POW Nativity Scene (UMTV)

Uploaded by UnitedMethodistTV on 20.12.2007

(narrator) Thousands of German POW's toiled on farms during
World War II, held at Camp Algona in Iowa.
But when Christmas came around,
their message was not one of war or hate.
♪ Singing On earth, peace, good will toward men. ♪
(narrator) Some artful German prisoners fashioned concrete
and plaster into a Nativity scene with 60 figures, half life-size.
When the war ended and the POW's were released,
they left it as a present to the small town.
(Marvin Chickering) They wanted to share the
Christmas story with us.
(narrator) The men's group at
Algona First United Methodist Church adopted
the Nativity scene in 1958.
The United Methodist Men raised money for a building to
permanently house the display, and church members volunteer
to keep the Nativity scene open to around 2000 visitors
each Christmas season.
(Marvin Chickering) It is a labor of love for them as well.
Because they're aware of the history and they're aware that
this is something that we think needs to be preserved.
(narrator) World War II veteran and Algona resident
Max Bartholomew agrees the Christmas tradition should go
on for future generations.
(Max Bartholomew) I appreciate the fact that the German
soldiers thought enough that they made that type of display.
(narrator) And while there are conflicts this Christmas in
some parts of the world, in Algona, Iowa,
there's a symbol of peace on earth.
(Makenzie Pesicka) Amazing, because when they said that it was our enemies,
like, you'd think that they wouldn't do anything
but like hurt people.
Then when they leave, they're your friends.
(Marvin Chickering) We just need to work hard as individuals to
try to treat others as we would want to be treated,
the golden rule.
And if we all do that, peace is attainable,
in my mind.