| Home |


May 2003 | May 2002 | summer 2006 | December 2006

Bulletin Board

Submit your own

Share your stories, comments or concerns related to TRACES and the history connected with it .


I've felt a need to share that experience. 

Name: Olga Jung
Email: OJung57977@aol.com

10 October 2008

I've always been impressed with TRACES.  It is an endeavor that needs to be pursued.  War on a personal level has no purpose.  I've tried to support TRACES in many ways.  From the time I met a Berliner, who learned English as a prisoner of the Americans I've felt a need to share that experience. 

Subject: contact info for Gregory Kupsky
Name: Sharon Wilson
Email: mommashrona@sbcglobal.net

30 September 2008

Is it possible for you to send me contact info for Gregory Kupsky?  He is the

author of an article on your site:


""To Win Our War with Butter and Beefsteaks": Camp Crossville

and the Treatment

of Axis Prisoners of War

by Gregory Kupsky


I would like to send Mr. Kupsky and update on one of his subjects.


Thank you very much for any help,

Sharon Wilson

Subject: Thank you
Name: Annelee Woodstrom
Email: annelee@loretel.net

6 Sep 2008

Michael, what a blessing you are!

You deserve recognition for the good work you do --- promoting understanding of human failures to work for the good of mankind. I am most grateful to you for all you do promoting my book. Several social studies teachers have told me that they thought "War Child" should be in every history class to show the, so to speak, other side. My German friends in Germany ask frequently why I don't have the book translated into German ---- well, the cost is one reason.
Michael, I thank you again, and my best wishes for gaining all you hope for TRACES.
Peace and friendship,

Annelee Woodstrom

Subject: Help finding Vincent Sheean's Estate, or relatives.
Name: Dr Garry Campion
Email: Garry.Campion@northampton.Ac.Uk

7 Nov 2007

Dear 'Traces',

I'd be grateful for any assistance you can off in respect of Vincent Sheean's
Estate, or relatives. I'm trying to secure copyright permission for a book on
the Battle of Britain, but am struggling to find who now controls his Estate.
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

Many thanks, Gary
Dr Garry Campion
Senior Lecturer
The School of the Arts
University of Northampton

Subject: Hedy Epstein: Holocause Survivor and Speaker
Name: Hedy Epstein
Email: hedy@hedyepstein.com

7 Nov 2007

I just looked at your website & wonder if you are interested in my story.
In brief: I am Jewish, born in Germany in 1924. Left on a Kindertransport
on 5/18/39, to England. My parents & other family members were deported on
10/22/40 to Camp de Gurs (Vichy France) & to Auschwitz in the summer of
1942, where they perished.

I worked as a research analyst at the Nuremberg trial of the Nazi doctors
who performed medical experiments on concentration camp inmates.

Since 1970, I have given presentations in the U.S., Germany & Austria
about my Holocaust related experience, as well as my work at the Nuremberg
trial of the Nazi doctors

You may wish to go to my website

I look forward to hearing from you.

Hedy Epstein
5547 Waterman Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63112

Subject: did you uncover any POW camp where the more fanatical prison population was segregated from the general population?
Name: Ed Lynskey
Email: e_lynskey@yahoo.com

24 Oct 2007

I'm a crime fiction writer (THE BLUE CHEER, etc.) and found your informative, in-depth website. I enjoyed reading your presentations and seeing your slide shows on the Nazi POW camps located in Iowa and Minnesota.

I had two maternal great-uncles with American forces in Europe during the war. My wife's grandfather served in the Pacific.

In your research and interviews, did you uncover any POW camp where the more fanatical prison population was segregated from the general population? I'm not thinking of necessarily violent prisoners, but the unreconstructed, zealous soldiers and officers who refused to renounce or compromise their political ideals?

Thank you in advance for any insights or evidence you might have to shed light on this aspect of the POW camps.

Ed Lynskey
Annandale, VA

Subject: put me in contact with any former POWs in the Omaha area
Name: Captain David Webb
Email: dwebb@mail.unomaha.edu

24 Oct 2007


I'm Captain David Webb, the Commandant of Cadet at the Air Force ROTC
Detachment at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I am also the Cadre
Advisor for the Arnold Air Society (AAS) Squadron.

Our AAS Squadron is planning a POW / MIA 4 mile run and 36 hour vigil on
the 9th of November and wanted to have a former POW as a guest speaker, if

Can you put me in contact with any former POWs who might be available in
the Omaha area?

Thank you.

Captain David Webb

Air Force ROTC Instructor
Air Force ROTC Detachment 470

Subject: tracing this paintings history
Name: Gary Deuvall
Email: duke46el@hotmail.com

26 Sept 2007

I have a painting in my possession that may have been painted by a POW. I was
told by the person who gave it to me, "That is my home, on the Austrian side of
the Swiss Alps" He spoke with a thick German accent. I had sold a travel trailer
to him in Orlando in 1993. He seemed reluctant to part with the painting but no
longer had room for it.
An art restoration person told me it was painted with materials found in common
use in the US during the 1940's. However the style was very European. The frame
is from the early 50's.
I have become interested in tracing this paintings history.
Gary Deuvall
7273 Lucia Lane, Walls, MS. 38637


Subject: Thank you
Name: Mark Murphy
Email: Mark.Murphy@aberdeen.k12.sd.usm@hotmail.com

26 Sept 2007

I would like to thank you for your sponsorship of the TRACES program. Just over 100 students took advantage of this unique learning experience during the hour and half they were present on our campus. Eric Brandt showed an excellent power point presentation on German POWs held here in the Midwest. He contrasted how American POWs were treated by the Germans. We enjoyed the opportunity you helped to provide our students. Thanks.

Mark Murphy
Assistant Principal - Aberdeen Central HS
Aberdeen, South Dakota


Subject: poem by Harry E Kaser, written the night before the battle of
the Bulge
Name: Gordon Goins
Email: gak1984@earthlink.net

3 Sept 2007

I have attached a poem by Harry E Kaser, written the night before the battle of
the Bulge. Harry was captured and sent to Stalag IX B Bad Orb Germany. My
hope is that someone remembered him and can communicate with his daughters
their knowledge of him. Harry was killed in an auto accident in 1951, before
his daughters had a chance to know him.

Gordon Goins


Look God, I have never spoken to you -
but now I want to say, "How do you do."

Yes God, they told me you didn't exist -
and like a fool - I beleived all this.

Last night from a shell hole I saw your sky -
I figured right then they had told me a lie.

Had I taken time to see the things you made,
I'd known they weren't calling a spade a spade.

I wonder God if you'd shake my hand, somehow -
I feel that you will understand

Funny - I had to come to this hellish place,
before I had time to see your face.

Well I guess there isn't much more to say.
But I'm sure glad God, I met you today.

I guess the "zero hour" will soon be here,
But I'm not afraid since I know your're near.

The Signal! Well God - I'll have to go.
I like you lots - This I want you to know.

Look, now - this will be a horrible fight.
Who knows, I may come to your house tonight.
Though I wasn't with you before,
I wonder God if you'd wait at your door?

Look - I'm crying! Me! Shedding tears!
I wish I'd known you these many years.

Well, I have to go now, God - Good Bye.
Strange - since I know you - I'm not afraid to die.


Sgt. Harry E. Kaser, 3/4/1921 - 11/11/1951
MIA December 17, 1944
POW Stalag IXB, Bad Orb, Germany
March 31, 1945

Daughters: Karen L. (Kaser) Goins
Sandra S. (Kaser) Gardner


Subject: German POW’s at an old CCC camp not far from Cass Lake
Name: Dave Houg
Email: davehoug@comcast.net

1 Sept 2007

When I was in college at Bemidji in 1974 my history professor Art Lee told of German POW’s at an old CCC camp not far from Cass Lake. They had grown up on Cowboy & Indian movies and the camp guards along with real Native American Indians from Cass Lake would keep them from escaping into the deep woods by staging mock “Indian Attacks.” They would dress up like movie Indians and run thru camp late at night with the guard’s help and WHOOP and yell and swing tomahawks and shoot arrows at the doors of the POW’s. The POW’s swallowed it up hook, line and sinker. They truly thought if they just walked away from camp into the woods the Indians would “GET THEM.”

Art Lee told another story of a German POW who knew the US from a map. He knew the Mississippi River not far from camp led down south. He and another guy swiped a boat, rowed down the Mississippi for about 2 weeks, hiding during the day. They figured they had gone almost to Mexico and finally stopped and walked into the next town. Turns out they had only gotten to St. Cloud, not even down to the Twin Cities. The German POW was used to maps of Germany and the relative size of the US never sunk in. Two weeks on a river in Germany WOULD get you to another country, but not in the US.

Dave Houg,
Inver Grove Heights, MN

Subject: locating former German POWs to interview
Name: Anna Hermann
Email: Anna_Hermann@brown.edu

31 July 2007

I am a student at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. For my senior honors thesis, I am researching the influence of the special "re-education" program created for German POWs at Forts Kearney, Getty and Wetherill in Rhode Island during World War II. I am in Germany for the summer and am trying to locate these German soldiers who took part in these camps in order to interview them about their experiences there, and in Germany after the war.

I have been in contact with Dr. Norbert Haase concerning this topic, and he referred me to you as someone who could perhaps be helpful in locating former German POWs to interview. I would like to ask if you are aware, or remain in contact with, any soldiers who were POWs at these specific camps in Rhode Island. If you do have contact information for any of them, I would be most grateful. If this is not the case, I would also be interested in any suggestions you have for the best way to trace people, or when you were doing your research, how you went about finding people to interview. I understand that this is a difficult undertaking to try to locate people at this point, due to their age, but I feel that it is an important part of my research. My family is of German background, my Grandfather fought for the Germany army during World War II and was a prisoner of war in Russia, so this topic is also of particular personal interest to me. I am comfortable working in German and will be in Germany for 6 more weeks, hoping to do as many interviews as possible (and then also in the US this fall if their are soldiers who immigrated), before I return to Rhode Island.

Also, I have looked at your TRACES website and came across an article you linked written for the WashingtonPost in 2004 by a women named Lynn Ermann about the re-education program. For the article it appears she interviewed four or so soldiers who in 2004 were still living. Do you have contact information for her, or know of anyway I could go about finding out if she is still in contact with the people she interviewed?

Thank you in advance for any information or help you can provide me.

Best regards,

Anna Hermann

Subject: Scattergood will have a booth
Name: Dana Smith
Email: dsmith@scattergood.org

20 July 2007

My name is Dana Smith and I am the Marketing Director at Scattergood Friends School. My office mate, Rachel Thomson has visited TRACES last year I believe with one of our students. There is an event coming up soon in our community which celebrates the history of West Branch, Iowa. Scattergood will have a booth at this event and I would love to share information about the hostel as well as the current school. I was hoping that you would have electronic copies of photos or photo of artifacts from that time in Scattergood's history. It seems that all of our items from that era were donated to various foundations and organizations without us making copies. I have gotten a wealth of information from the TRACES website and from your book but I am missing images. Please let me know if you are able to help fill in the gaps. Thank you so much for your time!

Take care,

Subject: Need the name of a book
Name: Ingrid Hill
Email: ingrid@avalon.net

13 June 2007

I'm a fiction writer in Iowa City. I just encountered your dissertation online.
I have been racking my brain for the name of a book that you must surely know,
but no one yet has been able to help me find. It's a memoir/autobiography by a
Jewish woman who came to Iowa-- I believe by Quakers' intervention-- in WWII.
It was published perhaps five years ago and the author gave readings here. I
heard about this secondhand so I have no more info. Can you help with a title
and/or author's name? It's for a piece of fiction I'm working on.


