Monday, March 12, 2012

German POWS worked middle Tennessee farms...

Did you know that during WWII German prisoners were often brought to the U.S. to work on farms and in other endeavors?  Since so many American men were away fighting, there was a dearth of laborers to fill their roles.  Thus, groups of prisoners were often sent to detention camps in Tennessee, from which they could go out to work.

Truly hardcore Nazis who might be disruptive were sent to a special camp in Oklahoma.  Other soldiers were were less likely to make trouble, and some were quite young.  There were some escapes among those who went out to work in middle Tennessee, but no one was harmed.    

According to an article by Jill Garrett, prisoners were paid the same wages as other workers.  However, their wages were paid to the government, who then gave the German prisoners an allowance of 80 cents a day, from which they could spend 10 cents.

Ms. Garret describes some young soldiers, who were assigned to work on the farm of a family named Parks.  They had their first taste of watermelon and loved it.   Some wrote to Mrs. Parks after returning home to Germany.

All of this reminds me of the book and movie, The Magic of Ordinary Days.



  1. I am really enjoying reading both your blogs. Please put my name in for the book you have written. I would love to read it. God bless, Rose

  2. Thank you, Rose. Your name is entered. ;)