April 2010 Archive

Documentary (2004): The Enemy in Our Midst: ... Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Link to Documentary (2004): The Enemy in Our Midst: ... Michigan's Upper Peninsula

WMNU-TV in Michigan has posted a viewer's guide (PDF) for the 2004 award winning documentary called "The Enemy in Our Midst: Nazi Prisoner of War Camps in Michigan's Upper Peninsula."

They also offer a booklet called POW Camps in the U.P. (PDF), which contains original articles cited in the documentary.

According to their site:

From 1944 to 1946, the German prisoners called five POW camps in the Upper Peninsula home: Camps AuTrain and Evelyn in Alger County, Camp Raco in Chippewa County and Camps Sidnaw and Pori in Houghton County. Brought in under a cloak of secrecy by the U.S. Army, the prisoners eventually encountered local residents, who were reluctant to accept the POWs.


The project, which took two years to complete, contains many scenes shot throughout the Upper Peninsula. Also included in the 161-minute documentary are hundreds of historic photos, vintage film and interviews with local residents who had encounters with the POWs.

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Audio (1981): Escape from Camp X in Angler, Ontario

Link to Audio (1981): Escape from Camp X in Angler, Ontario
CBC Digital Archives

In 1981, CBC Radio's Morningside interviewed author John Melady. On the show, he detailed the escape of 28 German POWs from Camp X in Angler, Ontario during WWII.

The prisoners dug a 150-foot tunnel through the camp's exercise yard.

From the summary page:

It took a week for the escapees to be tracked down...two were found in downtown Montreal, while one was discovered in a barbershop in Ottawa and two others made it as far as Medicine Hat [Alberta].

Listen to the Escape from Camp X (5:17)

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Video (2003): Behind Canadian barbed wire

Link to Video (2003): Behind Canadian barbed wire

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Digital Archives includes a 2003 clip from the television show Country Canada.

According to the CBC:

The first boatload of 3,000 German officers arrived in Canada in June 1940. Canada had been accepting captured German merchant seamen from England as early as Sept. 1939.

The clip, Behind Canadian barbed wire (3:54), includes commentary from writer David Carter and former German POW Max Weidauer.

Related Posts:
   1. Book (1980, 2004): POW Behind Canadian Barbed Wire (Apr 27, 2010)
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Book (1980, 2004): POW Behind Canadian Barbed Wire

Link to Book (1980, 2004): POW Behind Canadian Barbed Wire

David J. Carter's book "POW Behind Canadian Barbed Wire" is subtitled "Alien, Refugee and Prisoner of War Camps in Canada, 1914-1920 and 1939-1946". There are lots of details on his site.

The book consists of 254 pages packed with information, plus 8 pages of glossy photos. The appendix has lists of the camps, a sample daily routine, a weekly list of rations for POWs, and more.

Among countless other stories, here are some excerpts from page 80 regarding an escape from the Angler POW camp:

Horst Liebeck and Karl Heinz Grund were both Luftwaffe pilots.... [They] reached a curve in the railway line where a freight train had to slow down and they climbed aboard....

There were still hoboes riding the rails and so the escapees didn't look completely out of the ordinary.

"By the time we reached Saskatchewan we realized people took us for tramps. We weren't even attempting to hide."

Five days after their escape, near Medicine Hat, Alberta their luck ran out, almost twelve hundred miles west of Angler.

(Wikipedia has an overview of the escape.)

You can order the book directly from Eagle Butte Press (in Canada but ships worldwide), or from Amazon -- including one seller in Montana that offers signed copies.

Related Posts:
   1. Big red circle (Jul 21, 2010)
   2. Karl Rabe's 4 escape attempts from Lethbridge (May 19, 2010)
   3. Video (2003): Behind Canadian barbed wire (Apr 28, 2010)
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War Diary of Internment Camp No. 135: Jan 15-31

Link to War Diary of Internment Camp No. 135: Jan 15-31
(courtesy of CFB/ASU Wainwright)

Excerpts from January 1945: (emphasis added; skipped days are not marked)

15th - Monday - Quarters now available for Officers but no Cook. Weather, continued mild. Moving Pictures shown 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Mr B.C. Garrity K. of C. Supervisor in charge. Tonight "The Great Moment" was shown at 1900 hrs.

18th - Thursday - Dull and moderate wind. Engineers rushing completion of Outside Wire. ... Free Bingo for the Men in the evening in the K. of C. Hut.

