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.
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
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.