Last weekend, NAPA member and archaeologist Allison Young presented her graduate research on Nebraska’s Indianola Prisoner of War Camp to a sold out crowd as part of the Buffalo Commons Storytelling weekend. The event, which featured a ‘History’s Mystery’ bus tour to the POW Camp site, proved to be a highlight of the weekend, with a second bus added to accommodate the interested and engaged audience.
The Indianola POW camp was established in 1943 as one of four base internment camps located in Nebraska. In 1944 it became one of the few designated camps in the country that would house pro-Nazi noncommissioned officers. It functioned as such until 1945 when the camp was shut down and the prisoners were repatriated. The camp was later used by the Bureau of Reclamation for employee housing through the 1950s, at which time the land was sold and has since been used for farming and ranching. Young’s investigation of the site focused on exploring the camp’s adherence to the Geneva Convention of 1929, and included metal detection survey and traditional excavation techniques. The completed thesis research is available to be read here.
Allison Young graduated with her master’s degree in anthropology with an emphasis on professional archaeology from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2013. She is currently the park archaeologist of Ozark National Scenic Riverways in southeastern Missouri, where she resides with her dog Hank.