Ingrid Hill

Subject: Need the name of a book
Name: Eberhard Fuhr
Email: efuhr@aol.com

23 May 2007

Michael Luick-Thrams is the director of the entire project. I have been on the BUS-eum at various times and places, but Michael is the driving force with his indefatigable energy and drive. Because of the BUS-eum, I have been engaged for several presentations about the internment of Germans in WW 2. These presentations are about one hour in length, which includes documents, proclamations, arrest warrants, and of course my personal experience as an internee arrested at age 17 and not released until age 22 in September 1947.
The BUS-eum is getting traction on this unknown story of German Internment. He, Luick-Thrams, operates on a shoe string and could use some sources of funds.
In June, a German TV production Company will tell the entire story of our internment utilizing the BUS-eum, Crystal City Internment Camp, Ellis Island and interviews of Karen Ebel and this writer, Eberhard Fuhr

Subject: German Internment Camps
Name: John Leonard Berg
Email: bergjo@mhtc.net

22 May 2007

Several weeks ago your BUS-eum visited the campus of Platteville in Wisconsin. I visited with the program director who made several suggestions for books that specifically address the German POW camp at New Ulm, Minnesota. I lost my list and wonder if someone might be able to resuggest book titles that review/feature New Ulm.
Thanks, John Leonard Berg
412 South School Street
Cuba City, WI 53807

Subject: German POWs who lived with the farmers as "hired help"
Ronald E Olrick
Email: olrick@landolls.com

18 May 2007

I am a fourth generation American from a small town in Columbia County Wisconsin. There are so many German-Americans that even the Irish give thier children German names.

Since I was born in 1942 all I have is a bit of oral history about the German POWs who lived with the farmers as "hired help". The story is about a farmer who gave his POW the keys to the truck and told him to go into town to get supplies. The poor fellow spoke little Engilsh and was very fearfull as he performed his errands, returning quickly with the supplies. With gas rationing
he might have gone as far as Milwaukee or Madison but what then?

I am wonder if anyone else has heard this amusing story.

Ron Olrick

Subject: shot down over Italy and citizenship
Michael Weidhaas
Email: MikeW99999@aol.com

18 May 2007

It was a pleasure to see you in St Louis yesterday (Sunday April 22nd) at the Shlafly Library.
Your program is very educational to everyone, whether they have heard of the internments of German Citizens in the USA before or not.

As I mentioned before, my father-in-law (now deceased) Roland W Jung, Jr., was in the U.S. Air Corps during World War II and was shot down over Italy. Eventually he was transferred to Germany (Stalag Luft 7a - Moosburg) and returned after the war. His father - Roland W Jung, Sr., was mayor of Belleville, Illinois, during World War II.

Also, just so you know...female U.S. citizens who married alien (non-U.S.) males before September 22, 1922, lost their U.S. citizenship. (U.S. males who married alien females did NOT lose their U.S. citizenship. This happened to my paternal grandmother who was born in Kirkwood, MO., and married in 1910. She actually got an "Alien Registration Card" (now called a "green" card) after she married. Women got the right to voted in the U.S. in August 1920. Many women did not realize that they lost their citizenship, and only found out about it when they tried to apply for a U.S. passport. Also during World War II they could have been considered to be non-U.S. citizens (state-less) and be interned.

Michael Weidhaas


Subject: from Writers Alamanac - Garrison Keillor
Name: Sandy Lucas

11 Apr 2007

I got this email today from Writers Alamanac - Garrison Keillor puts it  out. He always has a poem or essay and then interesting tidbits about various  authors..

 It was on this day in 1945 that the U.S. army entered the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany. At the time, there had  been reports of concentration camps from the field, but no Americans had  seen the camps for themselves. The American soldiers who arrived at
 Buchenwald on this day in 1945 would become the first Western observers of one of the worst atrocities in human history.

 Several of the soldiers carried Kodak cameras, and so they took photographs of the surviving prisoners and the dead, so that people would believe what they had seen. Their photographs showed human beings so emaciated that they could barely walk, and victims' bodies stacked around the camp like piles of wood.

 One of the children liberated at the camp that day was a teenager named  Elie Wiesel, who would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He had been forced to march from Auschwitz to Buchenwald a few weeks earlier, and his father had recently died in the camp. In the weeks before the liberation, Wiesel had stopped going to get his food rations, had given up on living. And then, on this day in 1945, Wiesel saw American jeeps rolling into the camps. In his
 memoir All the Rivers Run to the Sea, Wiesel wrote, "I will never forget  the American soldiers and the horror that could be read in their faces. I will especially remember one black sergeant, a muscled giant, who wept tears of impotent rage and shame... . We tried to lift him onto our shoulders to  show our gratitude, but we didn't have the strength. We were too weak to even applaud him."

 Peace - Sandy



Subject: American Bund parade through New York City photo source
Lorraine Diehl 
Email: lbdiehl@aol.com

4 April 2007

In your article on the American Bund by Jim Bredemus you show a photograph of
an American Bund parade through New York City's Yorkville district. Can you
tell me the source for the photo? I'm writing a book on New York City During
World War 11 to be published by Smithsonian Press, and am interested in using
that photo to help illustrate my chapter on Yorkville just before the war.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Most sincerely,

Lorraine Diehl

Subject: Need help investigating the activities of the American Friends
Service Committee (AFSC) in Vichy France
between 1940 and 1942.
Scott Blair
Email: blair.scott@epa.gov, cscott.blair@gmail.com

15 March 2007

Dear Friend,
I'm a graduate student of Professor Richard Breitman (a leading Holocaust expert) at the American University in Washington, DC. As part of my research I am investigating the activities of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Vichy France between 1940 and 1942.

Specifically, I'm trying to determine if any of these AFSC members may qualify for recognition as "Righteous Among Nations" for saving Jewish lives during the period between the fall of France in May of 1940 and the Allied invasion of North Africa in November of 1942. I'm also interested in inquiring whether any of these rescues were attributable to efforts of not just the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), but also the Unitarian Service Committee (USC) and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA).

I would be very grateful for any and all details that the survivors can remember relating to the time, people, and places of their rescue from Vichy France. I am particularly interested in the few positive memories from this bleak chapter of history. As my father used to say of his
experience fighting in World War II, "you remember the good things and forget the bad." I am hopeful these survivors will remember some of the good things these organizations may have done for them.

If anyone can help me with information about individuals the AFSC, the USC and the YMCA assisted to escape to Portugal or North Africa, please e-mail me at: blair.scott@epa.gov or cscott.blair@gmail.com.

Scott Blair

Subject: Quakers and German-American internees
John Christgau  
Email: Jchristgau@aol.com

26 February 2007

Item of note:  Eddie Friede, the Jew from my book ENEMIES who was interned at Ft. Lincoln, near Bismarck, North Dakota, always felt that it was Quakers in San Francisco who acted on his behalf to get him released.  They visited his wife in SF after he was taken away, and for the rest of their lives they wanted to find the Quakers who helped rescue them.  But to my knowledge they never did.


Subject: father at Quaker-run refugee hostel at Finca Paso Seco in Cuba
Ruth Heuberger 
Email: haruhe@verizon.net

27 February 2007

Through a series of fortunate encounters, I have been able to access your wonderful site and learn about the Refugee hostel, FINCA PASO SECO in Cuba, where my father, Bernard Weissman, spent time before legally being able to enter the U.S. in 1940. Fortunately, I have a photograph which led to the discovery of the good Quaker who established the hostel, Emmett Gulley.
(Yesterday, a copy of the book of this exraordinary man arrived, as well!)
My query is this: Is there a list of individuals who found a temporary home in Finca Casa Seco during those war years, so that I might continue my search to find out more and if there was someone who might have known my father there? Unfortunately, when he was alive, I never asked the questions which might have better informed me of his life before we were reunited in the U.S. in 1943, when I was five.

Thank you for your attention. Yours, Ruth (Weissman) Heuberger, Great Barrington, MA


Subject: New Ulm, Minnesota POW Kurt Kurschner
Renee Wendinger   
Email: reneew@sleepyeyetel.net

7 August 2006

:     Hi,  I wrote awhile back and have not heard from you so am trying again. It is  quite possible that you are very busy this summer. First let me commend   Traces  for bringing together an exhibition worthy of a place in history.   I am trying to trace a New Ulm, Minnesota POW Kurt Kurschner (accent mark   over  the u in surname). My in-laws have acquired a wonderful painting done by   him  of the home they now live in..it is a winter scene. He did not work for   them,  but rather worked for the Lillian and Woodrow Strate couple (they had no  children) on a farm 10 miles west of New Ulm, Mn. Apparently Woody and   Lillian  were very good to Kurt..It is said that Kurt had at least one young boy at   the  time of the war in Germany, and Woody and Lillian sent the family packages  after the war. Lillian sent a photo of the farm house to Kurt and he   painted  the scene in watercolor to perfection and sent back. Also a relative of   Woody  and Lillian (Mrs. Elmer [Inez] Lochner)sent some of her boys( Willis and   Donald  ) clothes to Kurt for his son/s..along with a picture of  her boys Willis   and  Donald just so Kurt could see who the giver/wearer of the clothes came   from.  He sent them back a painting of those two boys as well.  I would like to know something of him as clearly the man had a lot of   artistic  talent. Sadly the painting was acquired too late to ask Woody and Lillian  (deceased) and their relatives information about Kurt and where he was  from...know one knows what part of Germany, etc. If you can offer some   insight  I'd appreciate it...I am a history buff myself.
Renee Wendinger   

Subject: Document on http://www.traces.org/mildredharnackfish.html about the
execution of my uncle by the Nazis
Hasso von Boehmer, MD
Email: Hasso.von.Boehmer@gmx.de

4 August 2006

when I was searching for material for our family`s website www.von-boehmer.net I found http://www.traces.org/mildredharnackfish.html.
To my surprise this page of your website www.traces.org displays a facsimile of the letter
which in March 08, 1945 had been sent by the Nazi "Volksgerichtshof" (People`s Court) to my father, Thilo von Boehmer, telling him that his brother Hasso von Boehmer (from whom I have my prename) had been executed some days earlier. Added to this facsimile is a text which says: "Like other survivors, the widow of Hasso von Boehmer (...) tried in vain to learn of the circumstances of her husband`s death after the war." However, Kaethe von Boehmer, the widow, had fled from Eastern Germany via Berlin to Southwestern Germany at the end of Jan. 1945, but she had remained in close connection to Thilo von Boehmer (my father and the brother of his husband),
who remained in Berlin until after the death of Hasso. In addition, from Ellinor von Boehmer, who lived until 1953 and was the mother of Hasso, our family has a written report about the last days of Hasso, mostly with material by his lawyer Mr. H. Boden and by another convict, Hans
Carl Graf Hardenberg.

So I have 2 questions:

Wherefrom did you get the information about my uncle Hasso von Boehmer and
his widow ?
Wherefrom did you get the facsimile of the letter to my father from March
08, 1945 ?