20th - Saturday - Clear and cold, 20 degrees below at 0600 hrs. Capt. McFadyen, Medical Officer and Lt. Hankey, Interpreter reported.

24th - Wednesday - No change in weather. Fire caused by a Gas Explosion in Hut 11 within the Enclosure at 1630 hrs. Fire Brigade responded promptly and had blaze extinguished at 1650 hrs. Court of Inquiry ordered immediately by Camp Commandant.

Information received that first batch of PW consisting of 403 Officers, 105 O.Rs. and 15 Civilians would arrive at 0650 hrs. 29 Jan 45; 36 Coy V.G.C. to suply the Escort.

26th - Friday - ... Moving Picture, "Adventures of Tartu" shown in K. of C. Hut at 1900 hrs. Dance held at 2100 hrs. in Separate School Hall for the benefit of the Camp Personnel.

29th - Monday - Weather quite cool, 13 degrees below. 523 PW arrived from Seebe Camp, unloading started at 0845 hrs and all PW searched and in quarters by Noon. Tower Guard mounted at 0800 hrs. Moving Picture shown "Then We Were Young and Gay" at 1900 hrs.

30th - Tuesday - Still quite cool. Engineers rushing Inside Enclosure Fence. ...

31st - Wednesday - Very cold. PW getting settled. ... Strength of Headquarters at this date: 6 Officers and 29 O.Rs.


K. of C. - Knights of Columbus (?)

Related Posts:
   1. Wainwright Internment Camp No. 135 - more details (Sep 27, 2010)
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Book poster: gathering all my strength

Link to Book poster: gathering all my strength
(Image adapted from avramishin at Flickr)

This quote follows the other 2.

... by gathering all my strength I pulled myself back to the shore again using the reeds.

Related Posts:
   1. Book trailer: The black brew reached up to my chest (Jul 15, 2010)
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Book poster: black brew

Link to Book poster: black brew
(Image adapted from Gilder and clairity at Flickr)

I love the phrase: "black brew". (I hope the quote stands alone as a poster. FYI: it occurs immediately after the quote in the previous post.)

I sunk ever deeper into the marsh and was nearly pulled under there.

The black brew reached up to my chest, stinking bubbles rising up...

Related Posts:
   1. Book trailer: The black brew reached up to my chest (Jul 15, 2010)
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Book poster: failed

Link to Book poster: failed
(Image adapted from randwill at Flickr)

Is this book poster enough to raise your curiosity?

Here's the full quote (from page 49), with the missing part in italics:

An attempt to get to the open waters through the broad belt of reeds in order to swim across the river failed.

(As noted in the book's intro, we preserved the author's informal style -- including long sentences.)

Related Posts:
   1. Book trailer: The black brew reached up to my chest (Jul 15, 2010)
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Documentary (2003): The Enemy Within

Link to Documentary (2003): The Enemy Within
National Film Board of Canada

Here's another good documentary: The Enemy Within (52:04).

Filmmaker Eva Colmers follows her father's story - Theo Melzer - who spent three and a half years in a POW camp in Lethbridge, Alberta. Growing up in Germany, she had always been puzzled by her father's fond memories of his POW life, so when she moved to Canada, she set out to rediscover this story. What she found surprised her. Watch as Theo Melzer, along with other POWs, recount how their lives were changed by the unexpected respect and dignity they received at the hands of their Canadian captors.

Lethbridge, AB is about 500 km (310 miles) south of Wainwright, AB.

Watch online for free, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada. It's well worth your time.

title: The Enemy Within
filmmaker: Eva Colmers
release date: 2003
list price: free!
run time: 52:04 minutes

Related Posts:
   1. Wainwright Internment Camp No. 135 - more details (Sep 27, 2010)
   2. "Epilogue" (Sep 13, 2010)
   3. "A Brilliant Escape" (Jul 12, 2010)
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Video (1981): Canada's Posh PoW Camps

Link to Video (1981): Canada's Posh PoW Camps

In 1981, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) television show Front Page Challenge featured Ed Billet, a German POW held in Canada during WWII, and author John Melady.

Included in the clip:

[Billet] looks back at his time in a camp in northern Ontario, where he was paid for his work in a lumber camp, chummed around with the guards and even romanced a local girl


author John Melady recalls as a young boy seeing PoWs working on his father's farm with red circles on the back of their jackets

Watch the clip: Canada's Posh POW Camps (5:32)

Interesting to note: Ed Billet was one of the first Germans to emigrate to Canada after the war.

