Gregory Sumner, Professor, University of Detroit-Mercy
During World War II, Michigan became a temporary home to six thousand German and Italian POWs. At a time of home front labor shortages, they picked fruit in Berrien County, harvested sugar beets in the Thumb, cut pulpwood in the UP and maintained parks and other public spaces in Detroit. The work
programs were not fl awless and all of the prisoners were not cooperative, but many of the men established enduring friendships with their captors. Learn the stories of these detainees and the Americans who embodied our highest ideals, even amid a global war.