WWII museum says it's teaching what history books don't - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

WWII museum says it's teaching what history books don't

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A World War II museum brought a piece of history to South Mississippi. Traces Center For History and Culture set up a traveling exhibit in front of the Bay St. Louis library on Saturday.

The museum is based in St. Paul Minnesota, but for the past seven years, officials say they've traveled the country to tell people what they don't learn in text books about German, Italian and Japanese soldiers captured by the Americans and held as POWs in the United States.

The museum also wants to teach about the American citizens who were also held in camps. Irving Kellman works for the museum.

"Everybody knows about the Japanese Americans who were put in internment camps. 15,000 German American citizens were also put in internment camps," Kellman said. "Very few people know that we have prisoners of war held here in the United States. So these are the stories that our museum feels are important to tell people and to go around the country telling them."

Kellman said German, Italian and Japanese prisoners of war tended to be treated well in this country because the United States government wanted to abide by the Geneva Convention.

He also said the U.S. hoped if word got back to those countries that POWs were well-treated, Americans captured by enemy forces would be better off.

Museum officials say there were 19 POW camps in Mississippi that held about 25,000 men between 1943 and 1946.

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