I have never visited this international treasure even though it’s less than 30 miles from my home so yesterday this is where Reed and I went.
In 1946 during WWII German prisoners of war were held at Camp Algona. One pamphlet says the number of prisoners was 10,000 and another says 3200. During this time the German prisoners were lonely and to fill the time they made a half size nativity scene.
The project was finished and ready to display for Christmas 1945. The figures are made of concrete over wire and wooden frames. There are 65 one-half size figures which are finished with hand carved plaster and painted making them very realistic.
When the camp disbanded in 1946 the city of Algona made it a permanent exhibit in a heated building with stars in the night sky and a brook/waterfall over rocks.
The three wisemen approach from the left with their camels standing behind them.
The little town of Bethlehem is painted as if in the distance and the Angel is suspended over the stable roof. It is a moving exhibit and one I felt was educational for Reed. Since it is open only during the month of December we had to take a break from our sewing to go to Algona.
There are many historical documents that we did not take the time to read but since I had many questions I went online to see if I could learn the answers to a number of questions.
1. Why does one account say 10,000 prisoners and another says 3200.
2. Where were these prisoners captured?
I learned that these prisoners worked on farms and farm related factories such as the canning factory in Blue Earth, MN because the farmers and workers were fighting in the war. The value of their work in the 4 state area is estimated at $3,506,000!
Does anyone have the answers to my questions? Reed and I discussed this at length and I’m still curious.
We had a nice afternoon which included a stop at the thrift store which yielded 2 small clocks, a white dog planter, a chicken mug and 3 books. Can you believe books cost only 20 cents each?
With the warm weather we’re enjoying the grass is beginning to turn green! The pond thawed out and the geese had a ball today.
Last night we got some pretty heavy rain leaving puddles everywhere.
Worked on the plants in the basement today – with helpers.
It exhausted Ernie evidently.
And if Ernie can be on the island, Hazel thinks she can, too. I am outnumbered!