Thank you for your answer -

Hasso von Boehmer

Subject: WWII German POWs in North Carolina
Laura Carter
Email: steiffbearlover@yahoo.com

24 July 2006

I'm doing research into WWII German POWs in North Carolina, and I stumbled on your site.  I'm having a bit of a hard time finding sources online and wondered if you  would have suggestions as to where I could begin looking.  Unfortunately, for some reason, the NC Museum of History doesn't have anything! I know you're in the Midwest but I surmised that you would be in contact with other similar projects or sources of information throughout the country.
Many thanks in advance for any help you can give!
Laura Carter

Subject: names of pow that worked for my dad
Fred Von Ruden
Email: vonruden@hickorytech.net

17 Jul 2006

I remember back in the middle 40's when my dad used pow from a camp in Owatonna, MN. Do you know if there are records where I could research for names of pow that worked for my dad? I remember them working at our farm but I was about 6 years old at the time.

Subject: Our first visit to TRACES museum
Faye Sahr
Email: fayesahr@pointoffrance.com

9 April 2006

This was our first visit to TRACES' museum, which we had never heard of but learned about when we were at Landmark Center for another event yesterday and noted it.  The museum is extraordinarily moving and dismaying. My husband was in the Battle of the Bulge and knew people who were POWs; he was also at Camp McCoy after the war.  For me it was, once again, the realization of the horrors of war on all peoples, the 'good' and the 'bad'--and, the criminality of anyone who would start a war.  The exhibit is hard and stays with one, but is so necessary as a teaching tool, if anyone listens and looks.
Thank you,
Faye Sahr

Subject: Holocaust report help
William Velge
Email: occallifornia@yahoo.com

26 February 2006

I really enjoy your site.  It helped me with the Vietnam report I did. Now I’m working on a report about the holocaust. I’m looking to find what or why the Jews were so badly hated?
What was the result of the holocaust? Why Hitler? If you know were to look or a way to point me in the right direction ill appreciate it.

William Velge

Subject: Quaker Hill
Cyle Olson
Email: cyle_olson@hotmail.com

26 February 2006

Hello, My name is Cyle Olson and I'm currently doing a school project for the Traces Organization, as you read down below I was referenced by Michael  Luick-Thrams in hoping that you have some High Quality (300- 600ppi)  photographs in Quaker Hill section (Carolyn Pickett, Leonard Kenworthy, Nancy Parker - Gertrude McCoy, and the Quaker Hill Conference Center)

I believe that you have some digital copies of the Picketts. If you do, could you please send my any of those photographs and any other ones that could pertain to this section. It would be greatly appreciated.

Cyle Olson

Subject: WCCO radio's Big Al
William D. Johnson
Email: WJohnson@faegre.com

21 February 2006

Thank you for lighting up the nocturnal air waves with WCCO radio's Big Al last night!   Incontrovertibly the most captivating and erudite programming Mr. Mahlmberg has offered up in a long spell.  Your endeavors are remarkable, and, as a native Iowa "townie,'" I appreciate the revelations as to what transpired "backstage" or "between the corn rows" in the Big War years.  My father was a merchant marine seaman in the War (U.S.S. Ticonderoga) and I regret to this day that I never had the opportunity to probe the era with him; he was very bright but didn't share much in that realm.  I am left with his Seaman's Log wallet, passport, inscribed MM ring, misc. photos and documents stuffed therein; I treasure these of course.
Thanks again.  Keep up the commendable work and my compliments on the informative website.  When is the movie coming out (TRACES)?
Wm.D.(Bill) Johnson
2200 Wells Fargo Center
90 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis MN 55402-3901
P.(612) 766-7422
F.(612) 766-1600

Subject: Photos of Dad's stuff
Chris Sand
Email: chriss@pffwillmar.org

20 February 2006

I feel you've done a good job getting the info out about WWII POWs and am pleased to know that in a few months, some of my Dad's stuff will be part of that history for all to see.  I plan to come back when you have finished with taking the photos of Dad's stuff, etc.  So, I'll await your email telling me this and then I will come!  I'm surprised at how I miss having Dad's stuff at my home to look at and refer to as I continue with my research.  But you don't need to hurry on it---it takes time to do things well!  This I know.  I have found a pot-or-gold since we were there.  One of the guys in my Dad's room at Stalag IV sent me his story!  He lists all his "buddies" in the story and my Dad is in there!!!   I've sent copies of this to all my siblings and they cried.  Anyway--I'll hopefully see you this spring, whenever you're done then.

Best Regards,
Chris Sand

Subject: POWs that would have been held in the Harlem Montana
Perry J. Tangen
Email: Perry.Tangen@ngb.army.mil

2 February 2006

                I am seeking information on POWs that would have been held in the Harlem Montana area during WWII. My family is from Harlem , where we operated a small farm. My mother told me of the POWs that would come out to the farm and work there. Can you tell me where I can find documentation or obtain any info on the matter? You can reach me on my cell phone  (971) 563-1726 or return any insights you have to this email address.
Thank You
Perry J. Tangen

Subject: Broadcasting Award
David Stoeger
Email:  DStoeger@nrgbroadcast.com

27 January 2006

 I would like to inform you that a news story we broadcast here at the Reedsburg radio stations when the "Behind Barbed Wire" bus came to town in May of last year won an award. The story was winner for Best Feature in Small market radio for 2005 by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. The story featured sound clips from Director Michael Luick-Thrams, along with the thoughts of numerous individuals after they got to see inside the bus.

Thank You
David Stoeger
News Director




Subject: Internee
Alfred Wohlpart
Email:  a.p.wohlpart@comcast.net

18 January 2006

I understand from Stephen Fox that you are engaged in a project concerning german internment camps. I was interned with my family in Crystal City before being repatriated to Germany. any information yoiu provide will be appreciated.

Alfred Wohlpart

Subject: Looking for The Red Orchestra and Mildred Harnack information
Mandy Kissinger
Email:  dance29@charter.net

15 January 2006

            I am and eighth-grade student at D.C. Everest Junior High in Schofield , Wisconsin , and I am writing to request information for a school project.
             My social studies and English classes are involved in a large research project called “History Day.”  Each year this project follows a different theme that is set by the National History Day office, and for the 2005-2006 school years our theme is “Taking a Stand in History.”  I am researching a group called The Red Orchestra and Mildred Harnack.  For this project we are required to research the impact, influence, and change it brought to the world.
           I am writing to ask if you would be able to send me any pictures, poems, 3-D objects, and any other information about Mildred Harnack and The Red Orchestra.  I would use these items on my exhibit. 
            Any information you can send me would be very helpful.  I appreciate your time and assistance.  My address is listed below, my home telephone number is 715-355-7115, and my e-mail address is dance29@charter.net.

Thank you.

Mandy Kissinger
1895 Lea Road
Mosinee, WI 54455

Subject: Looking for D-Day and WWII documents
Nick Schiltz
Email:  lschiltz@smig.net

15 January 2006

    My name is Nick and I am a World War 2 historian at age 14. (No lie). I was recently referred by a World War 2 veteran who said that you had a large collection of World War 2 documents and artifacts. Well, that got me thinking, would you have anything about D-Day?
    I saw your site and looked for some things and skimmed through. This information I'm looking to gather is for a National History Day project that occurs in Iowa every year with the top entry's going to state and then, (hopefully), nationals in Maryland.
    Since you also have stuff about Germany and "stuff" before the dramatic events of World War 2 in Western Europe, would you have anything about Raoul Wallenberg? He had saved thousands of Jews from murder and torture but was never seen after Soviet tanks entered his hometown. Also Jimmy Dolittle..."Dolittle's Raid"...?

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,

Name: Dena Wortzel
Email: dwortzel@wisc.edu

19 August 2005

Dear Michael,

I just had the great pleasure of reading your “Wisconsin BUS-eum Tour Journal.” I can’t remember ever having so much fun reading a final report. Wisconsin clearly got quite a show (despite some inhospitable weather), and I have no doubt that your warmth and passion were a large part of what helped so many thousands of people learn about and reflect upon a vitally important piece of our past. Thank you so much for doing this wonderful work.

All the best,

Dena Wortzel
Associate Director

Wisconsin Humanities Council
222 S. Bedford St., Suite F
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 262-0706

Subject: Request for BUS-eum
Name: Kerri Canepa
Email: kacanepa@verizon.net

16 August 2005

Hi! My name is Kerri Canepa and I'm the director of the Wyocena Public Library. The library just opened in January so we're still feeling our way and figuring out just what sort of services we can provide for our community! A friend of mine, Nancy Ashmore who directs the Prairie du Chien, WI library, told me how popular the BUSeum was when it came to her town. Wyocena has a number of residents who were affected in some way by WW II who I believe would be interested in seeing the BUS-eum displays. The Friends of the Wyocena Public Library think there would be a number of people who would be VERY interested and encouraged me to contact you. The big veteran recognition day in Wyocena is Memorial Day. The village has a parade with a short riverside memorial service to honor local veterans. Afterwards is a community potluck in the Community Center. What an interesting and educational opportunity for this community! Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Kerri Canepa
Director, Wyocena Public Library
165 E. Dodge Street, PO Box 913
Wyocena, WI 53969

Subject: About Sol's death
Name: Leann Kurey
Email: leannkurey@yahoo.com

24 May 2005

Dear Michael, what a whirlwind time we’ve had since your bus visit!

It’s freaky that you predicted it: Sol continued moaning, not eating or drinking after your visit. Friday the 13’th we went to the doctor. It’s the same doctor who every visit has been so upbeat about Sol, but not this time. He examined how the tumor on Sol’s ear had progressed and said, “Leann, this has to be painful and you need to start hospice.” He said Sol probably had about 6 months.

I think that was all Sol needed to hear. Unusual for Sol, he sobbed that evening. Coincidently, without us telling any of his good friends the news, they each stopped by to see him over the next couple days. Sunday night Sol was having so much pain, for the first time we had to give him morphine. The doctor said the tumor was going into Sol’s brain. My sister Jane disagreed with what the doctor and I had decided--to take him off of his blood pressure pills and blood thinners and to start hospice.

So, Monday evening hospice admitted Sol. Again, Monday night was painful so Sol needed more morphine. Tuesday, the hospice case worker came, along with the rabbi we had met previously through hospice for my mom. Sol again had significantly changed from the day before. The rabbi seemed to make Sol relax with his blessings, along with Sol’s 94 year old sister--who drove her self over!

Wed. morning you could see this was probably going to be it. In 5 days Sol was doing what the doctor thought would be 6 months. He had had enough and wasn’t going to suffer through more.

We had a wonderful hospice nurse--an American Indian guy who was so good with all of this. He kept making Sol morphine cocktails. He couldn’t believe little Sol hadn’t gone into a coma with all he gave him--but Sol stayed right there with us. The nurse had to leave at 1:30 pm and said it would probably be another 6 hours. Before he left, Jane asked him to come into another room to talk. Our baby brother Paul--who Sol adored--came just then. Nick, Sol’s strong grandson, was holding one hand. Paul was holding Sol’s other hand for about 90 seconds. Then Nick said, “Aunt Leann, I think Grandpa stopped breathing.” I got the nurse, who couldn’t believe it. He said “He was fine a moment ago.” Sol waited for Jane to leave and Paul to come in. It was truly Sol’s way of doing things--his own way!

We had a beautiful funeral. The funeral home 2 blocks away held it--their first Jewish funeral. All attending were Christians, except for a few remaining relatives. The rabbi did an excellent job. The POWs talked for a few moments about Sol’s humor. My 15 year old wrote the eulogy. Nick wanted to read it. He got through one third of it, and couldn’t finish. Ben, the 15 year old stood up, and amazed everybody at his ability to finish. Grandpa Sol couldn’t have been more proud of everybody I believe. The military played taps and gave him a gun salute. It was so touching.

