Camp Barron Prisoners 1944

A News-Shield reader recently emailed a photo to the paper, which shows half a dozen men who could well have stayed in town as German prisoners of war during World War II. “I found this photograph in a suitcase in Brisbane, Australia” wrote the reader, Andrew Clarkson. The inscription at the bottom of the photo reads: “In memory of the captives in the camp (at) Barron, 1947, from your loving Fritz.” In November 2014, the News-Shield published a feature story about captured German POWs who worked in and around Barron during 1944 and 1945. The U.S. Army brought the prisoners to pick beans or work in canneries. Residents of Monroe Manor remembered the camp, and at least one of them worked alongside German POWs during the war years. Nearly 500 German POWs stayed in two locations, including the site of the current Jennie-O Turkey Store. Few photos are known to exist, because the Geneva Convention had a rule preventing POW photos from being used for propaganda reasons. It is unknown why the photo is dated from 1947. Special thanks to Chad Buss, Barron High School principal, and to German foreign exchange student Lars Hoerle, who is a junior at Barron High School, and who helped to translate the inscription. The son of Astrid and Steffen Hoerle, Lars is a resident of Ebsdorfergrund, Germany. Photo contributed