WWII POW CAMP CONCORDIA
To schedule a tour, call Cloud County Tourism at (785) 243-4303. The WWII POW Camp Concordia is open, please call 785-243-4303 to schedule a tour or for additional information.
During World War II, 400,000 German Prisoners of War were interred in the United States. Many of the POWs were confined in Kansas where they worked on farms and other prospects. Typically the Kansas POWs were housed small camps of 100 or less. Some of these camps were located in the communities of El Dorado, Hutchinson, Cawker City, Hays, and Topeka, Ottawa.
Three larger camps were located in Kansas, near Salina (Camp Phillips), at Fort Riley, and just outside Concordia, Kansas. Construction of Camp Concordia began in February, 1943 and the POW camp was turned over to the US Army on May 1, 1943. At its peak Camp Concordia 4,027 Prisoners, 880 soldiers and 179 civilian Employees.
Camp Concordia had 304 buildings including a 177 bed hospital, fire department, warehouses, cold storage, and officers club, and barracks, mess halls & administrative buildings for both the German POWs and American soldiers. The camp cost $1,808,860, running $40,000 over budget. Not bad for a construction that took only 90 days.
All of the prisoners at Camp Concordia were members of the German Army. Most were captured in Africa, and the first POWs came from Rommel's Afrika Korps. Only the enlisted POWs worked, most of them on farms, but some worked on the railroad or in the ice plant. The POWS had their own band and newspaper.
Camp Concordia officially closed on November 8, 1945. Many of the buildings were torn down and others were moved. Some are still serving as homes in Concordia. The only structures remaining at the original location are Guard Post 20, a ware house, some stone walls, the officers club, a few foundations, and the tower which once supported a 100,000 gallon water tank. A two story stone guard tower has been reconstructed.
To visit the Camp Concordia museum, please call ahead to make arrangements as the museum is volunteer run and does not open on a regular basis. To schedule a tour, call Cloud County Tourism at (785) 243-4303.
Directions to the Camp: Drive north of Concordia on US 81 for two miles. Turn east on Union Road (also known as Fort Kearney Road). Continue driving east for one mile where you will find the reconstructed guard tower on your left. The museum is located up the driveway just past the guard tower. Guard House 20 is a few blocks farther east.
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POW Camp Concordia is currently closed during the winter season. November 1st thru March 31st. To view artifacts and learn more about the camp, please visit the Cloud County Historical Museum Tuesday thru Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 11-5 p.m. located at 635 Broadway St. in Concordia.
POW Camp Concordia will be open during the spring and summer seasons. April 1st. thru October 31st. Please call Cloud County Tourism at 785-243-4303 to schedule a tour.
Renovations at the POW Camp
The POW Camp Concordia Preservation Society has installed a new restroom facility at the site of their museum, located on Union Road north of Concordia. The restroom facility opened on Fall Fest weekend, September 23, 2017.
To accommodate people, POW Camp Concordia raised dollars this summer to support the construction of a new restroom facility. Abram Ready Mix in Concordia donated concrete for the floor and a "First Flush," competition was held. One man and one woman won the privilege to have the first flush in their new restroom. Donations of toilet paper as the entry fee.
Victory Day Celebration
April 21, 2017
POW Camp Concordia partnered with Cloud County Tourism to host a Victory Day Celebration on April 29th in honor of Victory in Europe (VE) Day which occurred May 8th, 1945. That is the official day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms during World War II.
A Volkswalk and Poker run were scheduled to kick off the Celebration at 10 a.m., but due to heavy rain the activities were postponed.
During the day, free tours were given of POW Camp Concordia Museum by Lowell May and Paul Rimovsky. Visitors were able to view exhibits and WWII memorabilia at the Museum as well as visit with WWII reenactors from Wichita and Topeka including Rosie the Riveter and Women’s Army Corps (WAC).
Visitors ate lunch at 12 p.m., which featured German Sausage and Kraut for $5. The Cloud County Community College Jazz Band played WWII songs at 1 p.m. for attendees to dance to.
The second Victory Day Celebration is scheduled for April 2018. More details to come.
WWII Amphibious Jeep
Restoration In Progress
The POW Camp Concordia is currently restoring a WWII Amphibious Jeep. The project will take approximately five years, as the project will require the Jeep to be completely restored.
To learn more, contact Cloud County Tourism at 785-243-4303.