The city of Berlin, Wis., has been pronounced BER-lin since World War I, because of widespread anger at the time toward anything and anyone German.
How is it, then, that near the end of WWII Wisconsin housed some 20,000 POWs, mostly German, in 38 camps scattered about the state, and that many of these prisoners were harvesting our crops, working in our factories, drinking beer in our taverns, and even sometimes dating our young women?
Betty Cowley, author of the book Stalag Wisconsin: Inside WW II Prisoner-Of-War Camps will address a Winchester Academy audience at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, in the downstairs meeting rooms of the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Her book is a detailed look into those POW camps and into the communities that housed them. esearch for her book took three years. She interviewed over 300 people and collected scores of photographs. As a history teacher in Eau Claire, she wanted to convince her doubting students that these camps had actually existed.
Cowley is a recipient of the University of Wisocnsin-Eau Claire’s Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes “distinguished service to the community, state or nation in a manner that brings credit upon the recipient and the university.”
Cowley earned her bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in teaching from UW-Eau Claire. She had a 35-year career in education teaching high school history and social studies. She also was an instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College and a guest lecturer at UW-Eau Claire.
Winchester Academy programs are free and open to the public. Funding for the academy’s programs comes primarily from sponsorships and the contributions of audience and community members. Sponsors for the Cowley program are Gloria and Al Gruer.
For more information check out the website at winchesteracademywaupaca.org or contact Executive Director Ann Buerger Linden at 715-258-2927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.