Scene from Camp Concordia Museum in Concordia, Kan. Courtesy/LAHS
By Sharon Snyder
Los Alamos Historical Society
When Liz Martineau took over as executive director of the Historical Society last summer, I interviewed her for the Los Alamos Daily Post. In the course of that interview she mentioned that her father was a history buff and had written a book. “I’ll loan you a copy,” she said. The next day the book appeared on my desk—Camp Concordia: German POWs in the Midwest by Lowell A. May.
This week’s history column will no doubt read like a book review because Lowell May reeled me in with his first few pages. The book features in-depth research, and it opened an entirely new area of history for me.
With so many young men serving in the armed forces during World War II, there was a shortage of labor on farms. I had heard of a camp near Lordsburg, New Mexico, where German prisoners of war (POWs) worked on nearby farms, but after reading May’s book and doing further research online, it became clear that what I had learned to that point was only part of something much larger. The story of POW camps in the United States is sometimes referred to as one of the least studied aspects of the history of World War II.
Raemer Schreiber explaining a detail of Project Rover in 1959. Courtesy/AHF
By Heather McClenahan
Los Alamos Historical Society
“Nuclear power not only will enhance space exploration; its use, both for propulsion and for auxiliary power, is the key to extensive outer space exploration.” —Leland Hayworth, AEC Commissioner 1961-1963 and director of Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Rover Boulevard in White Rock gets its name from Project Rover, an ambitious and controversial program to use nuclear power for space rockets.
Doomed financially by the escalating costs of the Vietnam War and NASA’s desire to reach the moon before the Soviets, the project folded in January 1973 but not before having a huge impact on the development of small nuclear reactors and on Los Alamos.
Laboratory Director Norris Bradbury tapped Manhattan Project veteran Raemer Schrieber to head the Rover Project in 1955.
These articles are written by the Los Alamos Historical Society Staff. Many of these articles were originally published by the
The Los Alamos Historical Society preserves, promotes, and communicates the remarkable history and inspiring stories of Los Alamos and its people for our community, for the global audience, and for future generations.
AC Tech: 505-709-7738, firstname.lastname@example.org
Archives: 505-709-7841, email@example.com
Collections: 505-795-9970, firstname.lastname@example.org
Educator: 505-709-7760, email@example.com
Executive Director: 505-662-6272, firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Assistant: 505-695-3524, email@example.com
Museum Assistant: firstname.lastname@example.org
Museum/Museum Shop: 505-709-7794, email@example.com
Museum Shop Manager: 505-695-5250, firstname.lastname@example.org