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Article: Details of the Papago Park escape (AZ)

Link to Article: Details of the Papago Park escape (AZ)

The November 2007 issue of World War II Magazine featured the Christmas Eve escape of 25 German POWs from a camp in Arizona during WWII.

According to the article:

Nearly 400,000 German POWs were brought to the United States during World War II, and officials recorded precisely 2,222 individual attempts by the Germans to flee their camps...

But none of these assorted breakouts could match in audacity, scale, or drama the plan under way at Compound 1A at Papago Park. It would trigger the largest manhunt in Arizona history, bringing in local law enforcement, the FBI, and even Papago Indian scouts.

Their "not so great escape" title seems unfair, but here's a taste of what the author may have had in mind:

While he was still on that call, another phone rang. It was the sheriff in Phoenix reporting he had an escaped POW in custody. Herbert Fuchs, a twenty-two-year-old U-boat crewman, had quickly grown tired of being wet, cold, and hungry and hitchhiked a ride to the sheriff's office. Soon thereafter, a Tempe woman called to say that two escapees had knocked on her door and surrendered; the phone rang again, and a Tempe man reported that two hungry and cold POWs had turned themselves in to him.

It took over a month to re-capture all of the escaped POWs, but all were eventually returned to camp.

Author: Ronald H. Bailey
Publication: World War II Magazine
Length: 3,959 words
Date: November 2007

Related Posts:
   1. A Play: Flight from Phoenix (Papago Park) (Apr 20, 2010)
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A Play: Flight from Phoenix (Papago Park)

Link to A Play: Flight from Phoenix (Papago Park)

In 2001, The Phoenix New Times covered the release of a play called Escape from Papago Park.

The play retells the story of "the greatest breakout from a United States compound by prisoners of war during World War II."

During WWII, Papago Park in Phoenix, AZ housed 3,100 German POWs. Just before Christmas in 1944, 25 German soldiers escaped through a 178 foot tunnel. All were later recaptured.

One of those POWs, Heinrich Palmer said:

People think we were anxious to leave, some great group of prisoners storming back to the battlefront. But we were just young and bored. Or maybe it was this: The Americans put a bunch of German comrades from the same navy in the same compound. These men had great engineering talent. The Americans took away their freedom, called them troublemakers and told them they could never escape. So maybe it became our duty to prove them wrong. And it was very, very easy to prove them wrong.

Check out the photo gallery that goes with the article.

Subtitle: In 1944, 25 German POWs tunneled out of the Papago Park internment camp. Now, a Valley playwright has excavated their adventure.
Author: Robrt L. Pela
Publication: Phoenix New Times
Section: News
Length: 4,546 words
Date: March 8, 2001

Related Posts:
   1. Article: Details of the Papago Park escape (AZ) (Apr 21, 2010)
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War Diary of Internment Camp No. 135: Jan 5-11, 1945

Link to War Diary of Internment Camp No. 135: Jan 5-11, 1945
(courtesy of CFB/ASU Wainwright)

As noted last Monday, POW camp Wainwright was known as Internment Camp No. 135. Here's the first of several excerpts from the official War Diary.

January 1945

5th - Friday - Capt. B.G. Ashbury, Adjutant was first member of Camp Staff to arrive.

6th - Saturday - Lt. Col. C.G. Bradshaw, New Camp Commandant and Capt. St.G.D. Clarke, QuarterMaster arrived. As no quarters or Rations were available, they had to go "On Command" and live at Wainwright Hotel.

7th - Sunday - Camp Staff consists of 3 Officers and the Colonel's Batman Smillie. Everyone busy trying to get equipment to start an Orderly Room.

8th - Monday - ... Two Officers and 54 O.Rs of No. 36 Coy. V.G.C. arrived from Medicine Hat.

9th - Tuesday - ... One officer and 20 O.Rs. of No. 36 Coy V.G.C. Advance Guard from Neys Camp, arrived.

10th - Wednesday - Ordnance removing Stores from buildings that will be inside Enclosure. 150 Engineers and 40 Civilians working on Enclosure Wire and lights. Frost has gone into ground 5'7", so digging post holes is a slow job.

11th - Thursday - Weather mild. Two Officers and 113 O.Rs. belonging to No. 36 Coy V.G.C. arrived to act as Guard Coy. ...


