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SouthFirst Bank Adult Lecture Series – “Camp Aliceville: German Prisoner of War Camp – 1942-1945”


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Ruth Cook will give a fascinating glimpse into the secret history of a lesser known aspect of World War II at this week’s SouthFirst Bank Adult Lecture Series as she speaks about “Camp Aliceville: German Prisoner of War Camp – 1942-1945.”

Cook will recreate the world of Aliceville, Alabama, where as many as 6,000 German prisoners of war (POWs) and 1,000 military guards set up camp and stayed for almost three years. There were 25 POW camps in the country but Camp Aliceville was the largest.

Based on her book, Guests Behind the Barbed Wire, the author will discuss how residents helped build, operate, and supply the camp, becoming intertwined with camp life and the soldiers being held there. Decades later, former POWs and guards, and family members continue to return to the isolated location in Pickens County to serach out landmarks and validate memories of humane treatment and hope in the midst of a world war. Cooks fascinating story won a Bronze Medal for Outstanding History Writing from Independent Publishers.

Ruth Beaumont Cook holds a degree in English and German Education from Ohio State University, but she and her family have made their home in Alabama since 1970. Ruth’s first book, North Across the River, told the true story of the arrest and deportation of several hundred Georgia cotton mill workers during the Civil War. Her forthcoming book about Sylacauga’s marble history will be published in the coming year.

Comer Liibrary’s Adult Brown Bag Lecture Series – “These Are Our Stories” – is sponsored by SouthFirst Bank. The refreshment room will open at 11:00 a.m. Participants are invited to bring a sandwich and enjoy drinks and desserts provided by the library. For more information, call (256) 249-0961 or email B.B. Comer Library Director Tracey Thomas at [email protected].

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