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Marking the resting places of 5 German POWs from World War 2. These hallowed ground in the woods of Ft Campbell Ky remind us that although war is short and violent death is quiet and lasting.

  • Photo of Graves during Memorial
  • Photo of Graves on summer day
Although the amount of information is limited, I can share with you what I know from personal experience, and from the archives and research of others. On a small piece of land in the woods of Fort Campbell Ky there is something that is straight out of a movie. The Battle was thick that day in northern Africa and some 3000 Nazis were captured. Although there were many different POW camps that the allied forces used during World War 2 some of the German Soldiers would inevitably come to Kentucky. Out of the many POWs that called Ft Campbell KY their home till the end of the war only 5 German Soldiers would remain to this day.

Eugen Ulrich, Kurt Franke, Herbert Linder, Josef Reidinger and Guenter Cassens died while in American custody. Four of the men died from natural causes and one of the men (Josef Reidinger) was shot at the local train station while trying to escape. "Although it was almost a common practice for the prisoners to attempt an escape most did it for the chance to find a woman rather than to return to Europe" (John OBrien, installation historian at the Don F. Pratt Museum).

Ultimately most all the POWs on Ft Campbell would return home and those five men that are still there in the woods of Ft Campbell are honored on the first of November; when the sounds of the German National Anthem can be heard playing through the pines along with the sounds of Ich Hatt Einen Kameraden (I Once Had a Comrade) to Honor not only the memory of the men laying there but also as tribute to their courage to fight for what they felt was right and true on their country.