The exhibit will be held Tuesday, August 31, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Eva Perry Regional Library, 2100 Shepherd’s Vineyard Drive, Apex and Tuesday, August 31, 3-6 p.m., West Regional Library, 4000 Louis Stephens Drive, Cary.
The TRACES Bus-eum (bus museum) chronicles the story of POW life during World War II. The event is free and open to the public.
By the end of World War II, 425,000, German, Italian and Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) found themselves imprisoned in over 660 base and branch POW camps in almost all of the United States and the territory of Alaska.
The roughly 372,000, German POWs held were sent out to harvest or process crops, build roads and waterways, fell trees, roof barns, erect silos, work in light non-military industry, lay city sewers and construct tract housing, wash U.S. Army laundry and do other practical wartime tasks.
With the high rate of 19th-century German immigration to America, many of those who worked with POWs spoke to them in their native languages; some even had relatives or former neighbors among them. They formed significant, often decades-long friendships with “the enemy” and underwent considerable changes as individuals and as a group – fundamentally influencing post-war German values and institutions, as well as American-German relations.
A number of POWs even chose to immigrate to the United States after the war.