Batman Smillie - [updated] a batman is an officer's orderly or servant

O.R. - Other Ranks (enlisted men)

V.G.C. - Veterans Guard of Canada (emphasis added):

Corps of First World War veterans between the ages of 40 and 65, formed in May 1940, for full-time and reserve service during the Second World War. It grew to 10,000 men in 1944 with another 8,000 on part-time service. The great majority served in Canada with a few companies in Newfoundland, London (England), Nassau (Bahamas) and Georgetown (Guyana). Some veterans stood guard power plants, factories and other installations deemed essential to the war effort but most served as guards at the POW and enemy aliens internment camps in Canada. In 1944-1945, some went to India and Burma as “mule skinners”. The Veteran’s Guard continued to serve after the war until March 1947 when the last veterans were disbanded.

Related Posts:
   1. Veterans Guard of Canada (Sep 02, 2010)
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Book excerpt: the wanted poster (p. 46-47)

Link to Book excerpt: the wanted poster (p. 46-47)

The above image should be easy to read, but here's the text in case it's useful:

Der Marktplatz war etwas erleuchtet, und als ich an einer Hauswand entlangschlich, blieb ich plötzlich wie angewurzelt stehen, starrte an die Wand ... Mein eigenes Bild blickte mich an, darunter stand meine Personalbeschreibung – kalt lief es mir den Rücken herunter; das Gefühl, vor dem eigenen Steckbrief zu stehen, ist nur schwer zu beschreiben; aber ich hatte nicht lange Zeit, meinen Gefühlen nachzuhängen, - nur schnell aus diesem Ort hinaus, dachte ich und eilte weiter.

The market place was barely lit and while sneaking along the wall of a building, I stopped suddenly as if rooted to the ground, stared at the wall ... My own picture looked back at me, underneath was my description – chills ran down my back; the feeling of standing in front of your own wanted poster is quite hard to describe; but I didn’t have a long time to dwell on my feelings, - just quickly get out of this place, I thought and hurried along.

Related Posts:
   1. Book poster: WANTED for forging this ID in March 1945 (Apr 17, 2010)
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Book poster: WANTED for forging this ID in March 1945

Link to Book poster: WANTED for forging this ID in March 1945

Another book poster!

Wanted: Klaus Conrad. Neither armed nor dangerous.

Canadian Escapades. The exciting tale of a man's desire to be free.

Klaus Conrad's encounter with the real "wanted" poster is described on page 47 of the book. This poster is just our fun variation.

Related Posts:
   1. Book excerpt: the wanted poster (p. 46-47) (Apr 17, 2010)
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Movie (1957): The One That Got Away

Link to Movie (1957): The One That Got Away

Based on the 1956 book by Kendal Burt and James Leasor, The One That Got Away chronicles the true story of Oberleutnant Franz von Werra.

An interesting site on "Aces of the Luftwaffe" provides some details:

Von Werra was captured and imprisoned in England. He twice attempted to escape...but was recaptured both times. After his second failed escape attempt, von Werra was sent to a prison camp in Canada. He managed to escape...and made his way through the USA, Mexico, South America and Spain to reach Germany...Von Werra was the only German prisoner of war held by the British to successfully escape and return to his homeland.

(The US was neutral at the time.)

release date: 1957, on DVD 2008
list price: $14.98
format: DVD
run time: 106 minutes

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Encounters with Midwesterners: personal stories

Link to Encounters with Midwesterners: personal stories

In addition to their very cool Bus-eum, TRACES has a Web site filled with interesting facts and stories about the POWs.

Their page called Encounters between Midwesterners and German or Austrian POWs includes many first-hand accounts from Americans.

For instance, this from a man named Jim Fitzgerald:

I remember as a nine year old walking home from the fourth grade we would pass the E.G. Morse Poultry house in Mason City, Iowa and see the POWs working, loading trucks and the like. We thought they were monsters until we started waving at them and they waved back, which started a relationship that has lasted till this day.

Here's one from Marjorie Myers Douglas:

I spread a faded blue tea towel over the loaves where the sunshine would help them rise, and I listened in growing bewilderment to his conversation.

“Am I talking to the officer in charge?” he asked. “Can you send me twenty of the prisoners tomorrow to stack hay bales—probably two days’ work? I’ll pay four dollars per man. By eight o’clock? And you’ll send a guard? And their food also? Sounds okay to me—tomorrow then.”

“What in the world? What prisoners?” I gasped as soon as he put the phone down.

“The mailman gave me the idea,” Don gloated. “Can you believe it? There are German prisoners of war in a temporary camp at Ortonville—just twenty miles away. We didn’t see it the day I drove you over there to Big Stone Lake. I’d never even heard of it. But they hire out the men to farms around here. I plan to get Bill Ahrens over to interpret. I’ll put a skid on the other tractor. Twenty prisoners as farm hands! We’re all set.”

