Parcels delivered by the International Red Cross proved to be a lifeline for many Prisoners of War. These were guaranteed by the Geneva Convention of 1929 providing PoWs with tobacco, food and some hygiene products. For many they supplemented the meagre rations provided by their captors.
Remarkably these parcels were shipped all round the world, they crossed war zones and a complex operation that ensured they got through.
This history book by Mark Webster and Paul Luker draws on the archives of the New Zealand and Australian Red Cross, and relates the compelling story of the very successful efforts to send parcels all the way from distant New Zealand to Allied prisoners in European camps across a world torn by global war.
In this episode I’m joined by Mark Webster.
Mark has written two books on the subject from the perspective of New Zealand, a country who had 1 in 200 of its population held as PoWs. As a result New Zealand would pack, by hand one parcel for every 1.7 of its population and ship them halfway round the world mainly to European camps.