May 26, 2022
Free and open to the public, thanks to our sponsor, Community 1st Credit Union. No registration needed.
2204 W. 2nd Ave
Indianola, IA 50125
Afternoon Adventures Speaker Series: WWII Pow Camps in Iowa
Thursday, May 26, 2022
As part of a relatively quiet and underpublicized government program, thousands of enemy soldiers invaded Iowa in 1943. With the hugely successful 1942 Allied campaign against Adolf Hitler’s vaunted Afrika Corps in North Africa, the number of enemy prisoners of war (POW) needing interment grew dramatically. Great Britain, no longer able to accommodate the increasing number of POWs, looked to the United States for help. Helping with the detainment of enemy POWs made sense, as American cargo vessels were returning home after delivering war materials with empty hulls.
What began as an experiment in isolated locations in the south and southwest eventually led to more than 500 camps and 400,000 enemy soldiers interned in the United States, including two camps in the state of Iowa. Due to a severe shortage of agricultural laborers coupled with increased War Food Administration quotas for farm goods, Iowa’s farmers needed help doing their part to assist the United States in winning the war.
Join us as Simpson College Associate Professor of Education, Chad Timm, talks about the creation of two POW camps in Iowa during the Second World War: one in the Northern Iowa town of Algona and one in the Southwestern Iowa town of Clarinda.
This program is funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.