A Japanese Teenager’s Journey to the US

As a Japanese teenager, Barbara was taught to defend herself from American soldiers arriving in her country.  She ended up marrying one of them.  But there were far more surprises when she landed in the United States…

Living In Japan When World War II Ended

This week we are featuring Barbara Law who recently passed away.  She was a teenager living in Japan when World War II ended.  Her country’s surrender signaled many changes in her life…including instruction on how to deal with the American GI’s that would soon land on her homeland’s soil…

A Look Back At The Story of Barbara Law

This past week Barbara Law of King City, Missouri passed away at the age of 87.  I had the honor of knowing her and even interviewing her several years ago.  Join me as we take a look back at someone who saw WW II from the side of one of our foes…

Escapees With Nowhere to Go

AMC_Brazil2016At first glance, housing enemy soldiers in low security camps in the Midwest may not have seemed wise.  But for those who decided to escape, they soon found they had nowhere hostile to go…

Prisoners of War in the Midwest

AMC_Brazil2016During World War II thousands of enemy soldiers taken as prisoners of war where housed in hastily built camps in the Midwest.  Most were peaceful, but here in central Kansas, the endeavor had an auspicious beginning…

A Place Surprising To Both Sides

AMC_Brazil2016When the Allies began the fight against Germany in World War II, they began to take prisoners of war.  Some of those enemy soldiers would up in a place perhaps surprising to both sides…

More With Holocaust Survivor Judy Straus

AMC_Brazil2016We conclude our story with Holocaust survivor Judy Straus.  If you’ve missed any of her story of tragedy and triumph, be sure to go to AmericanCountryside.com and listen to each feature…

Lives In Jeopardy

AMC_Brazil2016As the end of World War II in Europe drew ever closer, the Germans stepped up the pace of sending Jewish families to death camps.  For the three members of the Straus family, each of their lives was very much in jeopardy…

Nazi Death Camps Through the Eyes of a Child

AMC_Brazil2016The scenes from Nazi death camps were staggering.  Now imagine experiencing those horros through the eyes of a child.  That was the case for Judy Straus…

The Nazis Invade Home

AMC_Brazil2016The Straus family left Germany in the 1930s to escape the rising power of Adolf Hitler.  Then, in the early 1940s, the Nazis invaded the new nation they called home…

Holocaust Survivor Judy Straus

AMC_Brazil2016This week we visit with Judy Straus, a survivor of the Holocaust  Her story is one of tragedy and hope…and a story I hope you’ll tune into each day…

The 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe

Melvin Alper fought an entire year in Europe during WW II, but it was the last two months of the war that produced two stops he will long remember. We look back on this 70th anniversary of the Victory in Europe…

Trained to Face the Enemy

Melvin Alper had trained to face the enemy, but nothing could have prepared him for the scene he would face in southern Germany in 1945. We look back on this 70th anniversary of the Victory in Europe…

A Jewish Family’s Challenges in Nazi Germany

FJ Alaska Banner AdWe resume our moving conversation today with Henry Straus as he share his family’s challenges living as Jews in a country where the Nazis were rising to power. We appreciate the assistance of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center with this series…

Growing Up Jewish in Germany

FJ Alaska Banner AdFrom his earliest memories, Henry Straus remembers discrimination. As a young Jewish boy living in a German city, his family faced laws that stripped them of many of the freedoms they once had enjoyed. His family knew they needed to leave the country…but was it already too late?

The 70th Anniversary of a Special Nativity Scene

FJ Alaska Banner AdThis year in Algona, IA, residents will celebrate the 70th anniversary of a very special Nativity scene.  It was a gift from prisoners far from home, who were about to leave the friends they had made in a foreign country

A Nativity Scene On Display Year-Round

FJ Alaska Banner AdDuring the advent season, many families and churches will set up Nativity scenes.  They figures remind us of the birth of Jesus.  But here, the Nativity scene is always set up, for it is by far too large to ever be taken down…

Escaping a POW Camp in the Midwest

FJ Alaska Banner AdIf a soldier is taken as a prisoner of war, they may try to escape to freedom.  That was the case for the Germans living in this U.S. based POW camp.  However, when they escaped in the middle of Iowa, they found it was a long way back home

Enemy Soldiers Working the Fields of Home

FJ Alaska Banner AdImagine the pain of losing a son or daughter who was fighting in a war.  Now imagine hiring one of the enemy soldiers to work with you, taking the place of that child.  It sounds unthinkable, but the situation played out many times here

A Shortage of Labor at Home During World War II

FJ Alaska Banner AdWhen young men went to fight in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, many communities were left with a shortage of labor.  To help ease that burden, POWs, mostly from Germany, were sent into the countryside to work field and perform many other jobs.