"Nebraska POW Camps"

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2015 Nebraska Book Award Winner in Nonfiction: 
Nebraska History

A new, groundbreaking study on the prisoner of war camps in Nebraska during World War II…

During World War II, thousands of Axis prisoners of war were held throughout Nebraska in base camps that included Fort Robinson, Camp Scottsbluff and Camp Atlanta. Many Nebraskans did not view the POWs as “evil Nazis.” To them, they were ordinary men and very human. And while their stay was not entirely free from conflict, many former captives returned to the Cornhusker State to begin new lives after the cessation of hostilities. Drawing on first-person accounts from soldiers, former POWs and Nebraska residents, as well as archival research, Melissa Marsh delves into the neglected history of Nebraska’s POW camps.

Available from:

The History Press

(Paperback and Kindle)

Barnes and Noble.com 
(Paperback and Nook)

Photo by Dave Frank

6 thoughts on “"Nebraska POW Camps"”

  1. Italian POWs were also held in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they were allowed to go out on the town with Italian American women. This is highly ironic given that Japanese American citizens were forced into internment camps even as some fought for this country in Europe.

  2. Alfred, you're right – it IS highly ironic. Of course, many Italian immigrants (along with German immigrants) were also interned, something that isn't very well-known.

  3. Italians and Germans were held in several POW camps, some of which also held Japanese-Americans. The fact that Italians and Germans got a freer rein than the J-As, who after all had American citizenship, points to the rampant racism of the time in America. It was not just against blacks, is was, and largely still is, against anyone not European looking. Follow more about this and the war at tommyswars.com, a blog ahead of a book set to be published this year on the 70th anniversary of many events leading up to the end of it.

  4. Dear Ms. Marsh,

    a week ago I found your website and I immediately ordered your book from a well-known seller.
    Thank you very much for researching and writing on this subject which has become very relevant to me.

    I have been interested in the history of Camp Scottsbluff ever since my long deceased uncle F. K. told me of his experience as a member of the German armed forces in the Second World War.

    He was taken prisoner in Normandy at about 20th June 1944. He had been a direct witness of the allied landing operation on D-Day. He told me about his time in a camp not far from the Black Hills and about his harrowing time as an anti-Nazi in a Nazi-controlled environment.

  5. Back in the 70's I remember exploring the former site of the Scottsbluff POW camp. If my memory serves me right, it was several miles south of the Scottsbluff Great Western sugar beet plant, off Highway 26. It was near an old dump or landfill. There wasn't anything left to see of the camp, other than remains of old concrete footings. It may have been somewhat close to the airport, but it was not on the actual site of the airport as some have mistakenly claimed. The old POW camp is not easy to get to by car, I remember using my dirt bike to gain access.

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