Front, they were imprisoned the world over – by both sides. Seldom told, their experiences are some of the most common during the Great War.  

Captured delves into the stories of life behind the wire: relationships among the prisoners and between the prisoners and their captors, a complex and unique dynamic of mundane daily life and the arduous conditions of captivity. Bound together by suffering and uncertainty, many prisoners and guards were encountering people of different races, religions, languages and cultures for the first time. This exhibition explores how their relationships sustained hope – on both sides of the barbed wire – amid bleak and uncertain circumstances.

French poster promoting a musical gala
to benefit Romanian prisoners of war.

French colonial soldiers held in the Zossen-Wunsdorf
POW camp in Germany

Coat of Russian POW

Handmade violin by German soldier August Christian Voigt while he was a prisoner of war of the French.

One Camp Held African, Russian, Belgian,
French, British, and Asian Prisoners

Watercolor by Curtiney George Foote of
American POWs cleaning a street.

Austro-Hungarian POWs standing behind a
barbed wire fence

Turkish POW Souvenir Belt

Oil portrait painting of 1st Lieutenant Louis
M. Edens in full uniform. The painting was done
by a Russian prisoner of war (name unknown)
while Edens was a POW in the German camp
in Villengens, Baden, Germany.


  1. The WW I display at the US PW Museum at Andersonville is well done, but limited.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Don. I'll try to track down some of the museum's displays.