Pursuit of an 'Unparalleled Opportunity'
The American YMCA and Prisoner of War Diplomacy among the Central Power Nations
during World War I, 1914-1923.
by Kenneth Steuer

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The vast sea of prisoners is demonstrated by this "photograph" of 30,000 Russian prisoners of war standing in the compound of an unidentified German prison camp. This picture is actually a montage of several photographs produced by the American YMCA (note the disproportion of sizes between the groups of men) to show the cramped conditions of prison life during the war.
Photograph of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), President of the United States and "leader of democracy."
Portrait of William Graves Sharp (1859-1922), United States ambassador to France from 1914 to 1919; he strongly supported the American YMCA in the establishment and expansion of the WPA program.
This is an exterior view of the World's Alliance of YMCA's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in 1922. The Association would soon move from this building to new facilities on the Quai Wilson on Lake Geneva.
This thirty-plus car train carries thousands of Russian prisoners of war into Austro-Hungarian captivity. The train is crossing a river in the Carpathian Mountains. Both the box cars and open cars are crammed with Russian POW's. The Austrian guards have sentry boxes, which provide them with some relief from the elements.
This is a view of one of the fifteen Association halls the American YMCA constructed in German prison camps during World War I.
An unidentified YMCA secretary meets with three Russian prisoners of war in the compound of a German prison camp. The three Russians may be members of the camp's YMCA committee.