During World War II, Utah was home to approximately 15,000 Italian and German prisoners of war that were distributed across a number of camps. Camp Salina was a small, temporary branch camp to accommodate overflow prisoners in Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City. From 1944 to 1945 it was home to about 250 Germans, most of whom were from Erwin Rommel’s Afrika korps.
After 1944, with the rapid advance of Allied forces in Western Europe after D-Day the need for more space to house the influx of Axis P.O.W.s grew drastically.
The US government crated a program to use German and Italian POW’s for agricultural labor. Therefore,the government sent out prisoners to agricultural areas to work in the fields. Such was the case in Salina, where the prisoners helped to harvest produce, such as sugar beets, on the surrounding farms.
US Soldiers unfit for front line service, such as those…
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