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Interviews conducted by the Oral History Program are based on a standardized list of questions (called a protocol) arranged in major interview categories. Select a category to see interviews and the interview protocol for that category.

Prisoners of War in New Mexico Agriculture

In our largest single project to date, the Museum interviewed individuals associated with the use of German and Italian POWs who worked in New Mexico agriculture from 1942 to 1946. Several variants of interview protocols were used on different groups of camp workers and guards, farmers, town folk, and former POWs. This is the largest known oral history collection on a state's POW program. These interviews were part of the award winning research and exhibition project, "To Get the Job Done" (2002), a title based on a quote from one of the farmers explaining why he hired the POWs.

Archer, Louis E.
Sources of labor and use of POWs during this period.
Archuleta, Dolores
Relates an incident that occurred when, as a child during World War II, her life intersected with those of the prisoners of war incarcerated in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Augustine, John L.
Consultant was the Doña Ana County Agent during World War II and administered the prisoner of war labor program in the county.
Barela, Willie
Worked on Stahmann Farms during World War II at the same time as German and Italian prisoners of war were employed there.
Barg, Friedrich
Barg was taken prisoner in North Africa in 1943, was imprisoned in the United States until 1946. He spent time in Camps Roswell and Artesia.
Barnes, J.Q.
Mr. Barnes' recollections of a German and Italian prisoner of war camp in Hatch, New Mexico, during World War II.
Bennen, Dietrich
D. Bennen was taken prisoner in North Africa in 1943. He was imprisoned in the United States until 1945. He spent one year in Camp Polk, Louisiana, and was then moved to Ft. Bliss, Texas, where he worked in agriculture sometimes in New Mexico. Describes camp life, relationships, activities
Bogle, Clarence McKnight "Bill"
Prisoner of war camp on his family property. The POWs ran the feed mill, worked in the feedlot and alfalfa mill, and harvested cotton and alfalfa.
Chavez, Cuca H.
Describes use of German prisoners of war during World War II on their farm near Hill, New Mexico.
Cheatum, Minerva
Memories as a child on grandparents' farm. Both Italian and German prisoners of war were employed there during World War II, as many as fifty at a time. Consultant's grandfather had a cookout for the Italian POWs, which was attended by Italian-American families living in the area. Includes thorough description concerns grandfather's use of draft horses in farming.
Childs, Homer
Details Dominguez's duty as a prisoner of war camp guard at the Hatch branch camp during World War II. He and his two brothers were drafted into WWII. He discusses the draft board's policies in Deming, New Mexico. Childs describes hemp production and manufacture of rope near Fabens, Texas, before and during the war. Homer Child's imprisonment in Stalag 17B, and his duties while he was imprisoned.
Clark, Ira G.
Detailing the consultant's role as state assistant supervisor of the Emergency Farm Labor Program during World War II.
Clemenza, Nick
Description of World War II prisoner of war camps for Italian and German prisoners at Roswell and Dexter (Bogle farm), New Mexico.
de Maio, Michele
Dr. de Maio discusses his service as a doctor in the Italian Air Force in North Africa early in World War II, his imprisonment as a POW at Camp Hereford, Tex., and his work in an Italian Service Unit in San Pedro, Calif. Also reviews post-war period when he immigrated to the U.S. and became licensed to practice medicine in New Mexico.
Doil, James R.
Brief description of his service in Europe during World War II. The bulk of the interview details his duty as a guard at the prisoner of war camp in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Dominguez, Maggie
Details Dominguez's duty as a prisoner of war camp guard at the Hatch branch camp during World War II. He and his two brothers were drafted into WWII. He discusses the draft board's policies in Deming, New Mexico. Childs describes hemp production and manufacture of rope near Fabens, Texas, before and during the war. Homer Child's imprisonment in Stalag 17B, and his duties while he was imprisoned.
Dowell, Mary E.
An Artesia resident's perspective on a nearby prisoner of war camp during World War II.
Elquist, Gloria
Childhood memories of German prisoner of war work detail, circa 1944, additional supplementary information of Fort Bliss POW compound personnel, and general anti-Japanese feeling.
Estrada, Petra
Describes activities of prisoners of war at Camp Lordsburg.
Ewing, Fred
Documents their recollections of their jobs at the prisoner of war camp in Lordsburg plus their memories of watching the Japanese internees being brought to the camp (prior to the prisoners from Germany and Italy).
Ewing, Naomi
Documents their recollections of their jobs at the prisoner of war camp in Lordsburg plus their memories of watching the Japanese internees being brought to the camp (prior to the prisoners from Germany and Italy).
Fischer, William G.
Recollections of German prisoners of war working on his father's farm, south of Carlsbad, NM
Franzoy, Alexander Alfred
Use of German and Italian prisoners of war as farm laborers during World War II. Use of other types of farm labor before and after World War II. Description of the Franzoy farm when consultant's father bought the land in 1918.
Gillie, Warren
Narrative covers his career in the Army, concentrating on his work with German prisoners of war (POWs) in Lordsburg, Las Cruces, and Fort Bayard, N.M.
