Monday, July 25, 2011

Maryland WWII Italian POW's - Military Monday

My Uncle Henry was a Baltimore City Firemen for most of his life, except when serving overseas during World War II. His sister, my Aunt Annamae, worked in the local sewing factory while her husband also served as a member of the United States Army.

When my uncle came home from the war he worked for the fire department at Fort George G. Meade. At that time there were German and Italian prisoners of war being detained.

In my mother's possession was this photograph of Italian prisoners of war taken in 1944 at Fort Meade. The women pictured were co-workers of my aunt in the sewing factory. When they discovered my uncle worked at the fort they asked to meet the prisoners. The women's families were of Italian ancestry and they were curious about their fellow countrymen.

Since discussing this photograph with my mother I have found various resources.

German WII POW's in the U.S. remembered by Duncan Adams - Roanoke Times

I do not believe many people of my generation are aware of this period in our history. In fact I had completely forgotten until documenting my mother's memories. This is a true case of "a picture is worth a thousand words."


  1. Fascinating, Deb. I seem to remember my in-laws talking about German POWs. Not sure if it was in Baltimore or Frederick, but I'm pretty sure they came across them somehow. I'll have to check. Great post!

  2. Thanks Susan! Amazing what you don't know about your own hometown! Will be spending more time with Mom learning about Maryland & family history.

  3. Awesome picture..
    My father was a Italian Prisoner at Fort Meade. The women of Little Italy in Baltimore visited Fort Meade to meet the Italian Prisoners. This is how my parents met and were married after the war. By chance do you know any of the names of the men or women in the photo?

  4. My grandparents told me stories of going from Baltimore to Ft. Meade to 'dances' with the Italians POW's during the war. I always thought it an endearing story of a simpler time. They told me the Germans were separated and not given the same liberties.