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Mitamura, Rose T.

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Utilization of German prisoners of war during World War II at Mesilla, New Mexico, farm during lettuce harvest.

Interviewee Rose T. Mitamura, female, born in 1928
Date Range 1942-1943
Date & Location September 20, 2000, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Project Prisoners of War in New Mexico Agriculture
Region Southwest New Mexico
Number of Tapes 1
Transcribed September 21, 2000
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Tape 1, Side A

Mitamura was born in Colorado in 1928. Her family moved to Mesilla in 1929. Mitamura shares her recollections of the utilization of German POWs on the family farm during World War II. The farm grew vegetables, cotton, lettuce, onions, chile, alfalfa, turnips, and carrots with irrigated water.

Due to labor shortages, the farm was provided with POWs. Mitamura states that it was scary to have the German POWs, but the family soon found that they were nice people, worked hard and gave them no problems. The POWs worked mostly during the lettuce harvest and in the lettuce packing shed, helping to trim the heads of lettuce. The family was not allowed to talk with the prisoners.