Grüber, Wilfried
Grúber, taken prisoner in North Africa in 1943, was imprisoned in the United States until the summer of 1946. He spent one year at Camp Roswell where he worked harvesting cotton.
Guzmán, Alfonso
Paperboy for Italian and German POW camp located near present day Young Park. Miscellaneous recollections beginning with Civilian Conservation Corps use of camp through post World War II.
Guzman, Felipe G.
Worked as a laborer at Stahmann Farms during school vacations from 1944-1946. Worked with German prisoners of war (POWs). Discusses a reunion with one former prisoner of war in 1998.
Hanna, Grant
Memories of a mess sergeant at Camp Hereford (prisoner of war camp) during World War II. KP detachment. Prison riot at Hereford Reflections on reduced rations, but had already been transferred to France.
Hickam, E. Earl
E. Earl Hickam briefly discusses his family and early childhood before talking at length about his father's use of Italian prisoners of war (POWs) in the Dawn, Tex., area and of working with German POWs in the Albuquerque, N.M., area during World War II.
Hofacket, Katy
Describes living on a ranch near Deming during World War II, with particular emphasis on the German POWs who worked there.
Howard, Jared "Jed"
Childhood reminiscences of World War II and the prisoner of war (POW) camp located near Carlsbad. Some discussion of the relations between the European American majority and the African American and Hispanic population of the town.
Huber, Evelyn
Sources of labor during World War II, including German and Italian POWs
Johnson, John
John Johnson, living in Lordsburg, New Mexico, recalls the prisoner of war camp located there during World War II.
Kipp Jr., Rex
Recalls prisoners of war employed on his parents' ranch during World War II.
Lazar, Betty
Her recollections of the Japanese interned at Camp Lordsburg, and later the German and Italian prisoners of war held there.
Livingston, Margaret L. (Myers)
Mrs. Livingston, who was still in school during the time in question, relates her memories of life in Lordsburg during World War II, including the town's attitudes toward the camp, social life in the town, items made by some Japanese detainees, and some of the work done by the prisoners of war.
Malone, S. Cooper
Recollections of a farmer whose family employed Germans prisoners of war as farm laborers during World War II.
Mercer, Dorothy
Responses to standardized prisoner of war project questionnaire for camp workers; some questions from farm and ranch folks questionnaire for Dorothy. Regards Italian POW camp south of Hereford and their jobs at the camp.
Mercer, James C.
Responses to standardized prisoner of war project questionnaire for camp workers; some questions from farm and ranch folks questionnaire for Dorothy. Regards Italian POW camp south of Hereford and their jobs at the camp.
Merrell, Adair
Prisoners of war from Camp Lordsburg, and a branch camp in Duncan, Arizona, were transported by Merrell and his father to area farms and ranches.
Mitamura, Rose T.
Utilization of German prisoners of war during World War II at Mesilla, New Mexico, farm during lettuce harvest.
Montoya, Lauro Raymond Fresquez
Memories of Lauro Montoya Jr. and Lauro Montoya Sr. of prisoners of war in Tularosa, N.M., during World War II.
Mortensen, Marcel
Mortensen's work as a carpenter's helper installing cabinets in the prisoner of war (POW) compound at Lordsburg and his experiences driving Italian prisoners to Virden, where they worked cleaning irrigation ditches and picking potatoes and onions.
Muñoz, Jesse
Martha's childhood memory of German prisoners of war working on irrigation ditches during World War II. Discusses a neighbor's memory of working alongside Italian prisoners of war who sang as they worked in the field. Jesse picked cotton alongside Italian and German POWs on a Texas farm where his father was a foreman during WWII.
Muñoz, Martha
Martha's childhood memory of German prisoners of war working on irrigation ditches during World War II. Discusses a neighbor's memory of working alongside Italian prisoners of war who sang as they worked in the field. Jesse picked cotton alongside Italian and German POWs on a Texas farm where his father was a foreman during WWII.
Navar, John
Use of German and Italian prisoners of war at the Navar family dairy during World War II. Housing for POWs at the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp on Zaragosa Road. Describes duties of POW workers.
Nelson, Morgan
Details the use of German prisoners of war on his parents' farm in East Grand Plains during World War II. The family maintained contact with one German prisoner of war, and visited him in Germany in the 1970s. Also discussed the Pecos River Bridge.
Padilla, Ernesto
Employment as a farm laborer at Stahmann Farms during World War II, and his observations of the prisoners of war (POWs) who were also employed there during the war.
Parsons, Bob
Bob Parsons's teenage memories of Fort Sumner prisoner of war camp and impressions of the prisoners. Eileen Parsons's and Doyle Cozzens's childhood memories of their father's service at Fort Stanton as a guard for *Columbus* crew internees.
Parsons, Eileen
Bob Parsons's teenage memories of Fort Sumner prisoner of war camp and impressions of the prisoners. Eileen Parsons's and Doyle Cozzens's childhood memories of their father's service at Fort Stanton as a guard for *Columbus* crew internees.
