The Lawrence E. Osswald Photograph Collection features 17 photographs of a German prisoner of war camp that was located on the grounds of the Fort Hays Branch of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station (now the Agricultural Research Center – Hays). It was one of two POW camps in Kansas, with the other one being in Concordia. The first group of prisoners, 100 in all, arrived at the camp in September 1943. Others came in 1944-1945 and many were put to work on area farms to help alleviate the shortage of farm labor caused by World War II. A smaller number of prisoners worked at the Station. The prisoners were housed in the barns located near the cattle feeding facilities. The Department of the Army received $3.25 per day from the Station and the farmers for each man that did labor. When the war with Germany ended, the prisoners returned to their homes. The last group of the prisoners left the Station in November 1945. For more information see A History of the Agricultural Research Center – Hays: The First 100 Years by Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service. Lawrence E. Osswald, Corporal US Army 480th MPEG Company, from Wilmington, Delaware, served at the camp during the fall of 1943. L. C. Aicher, superintendent of the Experiment Station, was the photographer. Mr. Osswald had copies of the photos among his possessions when he passed away. His son and family donated them to the University Archives in his memory.
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