The title, "13,000 Nights", relates to the number of nights these 34 men spend in prison camp away from their units. The nights were always the worst. That's when the men were alone and began to think about their loved ones. They worried whether they would get enough food, or whether they would be able to take the torture or back breaking work piled on them by the enemy. Each story is different. Each story is personal, fraught with raw feelings. Each story helps us come closer to understanding what imprisonment by the enemy was like. Each of their difficult stories will make us proud that they endured, survived and came home. Each story is a tribute to the families, communities and neighborhoods who were praying for the men during those `13,000 nights`. We dedicate this book to the 34 men, and their families, who lived and died during the`13,000 Nights`.
The Camp Algona Prisoner of War Museum committee began research on the book in the fall of 2013. The genesis of this book comes from a few comments made by some of our World War II vets when the Camp Algona Prisoner of War project began in 2001. A few said, it's good to remember the German prisoner of war camp, but don't forget the Kossuth men who fought and died as well as the men who became prisoners of the Axis. "Their treatment wasn't anything like the way we treated the German prisoners here." These heartfelt comments became one of our major goals when our project began. Don't forget "our guys who were killed or held captive." We didn't forget! Although research and writing for this book was slow and tedious, we believe the end result will bring honor to the service of 28 men from Kossuth County who were held in Axis camps and 5 Iowa men who were held in Axis camps, who were brought to Camp Algona to guard German prisoners when they were released.
To order by mail send a check or cash for 20 dollars, 15 for the book and 5 for shipping, to Box 174 Algona, IA, 50511. Make sure to send a return address!
Books are also available at the Camp Algona POW Museum or the Algona Chamber of Commerce Office at 123 East State Street, Algona IA.