Camp Papago Park

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Camp Papago Park was a prisoner of war (POW) facility located in the eponymous City of Phoenix park Papago Park in the eastern part of Phoenix, Arizona. It consisted of five compounds, four for enlisted men and one for officers. The property now is divided between the Papago Park Military Reservation, belonging to the Arizona National Guard, a city park, residential neighborhoods and a car dealer's lot. by Robert L. Pela in Phoenix New Times, March, 2001: - - -

Called Schlaraffenland—the land of milk and honey—by its mostly U-boat-crew inmates, Camp Papago Park was very different from Axis POW camps, especially with regard to how prisoners were treated: Inmates were not required to work or study, though many chose to as a means of combating boredom (though mostly the latter, as there were only 700 volunteers for labor tasks). The camp had a theater where films were screened twice a week and the camp choir could practice. Much of this was discussed, along with anything else the prisoners who wrote The Papago Rundschau chose to include, in the camp’s newspaper.


In December 1944, twenty-five POWs escaped from Camp Papago Park into the surrounding desert. Among them Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipient Kapitänleutnant Hans-Werner Kraus. Originally thought to be impossible to tunnel through, the hard clay of the surrounding area turned out...
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