Original source: Eggs in the Coffee Sheep in the Corn: My 17 Years as a Farmwife (1994).

Related Posts:
   1. Camp Algona slideshows (Iowa) (Jun 09, 2010)
   2. Bus-eum Tour, April 13 (Largo, FL) and April 17 (Englewood, FL) (Apr 07, 2010)
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Video (1989): The remains of Camp 70 in Ripples, New Brunswick

Link to Video (1989): The remains of Camp 70 in Ripples, New Brunswick
CBC News

In 1989, CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) featured author Ted Jones during an investigative look at a former WWII Camp in Ripples, New Brunswick.

Interesting to note: Camp 70 was actually split into 2 camps, one for German POWs and the other for Jewish refugees.

Watch the news clip (3:19).

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Website: The German Prisoners of World War 2

Link to Website: The German Prisoners of World War 2

We came across a bilingual website that documents the history of WWII German POWs all around the world.

There is a page for Canada which mentions escape attempts:

600 prisoners tried to escape...in 1947 still 17 [were] not recaptured. 2 were alleged drowned, 1 in the U.S.A., 1 in Mexico and the rest still in Canada.

and a page for the USA which includes a quote about escapes:

Provost Marshal General noticed: "1369 escape attempts were made until March 1st, 1945 but only 12 prisoners of war (6 Germans and 6 Italians) were in liberty to this day."

More details:

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Wainwright Internment Camp No. 135, then and now

Link to Wainwright Internment Camp No. 135, then and now
ASU Wainwright

Page 1 of Canadian Escapades opens in POW camp Wainwright, officially known as "Internment Camp No. 135". The camp is located in the village of Denwood, Alberta, very close to the town of Wainwright.

(The above image include a reproduction of the POW camp guard towers.)

Some history:

In 1944, it was decided to site a POW Camp here and on 29 January 1945 the first 523 German prisoners arrived. At its peak, the POW Camp accommodated almost 1,100 German POW's, consisting of Officers, enlisted men and a few civilians, and operated until 24 May 1946 when the last of the POW's were returned to England for demobilization. The Camp staff and Guard company were reduced to nil strength a few weeks later, marking the end of this chapter of CFB/ASU Wainwright's history.

Note that POWs were held for a year after the war ended. That's a story in itself.

This part will be familiar to those who have read the book!

During the 16 months the POW Camp was in full operation, only two prisoners made a successful escape. These two bold individuals were recaptured just over a month later, but not until they had reached Gary, Indiana!

(That passage also made the Wikipedia page for CFB Wainwright.)

The military base now includes the Canadian Forces Base/Area Support Unit (CFB/ASU Wainwright), the Land Force Western Area Training Centre (LFWA TC) and the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre (CMTC).

Oh, and what came before the POW camp? Buffalo National Park from 1909-1939.

Going back to the beginning: On 8 July 1940, a little less than one year after the closure of Buffalo National Park, Dr. Middlemass, the Mayor of Wainwright, travelled to Ottawa and persuaded the Department of National Defence to take over the vacant park as a military training area. His efforts were successful and in 1941, the first military forces arrived to establish a permanent camp at the site of the park.

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Review: "It was an amusing and enlightening read."

Link to Review:

That's pretty short as reviews go, but well worth quoting (even if anonymously).

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Book poster: Nearly 2,000 miles in pursuit of freedom

Link to Book poster: Nearly 2,000 miles in pursuit of freedom

Movies have posters, so how about books? Here's the first of many.

These men travelled nearly 2,000 miles in pursuit of freedom.

From left to right:

  • Lt. Heinz Meuche
  • Lt. Klaus Conrad

(The original image is from the Chicago Tribune; April 21, 1945. We cropped, colorized and added the text.)

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In the news: WW2 POW camp in Stark, NH

Link to In the news: WW2 POW camp in Stark, NH
Photo credit: Allen Coop

The Coos County Democrat featured a small reunion that took place recently at a WW2 POW camp located in Stark, NH.

According to the article:

two former camp workers and one German ex-prisoner-of-war returned to the site to reflect on their time spent in Camp Stark during World War II, and the unlikely friendships that formed amongst the soldiers, civilians, and POWs on both sides of the fence.

