During World War II, Michigan became a temporary home to six thousand German and Italian POWs. At a time of homefront labor shortages, they picked fruit in Berrien County, harvested sugar beets in the Thumb, cut pulpwood in the Upper Peninsula and maintained parks and other public spaces in Detroit. The work programs were not flawless and not all of the prisoners were cooperative, but many of the men established enduring friendships with their captors.
Guest Speaker: Greg Sumner, Professor of History, University of Detroit Mercy, and author of Detroit in World War II (History Press, 2015) and Michigan POW Camps in World War II (History Press, 2018).
Sponsored by Friends of the Library.
Rescheduled from an earlier date.