MS - 056: World War II German Prisoner of War Collection
Processed by: Keith Swaney '04
Musselman Library acquired these materials from a gift of A. Joan Thomas, daughter of Major Laurence C. Thomas. Major Thomas directed the German POW camp on the Emmitsburg Road in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and a camp in Pine Grove Furnace, about fifteen miles north. Members of the intelligence corps apparently confiscated the items written in German from the prisoners of war. Subsequently, they ended up in Major Thomas's possession.
Scope and Content Notes:
The World War II German POW Collection consists of one box of processed materials, encompassing .3 cubic feet. It is composed of two series: I. Materials likely confiscated by the intelligence corps and II. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings.
Series I--Materials Likely Confiscated by the Intelligence Corps
With the exception of the last subject file of this series, these materials are in the German language. One atlas fragment in the seventh folder, however, is in Dutch. In order to acquaint the researcher with the content of each document, notes have been included, some of which are translations of titles and/or excerpts of text. These materials offer the researcher a glimpse into the life of a German soldier who served in the Third Reich's armies. Identification papers, military and travel passes, service manuals, and a personal journal allow the researcher to accomplish this task. Additionally, the series consists of propaganda documents, many of which attempt to describe the proper behavior of a German soldier in Hitler's armies.
Series II--Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings
This series of the collection consists of miscellaneous newspaper articles-in both English and German-about the Nazi party, the Second World War, and German POWs. One of the clippings is an editorial that warns local citizens in Ardmore, Pennsylvania about the sly nature of German prisoners: "If farmers or others who think only of cheap labor and war profits bring any Nazis near you tell Dad to keep his duck gun well-oiled AND LOADED. Shoot first and call the cops after."