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Michigan POW Camps in WWII
October 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Prisoner of War (POW) camps popped up nationwide during World War II, and Michigan had dozens of camps that housed about six thousand German and Italian war prisoners. Men were processed at Fort Custer near Battle Creek, then assigned to 31 smaller camps, most in remote areas of the state. Under the Geneva Convention, prisoners were allowed to volunteer for non war-related work. They picked fruit in Berrien County, harvested sugar beets in the Thumb, cut pulpwood in the Upper Peninsula, and maintained parks in Detroit. Author Gregory Sumner tells the story of these detainees and the ordinary Americans who embodied our highest ideals, even amid a global war.