Prisoners of War in New Mexico Agriculture
NMF&RHM Oral History Program
This collection of audio and videotapes documents the use of prisoners of war (POWs) in New Mexico agriculture during World War II. Both Italian and German POWs were housed in New Mexico and some worked as laborers harvesting and planting mostly commercial crops. Two large camps were located near Roswell and Lordsburg, New Mexico, and there were many smaller base camps established (usually in refurbished CCC camps) throughout southern and eastern New Mexico.
This collection contains the oral history interviews of former POWs; farmers (or their descendants) that utilized the POW labor; townsfolk and children's perspectives of the POWs; guards, civilian camp employees, and adjunct workers; and program administrators. Topics cover the work and daily life of the POWs; the farmer's assessment of the work of the POWs and of the program; and the administration of the program by state and local government officials.