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The Kossuth County Prisoners Of War

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Department of Defense
One of several camps along the Rhine in Germany (Rheinwiesenlager) where German prisoners, many of which were not given Geneva Convention protection (Disarmed Enemy Forces), were kept during the summer and autumn of 1945 under very poor conditions.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Jerry Yocum, vice president of the Camp Algona POW Museum Committee, historian and lead writer of “13,000 Nights: Kossuth County Men in Axis POW Camps in WWII.”

The Kossuth County enlisted men, John Muehe, Gordon Dimler, Richard Lavrenz, Howard Smith, John Spongberg and Donald Chiquet all spent more than 747 nights in German captivity. All of them survived.

Yocum said it took four years to research, document and dig deep to tell the stories of these prisoners of war.  

This program originally aired on February 20, 2020.

Guest:

  • Jerry Yocum, vice president of the Camp Algona POW Museum Committee, historian 

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Matthew is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa