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PRISONERS OF WAR – RED CROSS: Souvenir de la Croix Rouge de Genève 1914-1918 [Souvenir of the Red Cross of Genève 1914-1918].



A unique documentation of original photographs, autographs, different stamps, tickets and seals, all referring to the International Prisoners-of-War Agency, originally hand-bound together, has been made by the members of the Red Cross of Genève for four years, during WWI.

1 in stock


Large 4°: [10] title hand-written in pencil, 3 mounted black and white photos, 1 mounted postcard, circa 200 signatures in different colours, 1 mounted original postal stamp, 1 wax seal, 1 paper seal, 15 mounted unused postal labels, 2 mounted newspaper articles; originally bound with a string (Very Good, slightly stained, wrappers with small tears).


This unique collection, originally bound together with a string, includes originally mounted photographs with autographs and stamps by the leading figures of the International Prisoners-of-War Agency in Genève, about 200 signatures of the members of the organisation, mixed with numberless official stamps, regarding post, packages and transportation, as well as samples of original stickers and other official material.

The three black and white photos showcase among others Gustave Ador (1845 – 1928), the third president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Adolphe Chenevière, (1855–1917) Swiss novelist, short story writer, and literary scholar. All the phots are accompanied with original autographs and three official stamps.  

The album also includes a pasted down contemporary postcard, showing the Agency for Prisoners of War, surrounded by flags of the Swiss cantons, a mounted newspaper article announcing the death of Adolphe Chenevière, (1855–1917) and the reception of the Federal Council Gustave Ador, who was elected by Parliament to be the Swiss President for 1919, but retired from the Federal Executive at the end of his year of office.

Signed are about 200 Red Cross envoyeurs and officials, in different pens, sometimes accompanied with dates. The signatures are mixed with various stamps in English, German and French, related to the prison camps in countries such as Turkey, Belgium, Russia, France, Germany, Austria, and others. The unused mounted labels were used for the prisoner post.

The International Prisoners-of-War Agency (IPWA) in Genève (Agence internationale des prisonniers de guerre (AIPG)) was founded at the beginning of WWI, in 1914, as an office of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

On October 15th, 1914, only weeks after the beginning of WWI, the first central office for prisoners of war was established on the initiative of Gustave Ador. The agency required lists of names of all the prisoners of war and soon it became the central office for the POW post, statistics, medical help and supply. It was soon receiving up to 16,500 letters per day and housed 1,200 volunteers. The headquarters were at the Musée Rath in Genève.

The office reopened its headquarters during WWII.

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