Obviously, whatever saved the Americans [prisoners of war] from the full bestiality of German sensibility, it wasn’t a piece of paper. Nor was it German good will.
The protection came, in fact, from the only system yet devised by any nation to protect its nationals in unfriendly hands: reprisal.
This ties in with something that occurred to me the other day. Since WWII, no wartime opponent of the USA has held to the Geneva Conventions at all. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. - the abuse of American POWs was affected not in the slightest by those conventions. Yet, before WWII many of our opponents did follow the equivalent (such as the British and the Germans). One is left wondering if the existence of the Geneva conventions and the resultant dependency on diplomatic norms and international law has in fact increased the likelihood of abuse of American POWs. As they say, you get more with a kind word and gun than just a kind word.
UPDATE: Iraq has joined the other 89 nations that have agreed not to use the ICC to prosecute USA soldiers. I think it’s hilarious that while the UN and its tranzi syncophants declaim the USA as an evil hegemon, most nations when forced to choose between the UN and the possibility of American troops in their countries prefer the latter.