World War I Prisoner of War Card


This card was issued in 1920 to a Hungarian prisoner of war, Kiksa Biro, by the Vladivostok branch of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC). The card includes a rare photograph and contains such biographical information as the prisoner’s name, birthplace and date of birth, nationality, home address, family status, and occupation. Through its Vladivostok branch, the JDC aided Jewish prisoners of war in Siberian camps during and after World War I—transmitting mail to their families, seeing to their welfare, and arranging hospital care for the very ill. Some 10,000 Jews were among the 160,000 prisoners of war in Siberia who had served in the German and Austro-Hungarian armies. The nonsectarian Siberian War Prisoners Repatriation Fund, supported chiefly by the JDC and the American Red Cross, was created in April 1920 with the goal of repatriating all prisoners of war from Siberia to their homelands. Ships were chartered for this effort. Almost all prisoners of war who desired to return to their homes were able to do so. This card is one of 1,000 World War I prisoner-of-war cards in the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

Last updated: March 4, 2016