|Photo from U. Idaho Priest Lake images collection. German internees at a camp near Priest Lake, ID (1943).|
CarolynM writes in with an excellent research question:
“It was common legend at my family's lake cabin that one of the nearby state parks in the area (Priest Lake, ID) had for a time during WWII been used as a Italian and German POW camp. According to the story the prisoners worked for the park doing park and trail maintenance, and some became so fond of the area they came back to visit multiple times. The University of Idaho just put up some archival photos from the Priest Lake region that includes pictures of Italian and German internees. An initial search reveals little because this search is easily confounded by the presence of a wealth of online information regarding US POWs and their internments abroad. It's interesting, little known stuff, that I would imagine should be public information.”
Let’s use Carolyn’s question as the basis for today’s Search Challenge. This comes in two parts. The first is relatively straightforward (although it took me a few minutes, and slightly complicated for the reasons Carolyn mentions above).
But the second part is really a challenge (or at least it was for me, maybe you’ll have a better time of it). You need to find German resources to really answer this question.
I like this challenge because it’s the kind of challenge that’s quite possible in the age of Search Engines, but was tough to do before. As a teacher, I like this one because it asks you to view the world from someone else’s perspective—and that’s always a valuable skill to have.
1. What was the name of the WWII POW camp nearest to Priest Lake, ID? (If you can, find the lat/long.)
2. We know there were a large number POW camps in the US for German and Italian prisoners. While it’s pretty simple to find out what public opinion was in the US of POW camps for American soldiers, can you figure out what public opinion in GERMANY was of US POW camps during the war?
This is a somewhat more subtle search task, but one well worth spending a few minutes doing.
As usual, please when you send in your answer, please let us know HOW you found it (what was your search path and what tools and resources did you use along the way), and about how LONG you spent on this challenge.