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World War 2 & Spanish Civil War Prisoner of War records & Civilian Internees : All Countries

Were any of your family members prisoners of war or civilian internees during World War 2 (WW2) or the Spanish Civil War? Did you know that prisoner records for those conflicts have survived and are now available through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)?

picture of hands climbing on barbed wire. Courtesy of

Although their WW2 and Spanish Civil War records are not online, the ICRC accepts requests for information held in their extensive files. Keep in mind, however, that they monitor and manage their workload carefully and once all their resources are allocated each quarter no more requests for information are accepted. When this occurs, their website publishes the next date when the service will resume.

Photo of prison camp- couresy of

For example, public requests are currently suspended, however, services will re-commence on 20th September 2021 when the online lodgement form will be available again on their website.

There are some exceptions to the quarterly service limitations. The ICRC may still be able to deal with requests before the published date provided:

  • they are humanitarian in nature;

  • you are the person concerned;

  • your request is linked to administrative formalities or a compensation claim; or

  • you are seeking to determine the identity of a natural parent or grandparent.

In these circumstances requests for assistance, including all supporting documentation, can be submitted via email to

If you can't wait until the next quarter to lodge your request for information, and you do not fall into one of the exception categories listed above, the ICRC website provides contact details for organisations which may be able to assist in the following countries:

  • Germany;

  • United Kingdom;

  • U.S.A.;

  • France

  • Italy;

  • Poland;

  • Russia.

If you are interested in World War 1 prisoner of war or civilian internee records, you will find my previous blog post on the subject useful. Those records are online and free.

Good luck with your research and if you know anyone who would benefit from this blog post, don't hesitate to pass it on or share it on your favourite social media platform.

Happy ancestor hunting.

Therese Lynch

Your Family Genealogist

Pictures : courtesy of Pixabay

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