WWII was coming to an end, General Eisenhower signed an order creating the status of Disarmed Enemy Forces for the German Prisoners of War who would soon be surrendering to the Americans. This order was a violation of the Geneva Convention because it allowed Eisenhower to disregard the rules for the treatment of Prisoners of War. It allowed him to starve the German POWs, deny them the right to send and receive letters, receive Red Cross packages or packages from German civilians. All these rights were enjoyed by the prisoners in the Nazi POW camps and even in the notorious concentration camps. Eisenhower signed this order before he had even seen the horrors of the concentration camps, which so affected him. James Bacque wrote in his book Other Losses: "There were no tents in the Gotha DEF camp, only the usual barbed wire fences round a field soon churned to mud. On the first day, they received a small ration of food, which was then cut in half. In order to get it, they were forced to run a gauntlet. Hunched over, they ran between lines of guards who hit them with sticks as they scurried towards their food. On April 27, they were transferred to the U.S. camp at Heidesheim further west where there was no food at all for days, then very little." On May 8, 1945 the German army surrendered to General Eisenhower, who refused to shake hands with the German General, as is customary. The neutral country of Switzerland was removed as the Protecting Power for German prisoners, which violated the Geneva Convention. General Patton quickly released the prisoners who had surrendered to his Third Army, but General Eisenhower held his POWs until the end of 1946, forcing them to live on starvation rations. Red Cross packages sent to the POW camps were returned. The POW camps had no barracks or tents. The German prisoners were forced to dig holes in the ground for shelter, as the picture below shows. Even though the American army had plenty of tents, the prisoners lived for months in their holes. When it rained, the holes collapsed and the prisoners died.