Presented by Richard Holl, Professor of History, Hazard Community & Technical College
This talk will focus on the German prisoners of war held in Kentucky POW camps during World War II. Fort Knox, Camp Campbell and Camp Breckinridge all set up facilities to hold POWs, who were captured in Europe and North Africa and sent to the Commonwealth. Some 10,000 German POWs arrived here by the time all was said and done. U.S. authorities used the POWs as a labor source. Given the military draft and the need for women to work in war plants, a severe shortage of workers plagued the agricultural sector by 1943-1944. German POWs were pressed into service, bringing in much of the Kentucky tobacco crop in the fall of 1944 and the fall of 1945. They also harvested tomatoes, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. German POWs were repatriated in 1945-1946 and a fascinating episode in Kentucky history came to an end. This program is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. The Council is supported by the National Endowment and private contributions.
Library Evenings Upstairs - Axis Prisoners of War in Kentucky