TEMPLE — A first-person presentation by Hank Lunn, “From Foe to Friend,” will tell the personal story of what it was like to have German soldiers working on his family farm in Littleton, Aroostook County.

The Temple Historical Society will host the meeting, free and open to all, at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the Temple Town Hall.

In 1944, the U.S. Army Air Base in Houlton became the site of a Prisoner of War (POW) internment camp for German soldiers captured in North Africa and France. The POWs could not be forced to work, but could volunteer. Those who wanted to work helped the local farmers harvest peas, pick potatoes and cut wood in the forest during winter.

In the fall of 1945, Lunn’s father decided to request prisoners to help with the potato harvest because the people they usually hired were not available due of the war.

German prisoners picking potatoes, Houlton, 1945. (Photo courtesy of Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum)

As a 13-year-old boy, the arrival of German soldiers, who may have killed some of their neighbors, was fearsome,  said Lunn. He said, “My young mind was not too sure it was a good idea to have the ‘enemy’ right here on our farm.”

There will be time for questions following the presentation. Refreshments will be available and the Temple Girl Scouts will serve as hosts.


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