Second World War Captives

At The National Archives, we hold records that tell fascinating stories of real people who lived through the horrors of the Second World War.

In this episode, historians Will Butler, Ela Kaczmarska, and Roger Kershaw explore documents – some of them previously unseen by the public – that describe the experiences of prisoners of war and civilian internees held captive during the conflict.

Download the full episode transcript here.

The episode accompanies our exhibition, Great Escapes: Remarkable Second World War Captives, which is open at The National Archives in Kew until July 21, 2024. The official companion book to the exhibition: Great Escapes can be purchased from our bookshop.

Documents from The National Archives used in this episode:  WO 208 3501, HS 9/544/3, HO 215/263, HO 405/26498

For more information about the records covered in this episode, look at our research guide to British and Commonwealth prisoners of the Second World War and the Korean War. For help navigating our catalogue, you can watch our top-level tips on using Discovery.

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