So I’m glad you e-mailed, as everybody has been asking if I e-mailed you yet. The burial was yesterday and today I am exhausted. It’s been quite a busy time since Mother’s Day!

I believe everybody, you included, should be very proud of what we were able to do for Sol. He was taken great care of and didn’t linger in pain. Hopefully, he felt some closure with your BUS-eum, also. Thanks again; sincerely,

Leann Kurey

Subject: father was Jewish POW in Krems, Austria
Name: Leann
Email: leannkurey@yahoo.com

4 May 2005

Dear Michael, I just read in the Germantown (Wisconsin) local newspaper about your upcoming trip to our middle school and library. I’m so excited about, it as my father was a POW in WWII in Krems, Austria and my son in a 7th grader at the middle school.

Is your bus handicap accessible as my dad is in a small wheelchair? I don’t know how we’d get him to either of your locations as he is mainly housebound. Are you looking for somewhere to park between Milwaukee and Germantown? I read where you sleep in the bus. If it worked with your schedule to park in his driveway, he’s on the way from Milwaukee to Germantown and he’s within a mile of the expressway. That would be so great if it worked as then we could wheel him through that evening or the next morning.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and drive the bus around the country! It’s very worthwhile for this generation to see and appreciate. My dad has a book written about his B-17 crew called The Dying Breed which includes their time in POW camps. My dad is also Jewish, so it was especially an interesting time for him, which he never told us much about until he joined a POW group and the book was written.
I will see you either way when you come to Germantown!

Sincerely, Leann Korey

Subject: racism in reverse
Name: Harvey Smith
Email: harveysmithus@yahoo.com

3 May 2005

I was very glad to see someone did some research on the subject. US schools only show Japanese in camps. That is actually a kind of weird racism itself!

Harvey Smith

Subject: mother was at Salzwedel concentration camp
Name: Heshy
Email: zhg@juno.com

14 April 2005

Dear Sir, I recently came across a photo that you have posted on your site
of Hungarian inmates at Salzwedel. This particular photo is of an American POW and Hungarian girls being freed from Salzwedel. The reason I am so interested in this photo is because one of the girls in the photo has a very strong resemblance to my grandmother who was freed from there as well. The problem is that the photo online is somewhat blurry and when printed gets even more blurry. Is there any way that i can see this
photo live and maybe get some more info about the photo? The resemblance is really uncanny and if there were a way that i could establish anything solid I would greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely, Heshy

Subject: accolades for TRACES’ BUS-eum exhibit
Name: Rhinelander District Library Adult Programs
Email: rhinepro@wvls.lib.wi.us

14 April 05

Michael, I just wanted to tell you that when I was in Minneapolis around March 21st or so, I found a very nice article in the Star Tribune about one of your stops in the St. Paul area. Needless to say, I kept it and will include copies of it in my mailings to our different veterans groups. Good job, TRACES!

Chris Honig

Subject: searching for info about Native-American POW in Nazi Germany
Name: Hariluk, Jacki (White Earth)
Email: Jacki.Hariluk@ihs.gov

14 April 2005

My name is Jacki Hariluk and I work for the Indian Health Center in White Earth, Minnesota. A co-worker (Pete Fairbanks) and I are working on a project to honor our Veterans from the White Earth Reservation. Currently, Pete has been working on veterans that were killed in war when he came across some information on a WWII POW from our reservation named Albert Jugg. We would like your help to obtain information; this is what we have:

Albert Jugg
Serial # 37549726
German POW from 12/21/44 to 10/19/45
DOB: 8/30/1908 and DOD: 5/28/1959

Any information you can help us with will be greatly appreciated--also information on our vets killed in war would help. You can contact Pete or myself at 218-983-6325 or e-mail us at Pete.fairbanks@ihs.gov or Jacki.hariluk@ihs.gov.

Thank you!

Subject: painted copy of WWII-themed Norman Rockwell scene
Name: Patrick Tupa
Email: tupastudio@cableone.net

10 April 2005

Dear Michael Luick-Thrams, I am an artist/illustrator living in Fargo, North Dakota and I just heard about your bus a few minutes ago. Last year I completed a reproduction of Rockwell’s “Homecoming Marine” and thought you might be interested in showing it as part of your museum on wheels. If you are interested in using the painting (see attached photo), how long would you need it? At the moment it is on display and for sale at Boerth’s Gallery in down town Fargo. The painting is framed and measures approximately 44” x 34”.


Patrick Tupa

Subject: large crowds at BUS-eum showing in Detroit Lakes/Minnesota
Name: Joann
Email: joann@beckercountyhistory.org

8 April 2005

Michael, I know you must be getting tired, but hang in there! I don’t want to scare you, but if the weather is good, we may have upwards of 200-300 people and possibly more. We have had calls from people in Fargo and further north saying they are coming to Detroit Lakes for our event. We have four confirmed POWs coming, with a possible 11 total from the Northwest region of Minnesota. WDAY TV6 news team will be here, plus the local TV3 station and newspaper. The vets are behind this 100%. I have the VFWs, American Legions, DAV, Military Order of the Purple Heart, the National Guard and the Veterans Service office coming. We sent out a flyer to 875 veterans last week.

Michael, you will never believe how hungry this community is for the arrival of the BUS-eum and how it has brought everyone together for a common cause. I thank you for giving us this opportunity to do something for the veterans and to bring attention to what they did for us and what it cost them to do it.

Subject: artifact from German POWs in England
Name: Gill Fothergill
Email: gillfothergill@blueyonder.co.uk

7 April 2005

Dear Michael, perhaps you can help me. About a year ago I visited a car boot sale (I’m sure you’ll have heard about this British craze, where people set up a market to sell all their unwanted items) and picked up a small, engraved, lined tin trinket box. After a while I decided to remove the shabby lining to replace it and found scratched on the bottom the words--German POW work. Made in Egypt 1946. Kilo 40. MM ‘/,EM. The lettering is a bit indistinct so I’m not sure it is absolutely correct.

I would dearly love to return this to the soldier’s family but suppose there is no hope of tracing them. What do you think?

Yours sincerely, Gill (Fothergill)

Subject: father told stories about German POWs in Wisconsin
Name: Mary Adler
Email: mlamfld@wctc.net

1 April 2005

Hi, Michael.
The invoice will work just fine for us. We will actually have two checks to present to you. One will be for the fee for “Behind Barbed Wire” and another will be for the 1 hour Power Point presentation. I don’t know if I mentioned this before or not, but I am personally sponsoring the PP presentation in memory of my late father. As a child growing up I would love to hear his stories about the German POWs who worked on his cranberry marsh in Central Wisconsin (J.J. Emmerick Cranberry Marsh in Cranmoor, WI) during WWII. Believe me, these stories hit at the heart of your message concerning the “human context” of the POW experiences. Unfortunately, he had never written anything down about his experiences, and even the letters he received for many years from the former POWs who had returned to Germany were not saved. I’m anxious to view your entire exhibit.

Subject: possible volunteer opportunities at TRACES
Name: Chad Rathmann
Email: carathmann@wisc.edu

22 March 2005

Hello, I’m sure you’re flooded with emails, but I just wanted to write to say how fascinated I was with the BUS-eum and with TRACES.org after I visited the bus at St. Paul-Sun Ray on 19 March. As a graduate student in geography with research interests in German ethnicity and heritage in the Midwest, I was thrilled by the bus and the activities of TRACES.org I found on the web. I’m also writing to ask if there are any volunteer opportunities available with TRACES. I didn’t see anything about that on your website. Finally, I noticed that TRACES sponsored several conference/fests in the past. Are there any plans for similar meetings in the near future?

Again, I’m sure you’re busy on the road and with other correspondence, but I would be grateful for any information or contacts with which you could provide me.

Chad Rathmann

Subject: father was POW at Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany
Name: Vicki Van Duyn
Email: vancory1@frontiernet.net

20 March 2005

Hello, Michael. I visited your BUS-eum at Galaxie Library in Apple Valley, MN today. I thought I heard you mention that your bus will be in Ortonville, MN this month. Please let me know if this is true. My father was a POW at Barth, we spoke of this, and my family would like to see your exhibition if you are traveling to Ortonville, which is near to their home.... and where my father lived for most of his life. The e-mail that you can get in touch with the German men that I know that have found many planes downed during the Battle of the Bulge is Gustav Uebel, email Address: Gustav.Uebel@t-online.de

These guys did a couple of beautiful books about the German theater air war. When you contact them, say that you met me, and they will recognize me as one of their contacts. Axel Paul and Frank Guth are the two guys that I talk to the most. They live in the Eiffel area, around Schleiden, where the Battle of the Bulge air war occurred. They both speak English pretty well, and can write it quite well... I mean you will be able to communicate.

Thank you, Vicki (Lesmeister) Van Duyn

Subject: POWs in WWII
Name: Kathy Carlson
Email: carlsonk1@juno.com
Date: 23 February 2005

Hi. I am a member of the Minnesota Historical Society and saw your news article in the weekly e-letter. I am very interested in the POW camps in Minnesota, and I’ll give you the Short Reason why: My dad was a medic in WWII, went in on D-Day noon, was wounded and didn’t make it home until 1946. When I was about 10 (about 1957) he took us to a place (overgrown with weeds) near a river. There were building foundations all over, but nothing else. He told us it had been a POW camp. He didn’t say for whom. My mother didn’t come (she is of German-from-Russia extraction). I have a few questions as a result of that experience, living here in the Pacific Northwest (for a while) and looking through your website.
>Do you have a map of the POW camps in Minnesota?
>Were there other people (i.e. Asians) who were also in POW
camps in Minnesota?
>Were the only POWs in the camps from Germany or were there also
German-Americans there as well?
>Do you have a guess as to which POW camp we went to? We lived in
Richfield at the time.

Thanks so much for any help you can give me,

Kathy Carlson

Subject: "I was POW"
Name: Lester Schrenk
Email: zoomexpow@msn.com

21 February 2005

Michael, I am glad you understood about my not wanting to visit Long Prairie. Sorry to hear you also suffered some of the same problems as I.

I also wish to comment about the Veterans memorial at Long Prairie: They have erected a beautiful memorial any town would be proud of. I saw it a few years ago: it was very nice, also had the names of the veterans displayed for all to see. Then I looked for my name—it was not there; I surmised it was because I had left L.P. soon after I returned home. Then, I looked for my brother’s name: he had served In the Air Force in the Pacific, and remained on a farm until the ‘70s; he is now deceased: it was not there either. Then, I looked for some of my friends and neighbors that were killed in action: some were there, others not. I was puzzled, how could there be so many obvious omissions? Later I saw a friend whose name was on the memorial; I asked him, only to be told that to have your name engraved required a donation of $ 100.00
So, your deeds in the military are not recognized without a donation! Those that were killed in action defending their country and had no relative willing to give a $100.00 were not honored. What a slap in the face!!!
With that in mind, I do not wish my name to be remembered on that memorial but wish to be forgotten with the rest of my fallen heroes who were also forgotten.


Subject: Bitter feelings about hometown
Name: Lester Schrenk
Email: zoomexpow@msn.com
Date: 20 February 2005

Dear Michael, I am sorry to disappoint you with Long Prairie, but that is one place where I do not wish to give a talk [as TRACES had requested, given that Lester is from Long Prairie/Minnesota].

