Published On: Sun, Jan 1st, 2012

Indiana’s German POW Camps

05/07/2009 – I just heard about the Buseum and its display about the German prisoners of war. Following is a write up that I have sent to others, but you may want to include it with the Buseum. I grew up in Elwood and my Uncle Herman drove a school bus all over town. Everyone knew him as Hermy. 

I have often told the story of riding around with Herman Hocker (Uncle Hermy) in his school bus as he picked up German POWs at their camp that was located where the Elwood High School is now. He would deliver them to the farms in the area where they would work and earn money. As we traveled along, he would talk and sing songs with them in German. Then, at the end of the day, he would pick them up and deliver them back to camp. I rode along in the front of the bus on the floor next to Uncle Hermy. They all seemed to enjoy their stay in Elwood and were apparently better off than they were in Germany.

John Hocker
WLWHS ’53
USMA ’57
U.S. Army, Col. (ret)

Indiana’s German POW Camps

Anderson, Indiana – During WWII, Indiana became what was a part of the US Government’s Prisoner of War effort housing German soldiers that were captured and interned during WWII.

According to Mr. Irving Kellman, who brought Trace’s rolling museum to the Anderson Public Library on Monday, the Buseum, some of the 370, 000 German Soldiers captured in North Africa during WWII were kept in POW Camps all over the US with several of those POW Camps were right here in Indiana.

Two of the 650 POW Camps in the US were right here in Madison County in Indiana One was located in Elwood and one in Chesterfield, Indiana. Mr. Kellman said the Elwood Camp was only open for 6 weeks during the summer of 1943 and the Chesterfield camp lasted from 1943 to 1945.

The interned German Soldiers were used as laborers, replacing the American’s who were off fighting the war overseas.

The Buseum only comes to this part of Indiana once a year bringing with it the history of this part of WWII. To learn more about Traces and this unknown piece of WWII history visit their website at http://www.traces.org.

 

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