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TRACES' Past WWII-Studies Conferences

  30 May-2 June 2003, Coe College, Cedar Rapids/Iowa and 5-8 October 2002, Muscatine Holiday Inn, Muscatine/Iowa

          The 6th of June 2004 marked the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Army's landing at Normandy--and thus, ultimately, the destruction of Hitler's cynical, deadly dictatorship and military adventurism. And, of course, in this time of war and the threat of war, of terrorism and hyper-patriotism, issues recurrent between--say--1933 and 1948 are regrettably timely.

          What could be more appropriate than the gathering of experts and educators, historians and hobbyists to examine all aspects of World War II--which really began long before 1939/1941 and lingered on, in new forms, until 1989/1991. We at TRACES were pleased that what had been a conference focused on the POWs of all sides, on all continents during WWII, as of the 2003 sessions grew into an inclusive survey of yet more populations and issues: Jews, refugees, internees, soldiers, displaced persons... politicians, spies, scientists, intellectuals, artists, religious figures... the European and Asian theaters, the U.S. home front... camps in Australia, internment in Africa, skirmishes in South Asia... the migration of African-American workers from the Deep South to the industrial North and of U.S. women from the hearth to the work-world beyond the home... the loss of some 60 million people and the hope of a new world order...



Michael Luick-Thrams

Executive Director, TRACES


Highlights of Past Conferences are Posted Below:

Second Conference on WWII-Era POWs

  30 May-2 June 2003 Coe College, Cedar Rapids/Iowa


The below are selected presentations given at TRACES' 2003 conference:


| Greg Kupsky |



  • 6-9 PM Fri., 30 May: registration and the TRACES Bookshop opened in the lobby of Hickok Hall
  • 7-10 PM Fri., 30 May: informal Get-to-Know-Each-Other Reception in Voorhees Hall lounge

  • 9-10:30 AM Sat., 31 May: Michael Luick-Thrams opened conference in Hickok Hall; scheduled keynote speaker Jane Cox-- Iowa State University professor and author of book about U.S. veterans/POWs--had withdrawn a week earlier, bowing to pressure by Iowa veterans who thought conference and TRACES' work "too pro-German"; in lieu of keynote address, Luick-Thrams presented The Fritz Ritz: German POWs in the American Heartland and Behind Barbed Wire: Midwest POWs in Nazi Germany; Luick-Thrams showed an Iowa Public TV documentary about the history of German POWs in the Upper Midwest during WW II. (click here to view the The Fritz Ritz or here to see the Behind Barbed Wire Power Point programs)
  • 11:00 AM-NOON Sat., 31 May: presentation: The Red Cross’ Role in Providing Assistance to POWs in Nazi Germany by Ellen Forbes-Krueger
  • 2-2:55 PM Sat., 31 May: presentation: “To Win Our War with Butter and Beefsteaks”: Camp Crossville and the Treatment of Axis Prisoners of War by Greg Kupsky
  • 2:55-3:15 PM Sat., 31 May: film: The 4th Mural: Ernst Wille, Fort Niagara's POW Artist by David Dickinson
  • 3:45-5 PM Sat., 31 May: presentation: The Abortive Attempt to Exchange GI and German POWs by Meredith Adams
  • 7-8:15 PM Sat., 31 May: presentation: Italian POWs in Utah by Kathy Kirkpatrick (click here to view this Power Point program or click here to see her "De-Coding WW II Italian Prisoner of War Rosters")

  • 9-NOON (with a break) Sun., 1 June: presentation: Camp Currencies: Axis and Allied Monies Used in Concentration, Internment, POW and Displaced Person Camps and Isle of Man Camp Currencies by Steve Feller (click here to view the second Power Point program)
  • 2-3 PM Sun., 1 June: presentation: Violations of International Law in the Treatment of German POWs Following the Cessation of Hostilities by Ralph Scott
  • 3:15-4 :15 PM Sun., 1 June: presentation: Costs of a One-Week War: Japanese POWs in Soviet-Held Territories, 1945-56 by David Nordmann
  • 4:30-5:30 PM Sun., 1 June: presentation: Communist Propaganda and Treatment of UN Prisoners of War by Todd Tompkins
  • 7-10 PM Sun., 1 June: the Sunday Film Night featured Prisoners in Paradise by Camilla Calamandrei (about Italian POWs in the U.S.; click on Italian POWs for information about Camilla's film ) and Oflag 64 (about U.S.  POWs in Nazi Germany) by Robert Galloway

  • 7-8:30 AM Mon., 2 June: Send-Off Breakfast in the Voorhees Hall lounge; Michael Luick-Thrams gave concluding address

Inaugural Conference on WWII-Era POWs

5-8 October 2002, Muscatine Holiday Inn, Muscatine/Iowa


The below are selected presentations given at TRACES' 2002 conference:


Lewis Carlson | Norbert Haase



  • 5-9 PM Sat., 5 Oct: registration at the Muscatine/Iowa Holiday Inn
  • 6-10 PM Sat., 5 Oct: the TRACES Bookshop opened on the balcony overlooking the Holiday Inn’s atrium
  • 7-10 PM Sat., 5 Oct: informal Get-to-Know-Each-Other Session in the Holiday Inn atrium

  • 9-10:15 AM Sun., 6 Oct: Michael Luick-Thrams opened the conference; Lewis Carlson delivered the keynote address: The POW Experience: Myth and Reality
  • 10:45 AM-NOON Sun., 6 Oct: presentation: Concentration Camp Currencies by Steve Feller (click here to view this Power Point program)
  • 1-5 PM Sun., 6 Oct: exhibit The Third Reich in Iowa: German POW Art and Artifacts opened at the Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine (click on Exhibit Scenes to view the exhibit as it opened at the Muscatine Art Center)
  • 8-10 PM Sun., 6 Oct: The World at War/POWs in the Middle: A Window to Today panel discussion with Heino Erichsen, Norbert Haase and Mike Waters

  • 9-10:15 AM Mon., 7 Oct: presentation: German POW Life in the Palmetto State by Fritz Hamer
  • 10:45 AM-NOON Mon., 7 Oct: presentation: The Aliceville/Alabama POW Camp by Mary Bess Paluzzi (click on Aliceville Museum for an overview of Mary Bess' work with German-POW history)
  • 2-3:15 PM Mon., 7 Oct: presentation: Italian POWs in Utah by Kathy Kirkpatrick (see the spring 2003 conference schedule, above, for the link to this Power Point program)
  • 3:45-5 PM Mon., 7 Oct: presentation: Looking Back: Can Anything Be Learned from the Experiences of WWII Prisoners and Their Captors? by Amy Hudnall
  • 7-10 PM, 7 Oct: the Monday Film Night featured, among others, Nazi POWs in America by Sharon Young, and Martha: Meat and Potatoes by Steve Balvanz and Mike Schaubach of Fly Over Films.

  • 7:30-9 Tues. AM, 8 Oct: Send-Off Breakfast; Michael Luick-Thrams gave concluding address


Norbert Haase (left) of Dresden and Michael Luick-Thrams with             Amy Hudnall (left) and Mary Bess Paluzzi

conference attendees from Minnesota during a break.                                at the German-POW exhibit opening.