Prisoners of the First World War, the ICRC archives

Archives 1914-1918: during the First World War, 10 million people, servicemen or civilians, were captured and sent to detention camps.

The belligerent countries involved provided lists of prisoners to the ICRC, which created an index card for each prisoner and detainee. Now, you can search through all 5 million of them.

Read more... What is available online?


Individual data on prisoners of war will be posted gradually over the year 2014. Altogether, 5 million cards on prisoners and 500,000 pages of records associated with these cards will be available on this website. Currently 90% of the data is already available.

It is important to note that the online uploads are not processed as an alphabetic suite of each series of cards but rather in correspondence with the nationality and the status of the prisoner. It is possible that alphabetic series or cards may lack randomly.

Online help, which is available at every stage by clicking the question mark, will guide you step-by-step through the search process.

Search for

Employee in the archives

Learn about the prisoner-of-war and internment camps

through the ICRC historical archives


The ICRC published postcards during the war containing pictures of camps in France, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Germany, United Kingdom, British Empire and Italy.

Life in prisoner-of-war and internment camps

Some camps have been inspected by ICRC or Protecting Powers delegates. See their reports.


Accounts, letters sent to the ICRC, notices of death and other historical records