German POW News Journals Get Digitized

The Wyoming State Library has begun digitizing five different German POW camp newspapers from WWII.

Public libraries are constantly working behind the scenes to provide informative, accurate information to library patrons and the rest of the communities they serve. 


In this segment, we’ll cover the Wyoming State Library, which has recently commenced digitizing five different German POW camp newspapers from WWII. These papers were initially recorded in the Douglas and Cheyenne war camps. These newspapers covered the events of daily living for prisoners residing therein, and also captured incoming news from Europe during the war. 

The Wyoming State Library POW Journal collection of news journals has been made possible thanks to the partnership between the University of Wyoming’s library system and the Wyoming State Library. It features 370 titles and over 1,170,000 pages, as well as a smaller collection of hand-written documents and records. According to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, this project took several years to complete and was only ready for the public to explore in 2021. 

The Basics of WWII Life in Wyoming

The prisoners themselves were taken by the US’s allies in North Africa, where they were then transported to Wyoming for holding. Several of these camps existed and operated between 1942 and 1945. The state housed a whopping 19 POW camps during WWII, which held both German and Italian POWs.The camps housing the most German POWs included the Cheyenne and Douglas camps, as mentioned above. 

Newspaper & WWII Journal Content

Among the newspapers and news journals that Wyoming libraries have digitized are the titles Ekkhehard, Stockade of Douglas, WY, Douglas Offene Worte, Lager-Magazin, and Der Zaungast of Cheyenne, WY.

Most of these newspapers covered camp-specific news, inter-camp news, and international news pertaining to the ongoing war efforts. The entire Wyoming State Library POW Journal collection is available online, and it’s free to view for Wyoming Library cardholders. Check them out at Wyoming Newspapers.

The Digitization Project

Wyoming State Library’s Digital Collections & Legislative Librarian, Travis Pollok, had this to say about the digitization project:

“It's a great resource, for looking for anyone, for just general history, for genealogy work, for Wyoming history. Each newspaper had a little bit of unique information about it, what was around these cities and towns, at the time and some of these towns are no longer there.”

Stay tuned for more news from various libraries across the US. Many libraries and their staff work hard to make history come alive for library patrons. The digitization of these wartime records is only one example of the immense volumes of history that libraries have preserved and presented to the public.