January 23, 2018
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Maine Boys Overseas, German Boys in Maine

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New Exhibit looks at the little-known story of Maine P.O.W. camps

AUGUSTA – The Holocaust and Human Rights Center (HHRC) of Maine has created an exhibit focusing on the history and artifacts from Maine’s P.O.W. camps between 1944 and 1946. The exhibit, Maine Boys Overseas, German Boys in Maine, brings together artifacts, historical documents, and a film from a variety of Maine sources.

In early February, 1944, Maine Second District Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith revealed that the War Department had made plans to send German prisoners of war to Maine to work on lumber projects. A month later, Senator Ralph Owen Brewster announced that 2,500 German POWs had been assigned to Maine and would be housed at a camp near the Houlton airfield, and possibly other locations.

With that, a little-known chapter began in Maine history.

The HHRC exhibit, Maine Boys Overseas, German Boys in Maine, brings together artifacts from the POW Camps at Houlton, Spencer Lake, Seboomooc, and Princeton/Indian Township, along with ten remarkable WWII posters from the Maine State Museum and documents from the National Archives for this one-of-a-kind exhibit.

The exhibit was created with the help of the Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum; the Jackman Historical Society; Brenda Jepson; researchers and writers Bill Randall, Jocelyn Gray, and the late Milton Bailey; the Maine State Museum; Simons’ Photographic; the Fogler Library at UMO; the Maine State Library; the Grand Lake Stream Historical Society; the Maine Folklife Center; Yankee Magazine; Northeast Historic Films; Paul Marcotte and Sons; and the facilities staff at UMA.

Maine Boys Overseas, German Boys in Maine is open daily Monday through Friday from 10 am – 4 pm, and by appointment through November 30th. For more information, call 621-3530 or visit hhrc.uma.edu.