I’ve always been interested in World War II history and didn’t expect to find much of it here in Colorado. I was surprised to find it right between Greeley and Loveland. Two pillars, the remnants of the gate to German POW camp 202, stand just to the north of highway 34.
The two pillars stand unassumingly near the intersection of route 34 and the 257 spur road, a short distance from where they originally stood before the highway was widened. There’s a small parking area and four plaques with information about the German POW camp.
Left POW camp plaque
“GERMAN PRISONER OF WAR CAMP 202
MARCH 13,1944 – FEBRUARY 28,1946
These pillars mark the spot where 2,000 German soldiers were incarcerated for security reasons in the last years of World War II
The first occupants of this 320 acre camp, surrounded by tall barbed wire fences, were German-Austrian prisoners captured during the African campaign directed by General Rommel. One prisoner at camp 202 was Rommel’s personal mechanic.”
Right POW camp plaque
“25% of the prisoners spoke English and were placed in jobs according to their abilities and professions. To reduce the shortage of agricultural laborers many camp 202 P.O.W.’s worked on the Weld County farms in the sugar beet fields, predominantly cultivating sugar beets.
150-200 American personnel were staffed at camp 202.
World War II is a distant memory, but the legacy of the prisoners of war to this community marks an important chapter in Weld County’s history.
MARKED: September 28,1993
CENTENNIAL CHAPTER DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, GREELEY, COLORADO.”
Two other plaques stand between the pillars.
For further reading about the POW camp and the prisoners, check out “Prisoners of War in Colorado, a Lecture“, on the Fort Collins History Connection website.