World War II and Nature’s Recapture of the Louisiana POW Program

The following series of old photos show planet Earth’s recapture of the POW program here in Louisiana. Nature, if left unchecked, really does reign supreme. There is something incredibly fascinating to me to set eyes on old, dilapidating structures and just things in general that nature has taken over. I wonder, who was the last person to see it intact? Who was the last person to walk out the door?

Scroll down and you’ll see that this isn’t just any website pictured and linked. Omeka is a web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and creating media-rich online exhibits. The collection here is the source for my recent articles on World War II and the little known POW program across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe and all the way right down here to Louisiana.

Here is the one I posted on June 12. It has been three weeks of intense research and writing on national topics, and also those little things called moving to another state and getting married to focus on! Time truly does fly. It seems like just last week I made that post.

(By the way, please pray for us because she is a little sick right now and resting, which is why I am able to do some work here in the first place).

Anyway, click on the image after the following excerpt to explore some fascinating photos.

Most of these images, with the exception of the final three from Jeanerette (2017), were taken about forty years ago. It doesn’t take long for nature to reclaim her territory, and it is likely that much of what is photographed here has been entirely wiped out of sight.

While some old POW camp buildings still stand in isolation, serving some other purpose than they did over seventy years ago, for the most part, the years have seen their demise. Decaying foundations swallowed by nature’s creep is an echo of a lost time when life was bustling behind the barbed wire, more than one looking back might first expect.

While not many words can be ascribed to such haunting ghosts of the past, here are just a few more to indicate the fragile nature of time and place: One camp guard-house in Minnesota once went to a local family for one dollar. The purpose?

To serve as a child’s playhouse.

Truly, wherever we stand at any given moment, even where you stand right now as you peruse this exhibit, might very well be gone some time in the not-so-distant future.

Maybe that’s what the P.O.W. acronym means after all. If Shakespeare was right in saying that all the world’s a stage, and for a brief spell of time these prisoners’ entire world was camp-life, then indeed, perhaps they were simply playing their part.

Actors bustling about in the great Playhouse of War.




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