“German Prisoners of War in Maine, From Foe to Friend” is the topic for the Belfast Historical Society meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 24, in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library. Hank Lunn, teacher and “Living History” presenter, will tell the personal story of what the experience was like to have German soldiers working on his family farm in Littleton, Aroostook County, Maine during World War II.
In 1944, the U.S. Army Air Base in Houlton, Maine became the site of a Prisoner of War (POW) internment camp for German soldiers captured in North Africa and France. The POW’s could not be forced to work, but could volunteer. Those who wanted to work helped the local farmers harvest peas, pick potatoes and cut wood in the forest during winter. The prisoners were paid a dollar a day in scrip that they could spend at their post exchange for toiletries, tobacco, chocolate, even beer. College courses were offered to those who wish to study.
Belfast Historical Society meetings are free and open to the public and are held on the fourth Monday of the month, April through October. For more information, visit www.belfastmuseum.org.