Author Event: Dr. Kathryn Roe Coker - Virginia POW Camps in World War II
Tour the camps, learn stories of the daily lives of the POWs, and discover the impact they had on the Old Dominion.
During World War II, Virginians watched as German and Italian prisoners invaded the Old Dominion. At least 17,000 Germans and countless Italians lived in over twenty camps across the state and worked on five military installations. Farmers hired POWs to pick apples. Fertilizer companies, lumber yards, and hospitals hired them. At first a phenomenon of war in Virginia's backyard, these former enemy combatants became familiar to many--often developing a rapport with their employers. Among them were die-hired Nazis and Fascists, but they benefited from double standards that placed them in better jobs and conditions than African Americans.
Historians Kathryn Coker and Jason Wetzel tell a different story of the Old Dominion at War.