Germany and Italy generally treated prisoners from the British Commonwealth, France, the USA and other western Allies in accordance with the Geneva Convention (1929), which had been signed by these countries.Consequently, very few western Allied POWs who were Jews—or whom the Nazis believed to be Jewish—became part of The Holocaust or were subjected to other antisemitic policies. For example, Major Yitzhak Ben-Aharon, a Palestinian Jew who had enlisted in the British Army, and was captured by the Germans in Greece in 1941, experienced four years of captivity under normal conditions for POWs.
In accordance with the Geneva Convention, western Allied officers were not usually made to work and personnel of lower rank were usually compensated, or not required to work either. The main complaints of western Allied prisoners of war in German Army POW camps—especially during the last two years of the war—concerned shortages of food, although this fate was shared by German personnel and civilians, due to blockade conditions. Food packages provided by the International Red Cross supplemented the food rations, until the last few months when Allied air raids prevented shipments from arriving.