Peace Treaty of Versailles
Prisoners of War and Graves
PRISONERS OF WAR AND GRAVES.
PRISONERS OF WAR.
The repatriation of prisoners of war and interned civilians shall take place as soon as possible after
the coming into force of the present Treaty and shall be carried out with the greatest rapidity.
The repatriation of German prisoners of war and interned civilians shall, in accordance with Article
214, be carried out by a Commission composed of representatives of the Allied and Associated
Powers on the one part and of the German Government on the other part.
For each of the Allied and Associated Powers a Sub-Commission, composed exclusively of
Representatives of the interested Power and of Delegates of the German Government, shall regulate
the details of carrying into effect the repatriation of the prisoners of war.
From the time of their delivery into the hands of the German authorities the prisoners of war and
interned civilians are to be returned without delay to their homes by the said authorities.
Those amongst them who before the war were habitually resident in territory occupied by the troops
of the Allied and Associated Powers are likewise to be sent to their homes, subject to the consent
and control of the military authorities of the Allied and Associated armies of occupation.
The whole cost of repatriation from the moment of starting shall be borne by the German
Government who shall also provide the land and sea transport and staff considered necessary by the
Commission referred to in Article 215.
Prisoners of war and interned civilians awaiting disposal or undergoing sentence for offences
against discipline shall be repatriated irrespective of the completion of their sentence or of the
proceedings pending against them.
This stipulation shall not apply to prisoners of war and interned civilians punished for offences
committed subsequent to May 1, 1919.
During the period pending their repatriation all prisoners of war and interned civilians shall remain
subject to the existing regulations, more especially as regards work and discipline.
Prisoners of war and interned civilians who are awaiting disposal or undergoing sentence for
offences other than those against discipline may be detained.
The German Government undertakes to admit to its territory without distinction all persons liable to
Prisoners of war or other German nationals who do not desire to be repatriated may be excluded
from repatriation; but the Allied and Associated Governments reserve to themselves the right either
to repatriate them or to take them to a neutral country or to allow them to reside in their own
The German Government undertakes not to institute any exceptional proceedings against these
persons or their families nor to take any repressive or vexatious measures of any kind whatsoever
against them on this account.
The Allied and Associated Governments reserve the right to make the repatriation of German
prisoners of war or German nationals in their hands conditional upon the immediate notification and
release by the German Government of any prisoners of war who are nationals of the Allied and
Associated Powers and may still be in Germany.
(1) To give every facility to Commissions to enquire into the cases of those who cannot be traced; to
furnish such Commissions with all necessary means of transport; to allow them access to camps,
prisons, hospitals and all other places; and to place at their disposal all documents, whether public
or private, which would facilitate their enquiries;
(2) To impose penalties upon any German officials or private persons who have concealed the
presence of any nationals of any of the Allied and Associated Powers or have neglected to reveal the
presence of any such after it had come to their knowledge.
Germany undertakes to restore without delay from the date of the coming into force of the present
Treaty all articles, money, securities and documents which have belonged to nationals of the Allied
and Associated Powers and which have been retained by the German authorities.
The High Contracting Parties waive reciprocally all repayment of sums due for the maintenance of
prisoners of war in their respective territories.
The Allied and Associated Governments and the German Government will cause to be respected
and maintained the graves of the soldiers and sailors buried in their respective territories.
They agree to recognise any Commission appointed by an Allied or Associated Government for the
purpose of identifying, registering, caring for or erecting suitable memorials over the said graves
and to facilitate the discharge of its duties.
Furthermore they agree to afford, so far as the provisions of their laws and the requirements of
public health allow, every facility for giving effect to requests that the bodies of their soldiers and
sailors may be transferred to their own country.
The graves of prisoners of war and interned civilians who are nationals of the different belligerent
States and have died in captivity shall be properly maintained in accordance with Article 225 of the
The Allied and Associated Governments on the one part and the German Government on the other
part reciprocally undertake also to furnish to each other:
(1) A complete list of those who have died, together with all information useful for identification;
(2) All information as to the number and position of the graves of all those who have been buried