My days at my country school were enjoyable, My nightmare started just as soon as I started at the Long Prairie High School. This was in the mid-Depression and my parents had just lost their entire savings; they refused to go on welfare ( I applaud them ) As a result in my entire 4 years of High school I had but 2 shirts and 2 pairs of pants, which I wore for the entire 4 years—also, the same pair of shoes for all 4 years. To them, I came from the wrong side of the tracks (a farmer): I was teased, bullied and was an outcast—called every name, such as STINKING FARMER, along with many others. They made rude comments about my dress, and how I looked. To them, I could do no right.
During those 4 years, I never attended a single school event, picnic, JR/SR prom—not even a sports event. I never bought a class ring, nor even wished to have a graduation photo. To this day I consider my former classmates as snobs and wish no contact.
My nightmare ended when I enlisted in the Air Force, where I made many friends. I was again an equal. My ordeal ended.
To this day the ordeal I went through during my time in L.P. high school equates with my time spent as a POW.
The only time I ever go back to Long Prairie is to visit my parents graves, along with my other relatives buried there.

I also do not have any contact with any veterans’ posts. I do belong to some groups, but I have never attended a single meeting.



Subject: Midwest “liberators”
Name: Sheila Hansen
Email: dhansen@spe.midco.net
Date: 17 February 2005

Michael, hello. I apologize for taking so much time to get back to you—alternate e-mail addresses and less-used accounts and all that. I briefly went to your site and looked around. It looks very interesting, as does your work and credentials. Certainly you may link [to the web site about South Dakota liberators of Nazi concentration camps to the TRACES web site]. I don’t think my project was really all that impressive in the scope of things, but it was a learning experience.... I already have plans for improvement if I can ever dedicate the time to get back to it. You may be interested also to read my book review of Inside the Vicious Heart, a book I am sure you are familiar with. It’s at http://academic.kellogg.cc.mi.us/mandel/hansen_rev.htm and is also relevant at points from a Midwest standpoint. We should collaborate on something sometime. I am always on the lookout for new, interesting projects about my region.

Stay in touch--Regards,


Subject: Germany of today
Name: Elisabeth
Email: mainoffice@scattergood.org
Date: 31 January 2005

Dear Michael. Hello, hello. I hope you’re well. I just spent a couple weeks in Germany over winter break. I particularly enjoyed the Checkpoint Charlie museum. What a well put-together museum. I was impressed, too, by the fact that it was being a museum documenting the human rights violations from the sixties until now. All too often it seems like museums represent to us old, old history. History that feels far removed. Anyway, it reminded me of your BUS-eum, another good museum experience in my life.

Take care,

Main Office
Scattergood Friends School

Subject: a TRACES presetation
Name: Sharon Brummer
Email: slbrp@msn.com
Date: 21 January 2005

Michael, I was working with Humanities Iowa today in regard to Time Slice III and I thought about you. Our Friends of the Library group wants to thank you again for your presentation. Our group was small, but we thoroughly enjoyed the evening. My husband has been reading about the prisoners in Minnesota from the book I purchased from you. His hometown is Wells, MN and I am from Brown Count, with New Ulm as the county seat, so this book is timely for both of us.

Regards for your future work,

Sharon Brummer

Subject: feedback on Midwest POW exhibit
Name: Rose Schinker
Email: rschinker@lavistamail.mccneb.edu
Date: 18 January 2005

Michael: Just wanted to let you know the positive feedback the La Vista Public Library received about the P.O.W. program. The La Vista Public Library has tried a number of adult programs: local authors, genealogy, humanities, poetry--but nothing has been a success like your program. Our library had record numbers of attendance for your program/display. History seems to be our local topic of interest. Even though our library closes at 9PM, we had to let people know they could return the next morning. They didn’t want to leave, even though they’d been there for hours. The perspectives that your presentation gave, not to mention the quality, concerning the POWs from the Midwest were of great interest. As you know, our audience age ranged from grade school children with their parents to people who were interested in the war to the elderly who were interested in the items you had brought with you. The panels with the text were excellent and the most popular items, I think. So much information in such a small amount of surface area!
Thank you so much for bringing your display to Nebraska. This program assisted in bringing our community together (and we still had calls after you left! We could’ve kept you a whole week and had people in to see your display.). I wish you continued success in your endeavors and travels.


Rose Schinker, Library Director
La Vista Public Library

Subject: Latin-American German POWs held in the U.S.
Name: Juan Mateo Borrero Brauer
Email: mattborrero@hotmail.com
Date: 25 October 2004

Mr. Michael Luick-Thrams, my name is Juan Mateo Borrero Brauer, my grandfather, Alfredo Brauer, is an Ecuadorian citizen and his father was German. During Second World War he and
his brother were detained in Quito and secretly transferred by a US military plane to Panamá. From there he went to a detainment camp inside the US.

I am currently studying the legality of such procedures according to the United States law and to the international law existing at the time. I would be most obliged to you if by any chance you can provide me with such facts.

The study is intended to serve a a document proving that German families, who had nothing to do with Second World War suffered injustices in the hands of the American government.

Yours truthfully,

Mateo Borrero

Subject: the BUS exhibit
Name: Gert Wheeler
Email: gertwheeler@hotmail.com
Date: 23 August 2004

Hi! I heard something on the TV news that something happened on I-80 to the bus but did not hear all of the news story & I don’t get any daily newspaper so just what happened to the bus? I went through it at the Cresco, Iowa library & found it an eye-opener. Thanks. Keep up the good work of touring the state as you are.

Gert Wheeler

Subject: pro-Nazi Americans
Name: [withheld upon request]
Email: [withheld upon request]
Date: 10 June 2004

I want to tell my story about my early encounter with the Nazis. It was about 1943. My parents worked days, and I was instructed to go to the home of one of my first grade classmates and wait for them to pick me up after they had finished work The family I stayed with was sort of an after-school care family—a German family. The mother and father were not around much but the German-speaking grandmother took care of us children. She was very good to us, and I have no complaints.
I remember that the basement of the house was packed with food, and German men would stop in during the day and evening play cards, drink beer and smoke cigars—all speaking in German. I had no idea what was going on.
The youngest boy in the family (he must have been about 4 or 5 years old) asked me if I wanted to see his father’s secret room. Being a curious child I told him I would. He then led me to a secret stairway where we ascended some stairs into a large attic room. The room was carpeted; there was blackout on the windows, a big desk, a Nazi flag, and boxes of guns and ammunition. The little boy opened one of the boxes and gave me a Nazi arm band, telling me I should wear it or I might be killed. I wore it home! My parents were shocked, made me burn the arm band and forbid me ever to go back to that house again. I remember the name of the family and the house is still there. My parents and grandparents never spoke of the incident, and I doubt if they ever reported it.
I never knew quite what it was all about. Would you have any idea what was going on there?

[name withheld upon request]


Subject: the last POWs
Name: Clarence Simmons
Date: 15 May 2004

The books arrived today, but I have not had time to read them yet, as my grandkids are over for the weekend, but I intend to get into them early next week. I was able to skim a few pages before being interrupted, and I appreciate your personal note. And I will consider these books a very special tribute to my dad, and they will become heirlooms. Thank you for caring enough to take the time to do this important work. With people like you and your staff, the memory of those who sacrificed so much for our freedom will not be forgotten. There are very few men left who lived thru the P.O.W. camps in Germany, and soon they will all be gone, and the world will be a lesser place for their loss, but thanks to you and others like you, they will not be forgotten.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Clarence T Simmons

Subject: pro-Nazi Americans
Name: Hae-Soon Kim
Email: haesoon_kim@t-online.de
Date: 22 April 2004

Lieber Michael, es scheint, Dein “mobile museum” läuft sehr gut. Innerhalb so kurzer Zeit kamen so viele Besucher zur Besichtung des Museums; das ist doch ein riesiger Erfolg. Ganz herzliche Gratulation dazu! Ich freue mich sehr darüber. Du leistet vielschichtig großen Beitrag: Menschen werden dadurch bewußter solcher Geschichte, die nicht wiederholt werden darf. Große Respekte vor Dir und Deiner Arbeit.

In der Hoffnung, dass es Dir auch gut geht, wünsche ich beste Gesundheit und uns ein baldiges Wiedersehen.


Subject: pro-Nazi Americans
Name: Hae-Soon Kim
Email: haesoon_kim@t-online.de
Date: 22 April 2004

Lieber Michael, es scheint, Dein “mobile museum” läuft sehr gut. Innerhalb so kurzer Zeit kamen so viele Besucher zur Besichtung des Museums; das ist doch ein riesiger Erfolg. Ganz herzliche Gratulation dazu! Ich freue mich sehr darüber. Du leistet vielschichtig großen Beitrag: Menschen werden dadurch bewußter solcher Geschichte, die nicht wiederholt werden darf. Große Respekte vor Dir und Deiner Arbeit.

In der Hoffnung, dass es Dir auch gut geht, wünsche ich beste Gesundheit und uns ein baldiges Wiedersehen.


Subject: “important work”
Name: Perry-O Sliwa
Email: sliwa@oneota.net
Date: 21 April 2004

Good work, Michael! The BUS-eum, the web site.....it is an astounding amount of important, pertinent information, displayed in an interesting accessible fashion. Thank you for using your training as an historian and skill as a writer in this manner. You help us know about our history and face questions that I have chosen to ignore. Not only what choices might I make as a POW, but also how are we as a nation treating our current prisoners in Guantanamo?

I wish you strength and energy to continue following your calling,


Subject: the BUS-eum project
Name: Alan Nothnagle
Email: alan_nothnagle@yahoo.com
Date: 20 April 2004
Dear Michael, my parents have sent me several newspaper clippings about your tour with the Bus-eum and also said that they met with you personally during a stop in Iowa City. They said they were deeply impressed by your achievement, as I am as well! I have to admit that your idea sounded like a bit of a stretch to me when you first mentioned it a few years ago - after all, you need to persuade a lot of people to make such a project possible - but, by golly, you’ve done it! So congratulations on what you’re doing. I’m really proud of you and wish you lots of interested and interesting visitors as you make your way through the 99 counties. And if you ever get the time, let me know how things
are going.

Take care and toi-toi-toi for your project!


“One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.” —Will Durant

Subject: “outrageous schedule”
Name: Virginia Wright
Email: vwright2@unlnotes.unl.edu
Date: 19 April 2004

Did you see our web site? Your outrageous schedule overwhelmed my capacity to enter every location/time/date! So, I put your schedule link in everywhere! I crawled around your whole site; read lots of the features. Very interesting! Worthwhile reading about stuff not generally known. Exactly your point, I’m guessing!

The best chance of seeing your BUSeum is possibly the State Fair. I’ll have to check your schedule again & my calendar.

Ginny Wright

Subject: the BUS-eum and TRACES in Ames/Iowa
Name: Lynne Carey
Email: lcarey@amespubliclibrary.org
Date: 1 April 2004

The “BUS-eum” was at the Ames Public Library yesterday evening. We had an enthusiastic crowd of over 140! Attendees reported that they found the exhibits to be interesting, professionally presented and very moving. This was a very easy way for the library to provide a quality experience for the community. I would highly recommend working with Michael Luick-Thrams and TRACES to bring the BUS-eum to your community.
We also have had Michael present two programs at Ames Public Library. Again, the attendees were very enthusiastic. One man even said that the program he attended was the best presentation he had ever been to and that the library should offer “more things like this.” I encourage you to work with Michael and TRACES to present high quality programs in your community.

