POWs in America:

The Camp Algona Experience

During World War II Algona, Iowa was the site of a main camp for prisoners of war. This camp was 'home' to a total of 10,000 German prisoners from April 1944 to February 1946. The value of the work done by the prisoners in 34 branch camps in the 4 state region was estimated at $3,506,000. The average monthly population in the entire system was 3,216, although the number kept in the Algona camp rarely exceeded 2,500. The camp had a huge economic impact on the community of Algona and the surrounding area. The experience of the German prisoners in the Camp Algona system is explained in this exhibit.