Author: Kayti Burt
Publication: Coos County Democrat
Length: 1,148 words
Date: March 31, 2010

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Documentary: Hitler's Canadians (with video excerpt)

Link to Documentary: Hitler's Canadians (with video excerpt)
Hitler's Canadians

In 2007, Storyline Entertainment released a documentary called Hitler's Canadian's. From the press release

This one-hour documentary tells the little known story of German POWs in Canada during WW2. It features dramatic re-enactments of brilliant and hilarious escapes, the biggest prison rebellion in Canadian history and surprising interviews with former prisoners.

They explain why POWs were sent to Canada:

In 1940, before the U.S. entered WW II in 1941, the growing ranks of German prisoners in Britain presented an urgent problem. Straining to meet the Geneva Convention standards for POW treatment and with Nazi armies nearing their shores, Britain saw the POWs as a potential threat on their own soil and opted to send them to Canada.

Here's a theme that will be encountered often:

Without exception, the former POWs seen in “Hitler’s Canadians” were grateful for Canada’s hospitality and treatment. All of them realize that if it weren’t for their time behind Canadian barbed wire, they might not have survived the war.

And some hard data:

Between 1947 and 1960, 265,000 Germans immigrated to Canada. 6,000 of them were former POWs.

Klaus Conrad was one of the POWs interviewed in the documentary.

I enjoyed the video and will have more in a future post.

Meanwhile, here's an intro (1:03).

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Bus-eum Tour, April 13 (Largo, FL) and April 17 (Englewood, FL)

Link to Bus-eum Tour, April 13 (Largo, FL) and April 17 (Englewood, FL)

According to the schedule, the museum bus has upcoming stops in Florida:

April 13, 2010 Largo Public Library, Largo, FL

April 17, 2010 Elsie Quirk Library, Englewood, FL

Those are the last stops on the list; not sure if more will be added.

Related Posts:
   1. Camp Algona slideshows (Iowa) (Jun 09, 2010)
   2. Encounters with Midwesterners: personal stories (Apr 15, 2010)
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Bus-eum Tour: Held in the Heartland: German POWs in the Midwest 1943-46

Link to Bus-eum Tour: Held in the Heartland: German POWs in the Midwest 1943-46

We recently discovered an interesting traveling museum called "Held in the Heartland: German POWs in the Midwest 1943-46."

The tour is a part of a traveling exhibit program by TRACES. According to their site:

TRACES is a non-profit educational organization created to gather, preserve and present stories of people from the Midwest and Germany or Austria who encountered each other during World War II.

TRACES converted a 40-foot school bus into a mobile classroom and museum. On the bus:

The exhibit consists of 15 narrative display panels illustrated with photographs and documents, audio and DVD documentaries, artifacts and more.

The tour began in 2009.

More information:

See the next post for 2 upcoming stops in Florida.

Related Posts:
   1. Earning, spending and saving at POW Camp Algona (Iowa) (Jul 14, 2010)
   2. Camp Algona slideshows (Iowa) (Jun 09, 2010)
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Canadian Escapades review at LouCeeL

Link to Canadian Escapades review at LouCeeL

Blogger Lou Lohman published a nice review of Canadian Escapades on LouCeel.

He was kind enough to grant permission for us to reproduce in full. (Emphasis added.)

A short while ago I volunteered to read and review a new book, written by a WWII P.O.W. The book was to be a recounting of his three escapes from prison camp and his subsequent recaptures. The unique aspect to all of this was (and is) that the man was a German Flier shot down over England, his prison camp was in Western Canada, and one of his escapes took him into and across part of the United States.

The second unique aspect to all of this is the format of the book. It's actually a fairly short book at 125 pages, including the short appendix. But each page in the book is half German, half English, laid out side by side, so the text matches up. But back to that in a minute.

The story, in English, is an almost literal translation from the German. For a native English speaker, this represents a novel look into the way a non-English person thinks and speaks. The story itself is gripping, in parts, fascinating in others, and overall, well done. There are times, however, when the story gets to be a bit tricky to follow - due to the literalness of the translation. But still, well done.

Now about that side by side text. For the student of German, this is a novel way to explore the language as it is spoken by a native German speaker - for a German speaker, it also represents a novel way to see their language explode into English.

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Let the blogging begin!

Link to Let the blogging begin!

In addition to being a (true) adventure story, Canadian Escapades sheds light on an interesting period of history. I'll bet that few people in the US and Canada realize how many POWs were held here. (None of us did.)

We're certainly not experts, but we've been doing some research and are ready to start sharing what we learn. There are lots of good stories to tell!

If you have suggestions, corrections, tips, links, etc. please add a comment or send us email.

Of course we'll also cover news about the book -- it's not too late to request a free review copy!

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