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

Appendix 6f

Prisoner of War Cemetary Dedication—Frankfurt-an-der-Oder


This program marks the dedication of the prisoner of war cemetery at Frankfurt-an-der-Oder on 25 July 1915.  The festivities included hymns, an address by the prison camp commandant, and choral selections by the Russian choir and the German guards (members of the Ersatzbatallions Leibgrenadier-Regiments Nr. 8).  The pamphlet was also printed in Russian for the benefit of the prisoners of war.  On the back of the publication, an unidentified American YMCA secretary wrote "In evidence of German kindness."  The erection of monuments in POW cemeteries was an important part of the spiritual life of a prison camp and the YMCA provided support whenever possible to honor and commemorate the death of prisoners.1


Note 1: Feier zur Einweihung des Friedhofes im Kriegsgefangenenlager Frankfurt a/Oder am 25. Juli, 25 July 1915. Armed Services Records Box 53, Folder: "Prisoner of War Work in Germany-1914-1915," Kautz Family YMCA Archives, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. back