Thursday, January 23, 2014

More World War 2 Trivia

In writing about an infantryman who was captured by the Germans during World War 2 and put in a prisoner-of-war camp, I’ve learned some interesting facts. He was in Stalag IV-B in eastern Germany. This camp had prisoners from many countries, and he was with other English-speaking prisoners in one section of the camp. The British had been there the longest, starting to arrive after being captured in North Africa. One of the self-governed forms of punishment among these prisoners entailed having a violator be “put in Coventry.”

This saying comes from approximately 1648 when Cromwell sent some Royalist soldiers to be imprisoned in the town of Coventry. The local parliamentary supporters shunned them.

In Stalag IV-B, the British used this same form of shunning to punish a prisoner who had disobeyed rules, such as stealing from other prisoners. It proved very effective. To be further isolated without communication from your fellow prisoners served the person of enforcing discipline.

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