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Farm work and friendship: the German prisoner of war camp at Lake Wabaunsee.

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dc.contributor.author Clark, Penny
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-02T22:09:28Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-02T22:09:28Z
dc.date.created 1985 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-08-02
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1998
dc.description 128 leaves en_US
dc.description.abstract A German prisoner of war camp was established at Lake Wabaunsee, approximately five miles west of Eskridge, Kansas, during World War II. Early in the war POWs had been interned in Kansas at two large base camps near Salina and Concordia. Kansans were initially afraid of the POWs, but they gradually realized that most of the Germans were not dangerous. Americans found that PO Ws were good workers, and that their use could help solve the labor shortage created by the war. The labor shortage was especially acute in rural areas of Kansas such as Wabaunsee County. Wabaunsee County farmers used several different methods to cope with labor shortages, but none had the desired results. Howard C. Myers. Wabaunsee County Agent, and local farmers believed that a prisoner of war camp in the county was the only real solution to the labor shortage. Farmers faced several obstacles before a prisoner of war camp was established at Lake Wabaunsee. Eskridge City commissioners initially denied the farmers permission to lease Lake Wabaunsee on financial grounds. Local citizens opposed the camp, and some of them felt that the PO Ws posed a threat to their safety. Myers and the farmers persevered and overcame all of the obstacles. PO Ws had many jobs while interned at Lake Wabaunsee. They worked at a wide variety of agricultural tasks, and use was made of their s kills in crafts such as masonry, carpentry, and painting. POWs also worked at the Army Ordnance Shop at Topeka. Although many Wabaunsee County farmers were initially suspicious of German PO Ws, friendly relations often developed between PO Ws and farmers. Farmers were pleased by the PO Wslappealing personalities and diligent work habits. Many area farmers were of German descent l and these farmers developed especially close relationships with POWs. Friendships between Americans and POWs often continued after the war. Attitudes of many POWs to ward the United States was influenced by their experiences on Kansas farms. Not only have PO Ws corresponded with Kansans for over 40 years, but several have crossed the Atlantic to renew old ties. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Prisoners of war-Germany. en_US
dc.subject Prisoners of war-Kansas-Lake Wabaunsee. en_US
dc.subject World War, 1939-1945-Prisoners and prisons. en_US
dc.title Farm work and friendship: the German prisoner of war camp at Lake Wabaunsee. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.college las en_US
dc.advisor Patrick G. O'Brian en_US
dc.department social sciences en_US

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