Patterson, Emmett Knight
Patterson was a farmer/rancher and a bank employee at Roswell, N.M., during World War II. He employed German prisoners of war to plant and pick onions on his farmland southeast of Roswell. The prisoners and guards came from Orchard Park POW camp near Roswell. Patterson describes rationing during World War II and discusses various sources of farm labor.
Phipps, W.A. "Bill"
Phipps served first as the postmaster for the camp and later as the first sergeant of Compound 4 (Officer's Compound) at the Hereford, Tex., POW camp during World War II. He describes his duties and wartime treatment of Italian prisoners.
Pickard, Ruth
Use of Italian prisoners of war on Brazito, New Mexico, farm.
Poethig, Hans Rudoph
Former German prisoners of war who were detained in New Mexico during World War II. Schmid was held at Camp Las Cruces and worked primarily picking cotton. Poethig was held at the Orchard Park prisoner of war camp near Roswell, N.M. As a non-commissioned officer, Poethig volunteered as a detail leader of POWs working as agricultural laborers.
Porter, Bob
Recounts memories of the prisoners of war who were incarcerated during World War II in Hatch, New Mexico. The prisoners of war worked on his father's farm near Salem during the cotton harvest.
Porter, Brady
Mr. Porter's recollections of German and Italian prisoners of war camp in Hatch, New Mexico, during World War II.
Ragland, Ernestine
The discussion is limited to Mrs. Ragland's experiences and impressions gained while working at a prisoner of war camp near Lordsburg, New Mexico, where she worked in the Ordnance and Motor Pool Division. There is a brief description of her husband's duties guarding the prisoners as they worked in the fields.
Randall Sr., Robert E.
Description of events leading to assignment as guard at prisoner of war camps in Lordsburg and Hatch, New Mexico, during World War II. Describes differences between Italian POWs who were "king's men" and "black shirts." Description of duties, prisoners, and relationships between guards and prisoners.
Rice, William A. "Bill"
Boyhood memories of prisoners of war in Lordsburg, New Mexico, during World War II.
Rivera, Lupe Peralta
Employment as a clerk at Camp Lordsburg during 1944.
Sargent, Maria
Childhood memories, age twelve or thirteen, of the Italian prisoners of war who worked on area farms during World War II.
Saucedo, Connie
A civilian employee of WWII-era prisoner of war camp in Lordsburg.
Schmid, Walter
Former German prisoners of war who were detained in New Mexico during World War II. Schmid was held at Camp Las Cruces and worked primarily picking cotton. Poethig was held at the Orchard Park prisoner of war camp near Roswell, N.M. As a non-commissioned officer, Poethig volunteered as a detail leader of POWs working as agricultural laborers.
Sharp, Dwight L.
Describes German prisoner of war labor on his parents' farm.
Silva, L.F. "Chano"
Construction of Fort Sumner Army Airfield. Opinion of value of prisoner of war labor. Incident with Japanese POWs (Texas).
Stone, Glenn
Optometrist stationed at Deming Army Airfield during World War II. Provided vision screening for German prisoners of war from Camp Lordsburg.
Walker, Chester
Transportation of prisoners of war from Camp Orchard Park and Camp Carlsbad to area farmers during World War II. Transportation of laborers contracted through the Bracero Program following WWII and into the 1960s.
Walker, Helen
Transportation of prisoners of war from Camp Orchard Park and Camp Carlsbad to area farmers during World War II. Transportation of laborers contracted through the Bracero Program following WWII and into the 1960s.
Ward, Lois
Description of the Wenk Family asparagus farm operation and vegetable farming in the South Valley of Albuquerque from the 1920s to the 1980s. Focus in middle portion of interview on use of German POWs to help harvest asparagus.
Watson, Donald W.
Use of Italian and German prisoners of war on parents' farm and in their dairy during World War II. Additionally they discussed the move from horse-drawn farm equipment and extensive hand labor to mechanized farming.
Watson, Farrell L.
Use of Italian and German prisoners of war on parents' farm and in their dairy during World War II. Additionally they discussed the move from horse-drawn farm equipment and extensive hand labor to mechanized farming.
Wenk, John
Description of the Wenk Family asparagus farm operation and vegetable farming in the South Valley of Albuquerque from the 1920s to the 1980s. Focus in middle portion of interview on use of German POWs to help harvest asparagus.
Wenk, Mildred
Description of the Wenk Family asparagus farm operation and vegetable farming in the South Valley of Albuquerque from the 1920s to the 1980s. Focus in middle portion of interview on use of German POWs to help harvest asparagus.
West, James W. (Jake)
Memories of high school days during World War II. Collected airbase food scraps for hog feed. Direct contact with German POWs; indirect contact with Italian POWs employed in agriculture. Family sacrifices during World War II; three of Mr. West's brothers were servicemen; one of the three was killed in the war.
Williams, Jacqueline Ethel Wood
Childhood remembrances of World War II prisoner of war camp on Melendres Street, Las Cruces.
Zachek, Jerry
Employment of German prisoners of war (POWs) on Deming area farms during World War II.