June 28, 2018

Gigi's History Lesson...

Back when I was in middle school and high school, history was not one of my favorite, or strongest, subjects.  English?  I rocked it.  Math? I think the only reason I graduated was because the math teacher felt sorry for me and awarded me points for effort.  History?  Mildly interesting but not enough to dive in deep; as a sixteen year old girl, I had other things on my mind - like makeup, hair and boys. 

But the other day, I read an article in our local paper about a barn and acreage, which happens to reside in a very commercial part of town (coincidentally, located next door to the condo we lived in before we moved here).  I was always curious about this bucolic oasis in the midst of a city.

The paper was covering a story about that land - specifically about the barn located there; which some were trying to have declared as a historic property because the senior living facility, which currently owns the land, wants to expand.  Unfortunately, I have a feeling that barn is too far gone to be saved.

Now here is where the story got REALLY interesting.

This all took place during World War II.  The dairy farmer wanted to buy the barn from the farmer across the road and he did.  But then he needed to move the barn to his land.  So he "leased" some German POWs that were interred in town (Wait, WHAT?!  We had foreign POWs housed in America?  In this town? Who knew!?) to move the barn.

I remember bits and pieces from those long ago history classes but I NEVER remember learning about POWs being brought to the United States.  I assumed that any POWs we may have had would have been held at American bases on foreign soil.

When I mentioned it to The Husband, he was as incredulous as I, the same with Man-Child.  So, here we have two generations who never learned about this in history class.

Needless to say, I was intrigued enough to Google it.  And yes, we had thousands of POWs, not just here but in forty-six of the forty-eight (at the time) states.

Here's a link if you are also intrigued.

Did any of you know this?  Was this taught in your high school?

5 comments:

  1. No, I never knew this. There is much our government never told us back then. Now I can't seem to get away from knowing way too much! :-)

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  2. WHAT?? I never knew this but I'm not much of a history buff. I'll have to ask my husband and son if they knew about this!

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  3. We had German prisoners at the State Fair grounds in Hutchinson, KS. I was a 10 year old in 1941. They helped the farmers during their time here. We had many farmers of German descent so they could communicate very nicely. No problems that I ever heard about.

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  4. mnutts7@yahoo.com. I failed to mention that we also had a large Amish settlement. They also spoke a form of German.

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  5. Love history, love learning stuff like this.

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