Old Camp Rupert Idaho Prisoner Of War 17 Watercolor Painting Lot Wwii Waffen Ss For Saleold vintage authentic LOT of 17 WATERCOLOR PAINTINGS done by either a prisoner or guard at POW / prisoner of war CAMP RUPERT near Paul, Minidoka County, Idaho. Not dated but circa 1944 - 1946. Loosely laid in Manila folder with illustration on folder, signed in lower right corner all folder: Camp Rupert, Gruber (?). The artist was obviously a very talented or professional painter / cartoonist. Most are on watercolor paper tipped to a backing sheet. Nice clean bright condition. Subject matter reflects life at the camp and associated activities. There is no other information as to who the artist was.
From Wikipedia: Camp Rupert was a World War II prisoner of war camp near Paul, Idaho. It was built for $1.5 million, which was everything needed for a city of 3,000: barracks, water, sewer, and a hospital. The first POWs were Italian and were received in May 1944. In September 1944, 500 German POWs arrived.
POWs would set up an army-style branch camp to plant and harvest a crop, or to simply harvest the crop. They would be transported from camp to the field in a truck. Approximately 15 prisoners were in a truck with one guard. The POWs, requested by a farmer, would be transported by the farmer to his field. The farmer and the War Labor Board assigned a quota to the POWs. German-language information was provided to instruct the prisoners how to accomplish the task. These ranged from leaflets to a German-language film produced by the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. Farmers were expected to guard the POWs. This led to complaints, such as from Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, complaining that the farmer couldn't get his other work done.
It was administered by Fort Douglas, Utah, and was a disciplinary camp German and Italian forces with disciplinary issues such as prisoners who had attempted sit-down strikes and recaptured escapees. By December 1945, it contained hundreds of the Waffen SS. An estimated 15,000 POWs were attached to Camp Rupert.
After the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945, work assignments became heavier, and logistical challenges meant that food rations were meager. As images and reports from the Nazi concentration camps made it to the public, camp staff were less tolerant towards their POWs. Threats were made towards prisoners who failed to complete their assigned quotas, and non-labor activities were sharply limited.
In the peak of October 1945, Camp Rupert was responsible for 15,047 prisoners. In part due to labor shortages in the United States, many POWs did not return to Europe until after the fall 1946 harvest.
Camp Rupert was not a typical POW facility, but a tough, maximum security camp for hundreds of members of Nazi elite organizations such as Heinrich Himmler’s SS. His Panzer Division Das Reich was responsible, among other crimes, for the massacre of 642 civilian men, women and children in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. Members of Hitler’s personal SS bodyguard also were imprisoned at Rupert. The guards treated them as dangerous, and other prisoners feared them because of their fanatical political views, against which nobody dared speak.
For a short time Rupert also was the holding place of 154 Russians who had been captured by Germans and persuaded to join the German army to fight against their homeland because of their hatred for Joseph Stalin. Under terms of the Geneva Convention all prisoners had to be repatriated after the war – a sure sentence of death for these men, then branded as traitors to Russia. At Fort Dix, N.J., they rioted in protest against having to leave America, but in accordance with the Convention, they were sent home anyway.
Camp Rupert, near Paul, Idaho, was the base camp for the southern part of the state, with about 15,000 POWs divided among branch camps at Aberdeen, Blackfoot, Emmett, Filer, Franklin, Gooding, Idaho Falls, Marsing, Nampa, Payette, Pocatello, Preston, Rigby, Shelley, Sugar City, Thomas, Upper Deer Flat, near Nampa and Wilder. Others were located at Fort Hall, Gooding and Kooskia.
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