Lynne Carey
Ames Public Library

Subject: the BUS-eum exhibit
Name: Sue Martin
Email: metf@thewebunwired.com
Date: 1 April 2004
Michael - It was a pleasure to attend the exhibit opening last Friday at the Iowa Veteran’s home, to see all your hard work around this fascinating piece of Iowa history come to light before an appreciative audience. I was particularly intrigued by a conversation I had before you arrived with two elderly widows from Newton who described themselves to me as “Michael’s groupies”! Hearing them tell part of their husbands’ stories was a very meaningful experience. Also, as I walked through the exhibit, I found myself lingering in front of the photograph of the group of young Mesquakie Indian boys shortly after they enlisted. There was an elderly white couple working at identifying several of the young men and I asked if they had a connection to the [Meskwaki] Settlement [near Tama-Toledo/Iowa]. They said they had gone to high school with several of the enlistees pictured in the photograph.

I hope the trip with the bus is going well, and that crowds are gathering at the various stops on your journey. I definitely felt enlightened and as if I had touched a part of history when I came away from the exhibit.

Drive on!

Sue Martin
Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation 

Subject: the BUS’ “ancestors”
Name: John Christgau
Email: jchristgau@aol.com
Date: April 2004

Michael, congratulations on your tour successes. The idea of you motoring around the Midwest in your bus reminded me of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, from decades ago—but Kesey and his fellow travelers only dissipated themselves, while you are spreading important history that would otherwise be lost. Good for you!

John Christgau

Subject: father was Iowa POW in Nazi Germany
Name: Ryan Roenfeld
Email: iowaryan@hotmail.com
Date: 21 March 2004

As a good German-Iowan I’m extremely glad someone is doing this. My grandfather Lee Roenfeld from Mineola, Iowa was captured during the Battle of the Bugle and spent the rest of the war as a POW in Germany. He would never talk about any of it though and more or less drank himself to an early death at the Vet’s Home in Marshalltown. According to other family members, he came back from the war “different.” I guess I can only imagine what he would have had to deal with as an American POW in Germany considering that he was an Iowa farm kid whose entire family was German who all spoke German at home and in public and who grew up just outside the small town of Mineola where practically everyone was German. Anyway, keep up the good work and thank you very much...


Ryan Roenfeld
Glenwood, IA

Subject: “second-generation POWs”
Name: Paul Nagy
Email: jnagy@wctatel.net
Date: 21 March 2004
Michael, I’ll tell you a painful story I don’t tell most people, one I don’t like to think about, but one that I can’t get out of my mind. Sometimes, I wonder if WW II produced a second generation of POWs. Earlier today, my wife handed me a copy of an article in today’s Des Moines Register about you and your touring exhibit. In it, a statement made by your high school social studies teacher, “We think there’s something evil in the German soul,” brought to mind again some very painful and bitter memories of my first year teaching.

I don’t have time to tell you the whole story right now, but I can give you a very quick summary. Between September of 1965 and May of 1966, I spent a year as a student in Germany. In August of 1968, I had just come back from spending the summer in Baden-Württemberg. While I was there, my draft board cancelled my student deferment, so I quickly took a job as a French teacher in a junior/senior high school near my hometown in northern New York State. Although French was not my major, I did have a fairly strong minor in it.

During that year, I went through one shit situation after another with the high school principal. If it weren’t for that disgusting war raging in Vietnam and my occupational deferment, I probably would have quit as early as October as had several other teachers before me as I later learned. Instead, I tried to make the best of an absurd situation and stuck it out for the entire year.

Near the end of the school year, I received a letter from the idiot administrator dated May 1, 1969. In it, he stated, “Dear Mr. Nagy: It has been decided after consideration that your services will no longer be needed in the coming year.” No reason, no explanation, no clarification of any kind given, just a very short, “Get the hell out of here.”

I showed the letter to some of my fellow teachers. Most expressed sympathy, but said little else. One, however, did say, “But [the administrator] is very patriotic.” At first, her statement struck me as an off-the-wall comment having nothing to do with anything. After some reflection, I realized that the idiot Mr. X, a veteran of WW II, must still be fighting that war 23 years after the fact.

Another teacher, who I still count among my friends, subsequently confirmed my suspicions. He told me that Mr. X, because of my interest in things German, not only was convinced that I must be a Nazi, but was also running around making statements to that effect. So as not to jeopardize my future career, I got out of there as quickly and as quietly as I could.

A day doesn’t go by but what I don’t still have the specter of that encounter in from of me. I’ve described the feeling as that like a woman might have after being raped: used and discarded, making me a prisoner of that battle, a second generation POW, a hell of a way to spend life.


Subject:Iowa Yearly Meeting
Name:Perry-O Sliwa
Date:9 August 2003

I read your message at Scattergood, on this Saturday of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative). The link to the prairie article worked and I am delighted to read these words in this setting.

Thank you for sending it on.

Yesterday in Meeting for Business in the sharing of state of the meeting reports, there were several references to you and your work. Your name and your work also appeared in the Scattergood School report to the Yearly Meeting. Through your work, we feel connections to our past and to challenges of peace making for the future, and appreciate your work.

Until September, peace on your journey,


Subject: German POW Research
Name:Lynn E.
Email: E-mail
Date:9 July 2003
Hi, Michael,

It was lovely meeting you yesterday. (I hope all went well with Mr. Naegele after I left.) TRACES is recording important stories that need to be recorded before it is too late. I admire you for taking on such a daunting task day in and day out. Thanks also for your enthusiasm and continued interest and support in my project (which, as I mentioned, I will credit at the end of the story with the website). I look forward to contacting Norbert and Rudiger, two great leads.

Mainly, I appreciate your apparent faith in this undertaking, as I'm getting accustomed to people telling me it is impossible! I'm guessing you've heard that before on your own endeavors.

I hope all goes well on your upcoming trip to Berlin. We'll be in touch...

Warm wishes,


Subject:FGC Workshop 2003
Name:Steve Kinney
Date:8 July 2003
Dear Michael,

I just got back home, and I want to apologize for skipping out on the workshop. Wednesday I was tied up in a clearness meeting, Thursday I didn't even make it in to the gathering at all, and Friday morning, Donna and I were tied up with campground check-out and etc. (Plus, the dog ate my homework, the bus was late, Bush stole the election... add more excuses here: ______)

I did learn quite a bit from the 2 1/2 sessions I attended. Fact is, I had no idea about Scattergood and similar projects, and I hope & expect that your book will fill in most of the gaps created by my spotty attendance.

Overall, the workshop has served to orient and motivate me to start learning as much as I can about relations between Friends and Nazi officials, and the general public in Germany and German occupied countries, before and during WWII. I believe this material may be of great relevance to Friends in the present day, given the current direction of American political life. Though this is certainly not Germany circa 1932, there are parallels, and I expect to find precedents and role models that go beyond the "liberal political opinion and activism" that is prevalent in the Southeast Yearly Meeting community.

Thank you very much, and please do keep up the good work!

Steve Kinney

Subject:FGC Workshop 2003
Name:John Beer
Date:7 July 2003
Dear Michael,

First of all, thanks again for this stimulating workshop on an unusual topic. I was very pleased with the variety of Friends who signed up for it and for their valuable contributions. Isn't it great that four of them were high schoolers--or was it five?

As I promised, I am forwarding the memoirs of France Pruitt recounting her family's flight from the Nazis after they invaded her native Belgium in 1940. After coming to the U.S. and joining Friends, she married Dudley Pruitt, also a Friend, and son of parents who worked for the AFSC. They now are members of the Florida Ave. Friends Meeting in Washington for which she prepared this memoir as a talk. France's career was dedicated to helping foreign students attending American Universities. Dudley Pruitt is a retired University Professor of psychology known for his writings on the psychology of negotiations.

My wife and I visited Berlin in 2001 and can well understand why you are so drawn to that city. Enjoy your return stay there!



Subject:TRACES' Website
Name:Alan Barber
Date:28 June 2003
Dear Michael,

I took time out this morning and made a lengthy visit to your TRACES website. It's wonderful as well as very interesting. I especially liked the personal stories and the new information about Anne Frank's correspondence. You have a way somehow of bringing out the very personal, little things that put flesh on the story - these were real people just like thee and me - and it produced the same deep reactions as when I read your book about Scattergood; I was touched in the heart. I wish you continued success with this project. What is it that underlies the project? I believe it to be an expression of Love, and maybe Reconciliation. Everything is liked in the one same Truth. In the words of Ibn Arabi, one of the greatest mystics ever produced by Sufi Islam, "My heart has been made fully open; I am the prairie for the gazelles, the temple for idols, the convent for monks, the tablets of the Torah, Mecca for pilgrims and the book of the Koran. I am the religion of Love, and wheresoever its promptings may lead me, Love is my religion and my faith".

Viel Spass in Berlin!


Name:Victor Kovach
Date:25 June 2003
Hi, I'm a 63 year old truck driver and have been collecting and writing the many WWII vets in the states and Germany, I've been collecting over 20 years, I've met some of the nicest veterans, most are now too old, health problems and are passing away, and most are unable to write. My main interest is German U-boat POWs in the U.S. camps, and American POWs in German & Japanese camps. With heart problems among other health related problems I've been trying to amass a collection of POW items, letters, diaries, photos, drawings with any info that can be furnished, anyone who has any of this material in their possession and would be willing to share with me in copies or originals they don't want or need, I will pay any expense incurred. I belong to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH and several other museums and have instructed my wife on my passing to donate all my POW collection to any one of these museums, along with the POW museum for all to enjoy, too much of our past has been forgotten, to many have sacrificed so the rest of the world could have peace, but seems like most of the world has forgotten.

Please email me and I can send you my address, please forgive my intrusion but the few I have met told me about your website, I deem it an honor to be allowed to share your experiences. God Bless.

Subject:Nazi Propaganda and Manipulation
Name:Lester Schrenk
Date:24 June 2003
Try as you may, you will never please everyone.

As for your book: All Germans were not bad. Many were caught up with the propaganda that they heard every day. Even Hitler at one time said IF YOU WISH TO TELL A LIE, MAKE IT BIG ENOUGH, SOMEONE WILL BELIEVE IT. True, most Germans were Nazi: Propaganda did this. I in no way condone what the Germans did; however, with all of the destruction of their cities, the wrought brought upon their families, I wonder how we would have reacted if our cities had been bombed...

And, last, I am very proud to be from the USA. I would not wish to live in any other land.

Your friend,


Subject:Enemies Within Book
Name:Lester Schrenk
Date:23 June 2003
Michael, I have read your book ENEMIES WITHIN and I found it to be excellent. I finished it in one day; I found it hard to put down. Extremely well-written. What I found is just how different POWs were treated.

Thank you for a very good book,


Subject:TRACES' Books
Name:Alex J. Kay
Date:18 June 2003
Hi, Michael!

You'll be pleased to know that the books arrived in perfect condition yesterday afternoon. I've been in the Bundesarchiv all day, so now is the first chance I've had to let you know. They look great, and I'm of course delighted that my name's on the front, as agreed. It's also nice to have it's sister book, and thus the 'whole set', so to speak. Are they actually on sale in book shops? If so, only in the U.S., or in Europe as well? Let me know when you get the chance.

Congratulations on a job well done - it looks like you've put a lot of work into the two books.


