Page images

Parties guarantee to all trains and ships, while engaged on any journey or voyage having the purpose of carrying out the repatriation or internment herein provided for, immunity from any hostile action on their own parts; and they will seek to obtain similar guarantees from their Allies and cobelligerents. When a return trip is involved as a necessary part of the complete transaction as arranged for by the Commission, like immunity shall extend to such return trip.

Article 175

The following principles shall govern the order in which persons eligible for internment in a neutral country or for repatriation shall be despatched:

(a) Invalid prisoners of war, invalid civil prisoners and sanitary personnel shall have precedence over all other persons who are to be transported, and shall be assigned to the next possible shipment after their eligibility for internment in a neutral country or for repatriation has been established.

(b) Other persons entitled to transportation shall be sent in the following order:

1. Males under 17 years of age and all females;

2. Prisoners of war;

3. Civilian males over 17 years of age; those over 45 years in preference to those between 17 and 45 years.

Precedence in their respective classes among persons named under the above classes shall be decided according to length of captivity, and when their captivity is of equal duration, according to seniority of age, priority being given to the oldest and children going with their parents or guardians.

(c) If because of uncontrollable circumstances, the order of priority contemplated in the preceding paragraphs can not be followed, the repatriation of the person whose departure may have been delayed shall take place within a maximum period of two months.

(d) Persons selected for transportation overseas shall be embarked as soon as possible after the arrival of the transport in the port of embarkation and in such manner as to utilize fully all available space. The proper authorities of the United States cooperating with the representative of the Protecting Power shall decide questions of priority regarding the transport of Germans.

(e) As far as possible, families shall be sent on the same transport.

Article 176

The expenses of transporting prisoners of war and civil prisoners who are to be repatriated or interned in a neutral country in accordance with this agreement shall be met as follows:

(a) The State of Origin shall bear the expenses of transportation overseas on their own or neutral ships;

(b) The expenses of transportation overland in the territory of the Captor State and in that of its cobelligerents shall be borne by the Captor State; in the territory of the State of Origin, in that of its cobelligerents and in that of neutral states, by the State of Origin of the prisoners.

Article 177

The enumeration in this agreement of certain rights which shall be accorded and privileges which shall not be denied to prisoners of war, sanitary personnel and civil prisoners, shall not be held or construed to preclude additional or greater rights or privileges wherever local conditions may permit.

Article 178

In the interests of German prisoners of war in the hands of the American forces in France, the Protecting Power shall have the right to appoint special delegates who shall have the same privileges and duties, and shall be under the same restrictions as are provided in this agreement for the delegates of the Protecting Powers in the United States and Germany. He shall also be advised of all infor mation regarding the prisoners of war with whose interests he is charged, which under the terms of this agreement is communicated to the representative of the Protecting Power in Washington.

Article 179

The Contracting Parties shall instruct all authorities concerned to take the severest measures to prevent all violations of the provisions of this agreement.

Article 180

Each Contracting Party agrees to notify the other through the representative of its Protecting Power of errors or omissions by the other in the application of the provisions of this Agreement. Upon the receipt of such notification the party notified shall immediately

conduct an inquiry into the causes of the complaint and as soon as possible make known to the Protecting Power the results thereof, together with the remedial steps taken.

Article 181

Differences of opinion between the two Contracting Parties as to the interpretation of this Agreement or of any articles thereof shall be referred to a joint commission, which shall consist of a chairman, to be designated by the president of the Swiss Confederation, and of one representative of each of the Contracting Parties. The decision of this commission shall be final.

Article 182

No measure of retaliation or reprisal shall be taken by either of the Contracting Parties against the prisoners of war of the other without giving previous notification of at least forty days of such intent. This notification shall contain a definite statement of the reasons for the measure of reprisal or retaliation proposed and shall be transmitted simultaneously to the diplomatic representative of the Protecting Power and to the Government of the Swiss Confederation. The forty days shall be counted from the date upon which notification is received by the Swiss Government.

The period specified in the preceding paragraph may be lengthened by a definite period at the option of the State threatening the reprisal, when the representative of the Protecting Power states that the time allowed will not suffice for a full investigation of the causes assigned.

Article 183

Speeches or verbal orders by the commandant of a prison camp or one of his subordinates, if delivered in a language other than that of the prisoners addressed, shall be translated by an interpreter. Written orders shall at all times be translated into the language of the State of Origin of the prisoners and shall be kept posted in a conspicuous place as long as they are in force.

Article 184

The text of this Agreement, together with its annexes, shall, as soon as it comes into force, be posted and kept permanently posted in

English and German, in all camps and working detachments in a public place. The highest ranking officers in officers' camps and the Camp Help Committees and their representatives shall be supplied with a sufficient number of copies of this Agreement to give all those concerned an opportunity to make themselves acquainted with its contents.


Article 185

This Agreement and its seven annexes shall be approved by both Contracting Parties and notification of such approval in writing shall be transmitted immediately thereafter to the Swiss Federal Govern


The Agreement shall go into effect seven days after the receipt by the Swiss Federal Government of both notifications of approval.

The Contracting Parties agree to take the necessary steps to obtain the cooperation of the neutral Governments concerned in any measures necessary for the bringing of this Agreement into operation and for its due execution.

Done at Berne, in five like copies, on this 11th day of November, one thousand nine hundred and eighteen.













I. Guiding Principles for Repatriation and Internment


There shall be repatriated:

1. Sick and wounded who, according to medical opinion, cannot be expected to recover within a year, because their condition requires treatment and their mental or physical ability appears to have undergone marked deterioration.

2. Incurably sick and wounded whose mental or physical ability appears to have undergone marked deterioration.

3. Cured sick and wounded whose mental or physical ability appears to have undergone marked deterioration.


There shall be interned:

1. Sick and wounded whose recovery within a period of one year, while expected, would appear more sure and rapid if they were given the benefits afforded by the resources of a neutral country than if their captivity were prolonged.

2. Prisoners of war whose mental or physical health, according to medical opinion, is seriously menaced by their remaining in captivity, whereas internment in a neutral country would probably relieve them of this risk.


There shall be repatriated:

1. Those whose state of health is or is becoming such that they fall within the categories of those eligible for repatriation on the basis of invalidism.

2. The recovered whose mental or physical ability appears to have undergone a marked deterioration.

« PreviousContinue »