The Schmidt Family Reunion is excited to announce the addition of Jerry Yocum to the lineup of presentations at our July 30-31 event. Jerry is the President of the Camp Algona POW Museum Committee. Camp Algona in Algona, Iowa housed thousands of Nazi prisoners of war captured in Europe. These German POWs lived fascinating lives here in the American Midwest and actually played an integral role in the war effort. You don’t want to miss hearing Jerry speak!
Jerry gives a little preview of his presentation:
My talk will relate to the exodus of 400,000 German prisoners of war to the United States during World War II. They were brought to the US to work. 16,000,000 of our men were in military service and many of them came from the farms of the US. We needed replacement workers and the Geneva Convention permitted using military prisoners of war in non-munitions work.
Without the work done by the POWs, food production of the US would have been drastically reduced. Cuts in American food production would have meant less food for our own troops fighting on two fronts. The prisoners were returned to Europe beginning in the fall of 1945 through summer of 1946.