Subject:William Shirer
Name:Kathleen Langone
Date:28 May 2003
I'm an historian who has been "intensively" studying Shirer for the last 8 months. I'm quite interested in your site. I feel that Shirer has been somewhat neglected in American history. I'm most interested in his writing of teh Berlin Diary and am currently collecting correspondences written (to/from) him during that time frame.

I would enjoy communicating with historians at TRACES. I'd like to better understand what involvement Shirer had with the POW history that you have chronicled.

Thanks, Kathleen Langone

take a look at this website:


Subject:German Culture Fest
Name:Kristin Buehner
Date:27 May 2003
Hi, Michael!

Just wondering what you thought about the German Culture Fest, now that all is said and done. For my part, I wish we could have this every year. Do you think there are any chances of that?

I was at church Sunday for the service with Herb Brokering. It was excellent! He started the sermon in German. The old German families from our church attended, as well as a few other people. After the service, we had Brats and root beer lunch that was great (wonderful German potato salad). Then Herb spoke again. It meant a lot to us Germans in the church to go back to our roots. Those who speak German sang some of the old hymns. It was just great.

I know from talking to people that there was a lot of interest in this whole weekend. People talked about going for the German food at Dock's in Clear Lake. Also, they wanted to see the POW exhibit at Music Man Square. I only wish I could have attended more things, but due to some family responsibilities, I couldn't. I would love to have gone to the German Wine and Beer, the poetry reading and the German music concert at the Clear Lake Methodist Church.

You worked so hard on this whole event and I hope you were happy with it. I felt our church came together as a result of it, and the article in the paper Saturday: it was so meaningful for us.

Take care!


Kristin Buehner


Globe Gazette

300 N. Washington Ave.

Mason City, IA 50401

800.421.0524, ext. 533


Subject:Odebolt/Iowa Prisoners of War
Name:Odebolt/Iowa Public Library
Date:20 May 2003
Found this article you might be interested in:


World War II Italian Prisoners of War at Fairview Farm

Taken from clippings from The Odebolt Chronicle, July - September 1943


100 Italians for Farm Work Here

Adams Brothers Sign 60-day Contract for Use of War Prisoners

July 1943

In a telephone call Tuesday morning, Lt. Col. Robert W. Reed, Omaha public relations officer for the Seventh Area Command informed the Chronicle a war prisoner camp would be established at Fairview Farm here operated by Adams Brothers.

The prisoners will be used in the emergency farm work existing at Fairview Farm consisting of haying and small grain harvesting.

The Italian prisoners are coming from Camp Clark, Mo. and the advanced detachment may have arrived by the time this has been published. Reed said in his telephone call Tuesday the detachment might arrive that day.

The prisoners will have their own camp under the direct supervision of the United States Army. They will have their own sleeping quarters and mess. They will not be allowed to roam about at will and will be under close guard by soldiers at all times. Reed expressed he thought there would be about 12 soldiers acting as guards for the 100 Italian prisoners.

Subject:Satellite POW Camp in Marengo/Iowa
Name:Mary McCord
Date:17 May 2003
Do you know if there was ever a satellite POW camp in Marengo, Iowa? I thought I had heard that there was one on the southeast corner of town in what was known as the old cannery.

I did not move to Marengo until 1976 and cannot verify that there was one there, but would like to know more about it, if there was one.

Were there any in Iowa County that you know of?


Mary McCord

Subject:POW Screenplay
Name:Chris Moore
Date:16 May 2003
My name is Chris Moore and I'm a film/tv producer in Los Angeles but originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I have been researching and writing a screenplay based on the German and Italian POWs in Iowa during WWII.

I was wondering if you would have any information on unique stories from this time period in Iowa. Any information on how to get copies of the camps and the prisoners would also be extremely helpful.

I would really like to make a film based on these events because I have some direct family ties to this. However, it may take awhile to secure the necessary funds to start the filming. I'm hoping photos and unique stories may strike a chord with the studios and other financiers.

Any help is very much appreciated. Feel free to call me with any questions.

Chris Moore


fax 818.957.5971

Subject:Iowa Public Television's POW Documentary
Name:Nancy Heather
Date:16 May 2003
Thanks Michael. I spent a lot of time on scripting and editing, so I'm glad you like it.

I appreciate all the work you and your organization have been doing to bring historical perspectives to light. Keep up the good work!

Nancy Heather

Iowa Public Television



Subject:POWs in Sioux Falls/South Dakota
Name:Adam Nyhaug
Date:16 May 2003

I work at the Old Courthouse Museum here in Sioux Falls. I have been researching the Radio Training School, and was wondering if you had any information that you could share regarding the POWs there during World War II. If you can help, I can be reached via email or at 605.367.4210 ext. 3032 or

200 W 6th St.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104

Thanks, Adam

Subject:Iowa Public Television's POW Documentary
Name:Tracy Sweet
Date:15 May 2003

I saw Living in Iowa tonight and I thought they did a great job. I was confident they wouldn't do any sort of hatchet job. I've seen too many of them to think anything else. They always do positive stories about Iowa, I thought the script was excellent.

Congratulations. I was pleased to have had a small part in the story.

Thank you for the work you do.


Subject:KDLT Story
Name:Debi Dusseault
Date:15 May 2003
I was extremely interested in the news story about TRACES that aired tonight on KDLT. I know very little about the camps in the U.S. and am interested if you have come across any references to music in your research. I am a music professor at Northern State University and one of my main areas of interest is the music (especially the songs) that were composed and performed in the ghettos/concentration camps. I never really thought about the existence of music in the American POW camps. Please let me know if you have come across any such occurrences and I applaud you for your efforts in educating the public about the American POW camps.

Subject:"A Captive Eye" German POW Exhibit
Name:Marla Betz
Date:11 May 2003
I must compliment you on the display at Music Man Square! Wow, I was absolutely 'blown away' by all the artifacts and things! Amazing! I really learned a lot from the exhibit...

Of course I purchased a few things as well for the "summer reading campaign". I spend my summers in Montana where I've been working on a strawbale cabin. Always projects to do. Its' an awesome state for scenery...

Last year I took a year off my teaching job and spent the whole year out West. Wonderful!! I took Montana History at MSU Billings and for a paper did research on Italians who were interned (during WWII) at Ft. Missoula. Was able to go meet and interview Umberto Benedetti, a great 91 year old Italian who stayed after his internment years and became a U.S. citizen. Sometime I'll have to share my paper and Bert's books with you. I think you'd find them of interest. Hopefully I can journey back to Missoula this summer and visit with him again.

Take care,

Marla Betz

Subject:"USA = Fourth Reich?" Article
Name:Marcelo de Leon
Date:6 May 2003
I owe you a comment about this article. I absolutely love it! It provided me with a lot of details about the Third Reich which I was not aware of. It shows the danger of the current situation through a thoughtful analysis and well-done comparison. Finally, it is a call to every person to open their eyes and help to bring peace in this better-than-nothing world we have.

Hope you are well,


Subject:Maria and Lucille letters
Name:Pat Schultz, TRACES' Board President
Date:1 May 2003
The letters between Lucille and Maria are incredible!!! How on earth did you come across this treasure??? It is Maria's letters and the references to Hitler, Germany, the Jews, etc., that are completely fascinating. To actually "hear" a little girl write those things--amazing. The propaganda she spouts is clearly "truth" to her.

Must get to bed but wanted to comment,


Subject:Ortonville/Minnesota POW Camp
Name:Tom Hanson
Date:1 May 2003

KDLT TV News the NBC affiliate in Sioux Falls South Dakota is doing a story on history of German POW camp near Ortonville. Wondering if TRACES would like to be part of story. Folks in Ortonville were very impressed with Michael Luick-Thrams presentation. Please give us a call.


Tom Hanson

KDLT News Anchor


606.361.1357 (direct newsroom line)

Subject:Howard Lake/Minnesota Presentation
Name:Irene Bender
Date:24 April 2003
Dear Ralph,

How nice of you to send a greeting which was read by Michael at the program in Howard Lake Tuesday evening. If you had come to the U.S., you would have been staying at my home. I wish that could have happened.

Please tell your father that the program was well received and Michael did a wonderful presentation with accompanying photos.

It was especially interesting to me because my mother was born in Germany. During the war, she sent packages to her family. I have a photo of her sister and son by a military car as he was a driver in the German army.

I was fortunate to visit Germany last year and visited three of my cousins. You have such a beautiful country.

We are relieved that the fighting is over and our hope is that the country will be able to form a government where people are free.

Best wishes,

Irene Bender

Subject:Centerville/Iowa Presentation
Name:Debbie Eurom
Date:16 April 2003
We recently hosted Michael Luick-Thrams of TRACES. He presented "Hitler comes to the Heartland" for our audience. Everyone enjoyed his presentation and had questions for him during and after the presentation. I was impressed with Michael's mastery of the subject, and happy to learn about the Iowa prison camps, of which I had little prior knowledge.

Michael was very professional in all our contacts before, during and after our presentation. On the same evening, one of our board members was talking about having Michael come back for another session. A former POW was in our audience and commented that he knew a few of the Iowa men who were mentioned. This veteran clearly displayed appreciation for the session. I would heartily recommend Michael to other libraries and entities. Thanks to Humanities Iowa for providing the means for us to present this program to the public.


Deb Eurom, Director

Drake Public Library

115 Drake Avenue

Centerville, Iowa 52544


Subject:1944 - The POW Who Held Me & Cried
Name:Mary Siems Maunu
Date:9 April 2003
It was late summer on a farm south of Fairmont, MN. A group of POW's had come to help my Father, George Siems, harvest his grain. My father said these men were to be treated and fed just like any other thrashing crew that may have helped them. That meant that they ate inside, around the old oak table laden with a lot of home cooked food, which considering the circumstances wasn't the case at every farm where they worked. My mother recalls that some of the POWs wouldn't come into the house to eat. But most of the men did and enjoyed the food and the polka and waltz music played on the record player. Some of them said it was the first "real" music they had heard in over a year.

My mother said one young man, in his early 20's, spoke pretty good English. He told them that he was from Austria and that this wasn't "his" fight. That the German army came through the towns and villages and "took" anyone who could fight. He said he left his young wife and an infant son. He said he was so worried about them and worried if he would find them all right after the war.

I was about six months old at that time. This young man asked if he could just reach out and touch me. Without saying a word, my Mother picked me up and handed me to him. She said he stood there rocking and patting me, with tears streaming down his face. And she recalled what was so remarkable about it was that I was not crying when a stranger picked me up, but contentedly smiling up at him. He said the people of Fairmont, for the most part, had been very kind to them. And if he could, he wanted to return to the U.S. after the war and live around Fairmont. My mother said that while there were some Ex-POWs who did return, they never heard from this young man again. By the time I heard this story, she had no longer remembered his name or if he said where in Austria he was from.

I was too little to remember WWII, but it had a profound effect on me. To me it was about people and how it effected the families of soldiers on both sides.

I never knew his name, but I will always remember the young man who held me in that summer of '44 and cried for his lost family.

Today, if he is still alive this man probably has grandchildren or great-grandchildren the age I was back then. I wonder, does he sometimes think back when he is holding them. Does he remember the little curly headed blonde baby girl that smiled up at him as he held her that hot MN August day, in 1944?

