WWII POW program set for Berrien Springs

German prisoners of war are shown during World War II working on a Berrien County farm.

BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Berrien County Historical Association in Berrien Springs invites the public to hear author Gregory Sumner present “Michigan POW Camps in World War II” next Thursday.

It is the fourth program of the Thursdays at Courthouse Square program. The program will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Berrien Springs Community Library. All are welcome and entrance is free.

Gregory D. Sumner, Ph.D., is the co-chair of the Department of History at University of Detroit-Mercy. He is the author of the book “Michigan POW Camps in World War II.” 

During World War II, Michigan became a temporary home to about 6,000 German prisoners of war. At a time of home-front labor shortages, they picked fruit in Berrien County, harvested sugar beets in the Thumb, cut pulpwood in the Upper Peninsula, and maintained parks and other public spaces in Detroit. The work programs were not flawless, as not all of the prisoners were cooperative, but many of the men established enduring friendships with their captors.

For more information about the program, contact the History Center at Courthouse Square at (269) 471-1202, or email: bcha@berrienhistory.org.