Library talk: German POWs in Maine March 14

Mar 02, 2018
WWII German POWs harvest potatoes on an Aroostook County farm.

Lincolnville — Hank Lunn of Camden will share personal experiences with German prisoners of war in a presentation at Lincolnville Community Library, 208 Main St., at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14.

In “From Foe to Friend: German Prisoners of War in Maine,” Lunn will tell what it was like having German soldiers working on his family farm in Littleton in Aroostook County during World War II.

In 1944, the U.S. Army Air Base in Houlton became the site of a POW internment camp for German soldiers captured in North Africa and France. The POWs were allowed to volunteer to help local farmers harvest peas, pick potatoes and cut wood in the forest. The prisoners were paid a dollar a day in scrip that they could spend at their post exchange for toiletries, tobacco, chocolate and beer.

In the fall of 1945, Lunn's father requested prisoners to help with the potato harvest because the people he usually hired were fighting the war overseas. Lunn said that, as a 13-year-old boy, he found the arrival of these German soldiers frightening.

“My young mind was not too sure it was a good idea to have the ‘enemy' right here on our farm,” he said.

For more information, call 706-3896 or email

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