Subject:Pocahontas/Iowa Presentation
Name:Rita Samuelson
Date:8 April 2003

I would like to thank you so much for your visit to our library last month. I know that everyone present really enjoyed your presentation, and I had comments from several people who were unable to attend... regretting that they had missed it. Hopefully, someday we will be able to invite you back.

Once again, thanks so much for your presentation and what you do to keep history alive for so many.


Rita Samuelson

Pocahontas Public Library

14 2nd Ave. NW

Pocahontas, IA 50574

Subject:POWs working in Mason City/Iowa
Name:Jim Fitzgerald
Date:4 April 2003
[What follows are my responses to and the emails from a Mason City native who remembers German POWs working at a chicken-processing plant at 2nd NE during WWII--and apparently even had one over to his family's house for dinner! Kathy Wild, a retired volunteer at the Music Man Square, also remembers the German POWs working in Mason City]

Thank you for your kind words about our exhibit, "A Captive Eye: German POW Art and Artifacts". You may be interested to know that, I am told, the Des Moines Register will feature it in its Sunday edition.

Was the poultry house, by the way, in Mason City or elsewhere in Northcentral Iowa? If so, that is the first I knew of the German POWs being in my hometown; only recently did we learn that they had worked at the Kennedy potato farm in Clear Lake; we previously knew about the men's work at the hemp plant in Britt, the concrete works in Humboldt, building tract houses in Charles City, pouring Farmers' Cooperative silos in Plainfield, etc. In short, they were "everywhere--and no where"! Six decades later, it is as if the 435,000 German, Italian and Japanese POWs never were held in the United States. TRACES' work pushes against the tide of forgetfulness and lost historical legacies.

Thank you for your support and affirming message,


from Jim Fitzgerald:


My name is Jim Fitzgerald, a 1952 graduate of the Mason City High School. I had the great pleasure of bringing my band, the Kinda Dixie Jazz Band, back home to play for the 100th anniversary of Meredith Willson's birth. While we were there we were very impressed with the Meredith Willson Museum and all the wonderful memories it generated.

I remember as a nine year old walking home from the fourth grade we would pass the E.G. Morse Poultry House and see the POWs working, loading trucks and the like. We thought they were monsters until we started waving at them and they waved back, which started a relationship that has lasted till this day.

The Meredith Willson Museum is to be congratulated for this kind of program, especially at this time. Keep up the good work.

Jim Fitzgerald


Kinda Dixie Jazz Band

Gold Coast Hotel & Casino

Las Vegas, NV


The E.G. Morse Poultry House was located just on the east side of the M and St. L railroad tracks on 2nd St. NE. I think the building is still standing but not being used anymore

I became friends with a POW named Hans, I never knew his last name, and when I asked him how Germany could do all the terrible things it was doing, he said, "The same thing could happen here if Dillinger was President". I never forgot that. After some time we got permission to have him over to the house for dinner one Sunday. It was quite an experience for a young boy who was filled with all the propaganda of the times

Jim Fitzgerald

Subject:Location of German POW camps in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico & Colorado
Name:Pat White
Date:19 March 2003
Last year, I attended your presentation at the Ames Public Library. I was captivated by your enthusiasm and your ability to live the principles that guide your life.

I am researching the Dust Bowl era to provide "my story" for my son and daughter. One of my childhood experiences was meeting a worker who came to our farm with minimal English. He walked to the farm which was unusual, worked briefly and left abruptly. After the abrupt departure, the gossip around the table at the height of harvest season was charged with certainty that he was a "Nazi".

Prior to your presentation, I had not thought of German POW facilities. Can you recommend a resource that would provide information about the location of those facilities in the states listed above?

Thank you for delivering a message of understanding providing a climate to produce tolerance.

Pat White

Subject:Research on German POWs
Name:Gregory Kupsky
Date:Friday, 14 March 2003

My name is Gregory Kupsky, and I am a Master's Student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. I'm conducting a project on the POW camps in Tennessee during World War II, as a study in German-American relations.

I was wondering if you might be able to recommend a contact list, organization, or other resource which might put me in touch with some of the ex-prisoners who spent some time at Camp Crossville or Camp Forrest in Tennessee. Ideally, I would hope to conduct oral history interviews with ex-prisoners in the next few months.

I appreciate in advance any help you can give me.


Gregory Kupsky
2000 Wilson Rd.
Apt. 159
Knoxville, TN 37912
(865) 523-3435

Subject:e-mail newsletter
Name:Amy DeVore
Date:Wednesday, 12 March 2003
My mother and sister (who is homeschooled) recently attended a presentation at the Centerville Public Library that was put on by your organization. They both enjoyed it and are interested in learning more. They do not have access to the internet/e-mail so they asked me to check out your site. My sister (16) has always been interested in reading about Anne Frank and other people that were victimized during that time. I am sure that she would appreciate any other information that she could learn through our e-mail newsletter. Thank you.

Subject:Italian WWII POWs
Name:Alessandro de Gaetano
Date:27 February 2003
Thank you for the great work that you're doing. I'm writing a film script about the Italian POW experience, and want to know if you know of any resources, or names of survivors I can contact.


Alessandro de Gaetano

Subject:TRACES' WWII-era POW Conference
Name:Mike Waters
Date:15 October 2002

Congrats on a great conference. This conference was one of the most enjoyable I have ever attended. It was more like a workshop and we all got to know one another. Thanks for all your hard work. It was great.


Michael R. Waters

Professor of Anthropology

Associate Director, Center for the Study of the First Americans

Executive Director, North Star Archaeological Research Program

Department of Anthropology

Texas A & M University

College Station, TX 77843-4352


Subject:Missouri POW Camps
Name:David Fiedler
Date: 30 September 2002

I am working on a book about prisoner of war camps in Missouri during WWII where German and Italian soldiers were held. This book will be out in Fall 2003 and is being published by the Missouri Historical Society Press and distributed through the University of Missouri Press. During World War II around 15,000 prisoners were held in Missouri in one of four main camps, and from there often to one of two dozen smaller branch camps they supported located around the state. This book is an examination of the history of the camps, the impact they had on the towns where they were located, and the neat stories of friendships that developed between prisoners and people working at the camp and/or living in the area. Naturally, if you have any information or resources related to the Missouri camps, I would be most grateful. I welcome any calls or email related to this subject. Thank you for your consideration of my note!

Sincerely yours;

David Fiedler
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St Louis, MO. 63122-7295

Subject:German POWs in Michigan
Name:John Pepin
Date: 2 September 2002
I am very interested in locating and interviewing persons who were either German prisoners of war or U.S. military personnel at any of five POW camps situated across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during World War II. The German POWs first arrived in Upper Michigan in February 1944. The last men left the area in April 1946. The camps included within the scope of my research include CAMP AuTRAIN, near AuTrain; CAMP EVELYN, near Munising and Wetmore; CAMP RACO, near Raco and Sault Ste. Marie; CAMP PORI, near Mass in Houghton County and CAMP SIDNAW, near Sidnaw, also in Houghton County. All of these camps were formerly Civilian Conservation Corps camps that were converted to hold German prisoners of war during World War II.

However, please understand that I am not interested in CCC-related stories of these camps. I am also interested in photographing artifacts that may still remain in personnel collections from these five German prisoner of war camps.

Please contact me with any possible leads.

Thank you very much.

Name:Pat Schultz
Date: 10 August 2002
As President of the Board of Directors and an active volunteer with TRACES, I'd
like to welcome all of you who come to the website. I hope you've found
something of interest here. If you have questions, please contact Michael
Luick-Thrams, our director, or me. Also, I am very interested in interviewing -
in person, by phone, or by e-mail - Midwesterners who were POWs in Germany
during WW II. I'd be pleased to receive e-mails to that end. Again, thanks for
joining TRACES at our website.

Subject:Camp Perry, OH POW's
Name:William Warren
Date: 1 August 2002
For years I have the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, OH, where participants are housed in small huts which were ostensibly built for or by German POW's during WWII. I would be interested in contacting anyone who could give me a first hand account of Perry as a POW camp.

Seit Jahren besuche die Nationalmeisterschaft im Schiessen, die in Camp Perry, Ohio, USA stattfindet. Da wird man teilweise in Huette behaust, die fuer oder von deutsche Kriegsgefangene im zweitem Weltkrieg gebaut wurden. Ich moechte gern mit jemanden in Kontakt kommen, der mir naeheres darueber erzaehlen kann. Bill Warren

Name:Dee Crowner
Date: 28 June 2002
Hi All, I am not sure what is going on with Michael and his programs being sabotage but I feel the need to assure all that we had him speak at the North Liberty Community last year and the presentation was wonderful and informative. The audience enjoyed the program very much. I understand that there have been calls and letters urging libraries not to book his program and I think this would be a disservice to your patrons and community. If contacted by Michael, please do consider sponsoring this program as it is informative and deals with Iowa history.

Dee Crowner
North Liberty Community Library
Box 320 520
West Cherry Street
North Liberty, Iowa 52317-0320

Subject:Introduction to: A Defining Time in History
Name:J. Byron Holcomb
Date:June 2002
The German POW's in Fairmont/MN have always held some fascination for me, and I am finally doing something about this some 60 years later. I am working on a novel which I have tentatively referred to as "Love Between Enemies." The focus of this novel will be a love affair which developed between a young girl in Fairmont at the time and a POW. The POW's were the only virile, young men around town except those under 18, farm deferments under the Draft, and those IV-F. There simply had to be a relationship which developed, albeit at the time such was prohibited both by regulation and the social sanctions of Fairmont. My question is then: is there a woman still alive in Fairmont, or who was living in Fairmont at the time, who had a love relationship with a POW? If so, I would like to interview her with many questions, among which will be how they met, how they managed their relationship on the quiet, and what, if anything, happened after the War? I will maintain absolute confidence with this information and not mention any names or identifying matters in the novel and indicate such in writing, if necessary. I will be in Fairmont during the weekend of August 23, 24, & 25 for my 50th High School reunion and would like to interview her at that time. This letter applies also to her children and/or grandchildren who may have such information. Please contact me at my no toll number 888-544-8429. Either leave a voice message or keep trying if I should happen to be gone.

Subject:A Defining Time in History
Name:J. Byron Holcomb
Date:June 2002
It was D-Day, June 6, 1944, and everyone was in downtown Fairmont, Minnesota, to find out together how the boys were doing on the beaches of Normandy and to share and comfort each other in the worry over it all. Some had sons, grandsons, and relatives there. The merchants had placed radios above entry doors to hear the continuing news coverage, and semi-circles of hundreds of people stood outside together at each store. I was 9 at the time. Those boys were our heroes, believe me! In front of Paulson's Drug Store, I looked at the man to my right along with his buddies, and he was a German soldier, in uniform, listening as intently as the rest of us. I nudged him with my elbow and defiantly chided him with my finger thumping on my chest, "I am Byron." He nodded quickly and responded without gesture, "Jerry." Whether that was his name or the reference to Germans, I did not know. A solitary tear effortlessly flowed down his cheek. A German soldier crying, what is this? "Jerry" was one of the remnants of Rommel's fierce "Afrika Korps" brought in regiment strength as POW's to do the work of Fairmont while her sons were away. He wanted to know as with everyone else that day what was happening. Enough people in Fairmont spoke German to keep them advised. The War had come down to the two of us on this momentous day, and there I stood next to the enemy ready to defend Fairmont against them, even at my age! I will never forget "Jerry" and that moment. Parenthetically, I wonder where he is, if he is still alive?

Very truly yours,

J. Byron Holcomb