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POW Artwork
Camp Houlton


Seaside vista, circa 1945

This painting was done by Franz Bacher, a German POW in Camp Houlton during WWII. Many of the POW's did artwork to pass the time but Franz Bacher was a accomplished artist.

With some American money and a civilian coat, Franz escaped from a New Hampshire POW camp. Prison officials found a note on his bed, "I am going to escape today. The reason I am doing this is I live for my art. If I continue to cut wood, my hands will become so mutilated that I will be unable to paint. If I can’t paint, I can do nothing."

He was eventually recaptured and this time sent to Camp Houlton and released at the end of the war.Franz Bacher went on to have a long and successful career as an artist.

German POW painting, 1945

An unknown artist who was a German prisoner of war at Camp Houlton, a German POW internment camp created this painting.

It was given as a wedding gift by Walton Haase, Gunther Magdeburg and Gerhard Nowitsky, German POWs, to John D. (Don) Willard, a Camp Houlton guard, and Marion Corneil, August 31, 1945.


                                Painting of Mont Saint Michel, circa 1945

This picture was painted by Franz Bacher a very artistically inclined German POW.

Franz escaped from a New Hampshire POW camp, found his way to New York where he lived and slept in Central Park. He painted and sold pictures to passersby making enough money to feed himself. Many paintings were of what he saw around him in New York and many were of his home land of Austria.

Art stores were notified of his presence and an alert art store clerk in Union Square spotted him and he was captured by the FBI and then turned over to the Army, he was later sent to the Houlton POW camp.This piece titled "Mont Saint Michel", was painted for the Commander of the POW camp in Houlton.


Painting of prisoner of war, 1945

Painting by German prisoner of war Artur Oberosler, done while he was held at Camp Houlton in 1945.


Painting by German prisoner of war, 1945

Helmut Klusson, 22, was among the first prisoners of war to arrive at the Houlton POW camp, 1944, on a Canadian Pacific train. (The CP had a rail spur that ran into Houlton.) The prisoners were still in old clothes and hobnailed boots.


This picture was painted with house paint on wall board.

Lois Porter, circa 1945

A German Prisoner of War at Camp Houlton who picked potatoes at the farm of Herman and Mary Ellen (Rusty) Porter during World War II offered to paint a portrait of the Porters' daughter, Lois.

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