German Prisoners of War in America:
The Camp Algona Experience

During World War II, Algona, Iowa was the site of a main camp for prisoners of war.  This camp was 'home' to a total of 10,000 German prisoners from April 1944 to February 1946.  The value of the work done by the prisoners in 34 branch camps in the 4 state region was estimated at $3,506,000.  The average monthly population in the entire system was 3,216, although the number kept in the Algona camp rarely exceeded 2,500.  The camp had a huge economic impact on the community of Algona and the surrounding area.  The experience of the German prisoners in the Camp Algona system is explained in this exhibit.

From the Archive: Interviews and Memories of German POWs

POWs at Work

The Exhibit

Map of Camp Algona and Branch Camps
Camp Algona and its Branch Camps

The German Experience Exhibit
The opening exhibit of the museum

German Work Projects and Branch Camps
Branch Camp Activities

POW Artifacts
A few of the muesum's artifacts from POW life

The sketch journal of a German POW
The sketch journal of a German POW

Back to Exhibits