September 13, 2020
- WWII POWs were interned in Michigan during a labor shortage. Learn about the locations of the Italian and German POWs from author and scholar Gregory Sumner
- Dr. Citino is the Senior Historian at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. He talks about the historical significance of their museum collection and their online learning programs.
WWII POWs in Michigan and WWII Museum in New Orleans
6,000 WWII POWs interned in Michigan
During World War II, Michigan became a temporary home to 6,000 German and Italian POWs. Prof. Greg Sumner tells the story of the national program to bring to the US about 425,000 POWs. Sumner is a scholar and history professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. He uncovered the forgotten story of these POWs and the farms, forests and families they impacted.
At a time of homefront labor shortages, they picked fruit in Berrien County, harvested sugar beets in the Thumb, cut pulpwood in the Upper Peninsula and maintained parks and other public spaces in Detroit. The work programs were not flawless and not all of the prisoners were cooperative, but many of the men established enduring friendships with their captors. Gregory Sumner tells the story of these detainees and the ordinary Americans who embodied our highest ideals, even amid a global war.
WWII Museum in New Orleans
Dr. Robert Citino, Senior Historian at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, talks to host Jim Fausone about the museum, its history, its collections, and its relevance in today’s society. The museum has survived near bankruptcy and Hurricane Katrina. It is twenty years old and running strong, notwithstanding a pandemic.
Citino talks about the strong online presence and teaching that has been done during shut down. The museum seeks to rebuild its customer traffic and Citino entices you down to New Orleans on that next road trip.
More Information: www.nationalww2museum.org
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