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Camp Michaux was a secret World War II camp for interrogating prisoners of war. The camp northwest of the Pine Grove Iron Works was previously used as a CCC Camp that provided labor for state-owned lands (e.g., Pine Grove Furnace State Park)[1] and was used as a summer camp.[2] The POW camp commander was Captain Lawrence C. Thomas, who also commanded the World War II Prisoner of War Camp, Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania.[2]

I am  not sure where two items, secret and interrogating above come from but they are blatantly false. This camp was for housing lower level troops, mainly enlised men like Sgt. Georg Hertig who will be mentioned later. It was far from a secret as you will see in later information. I believe the camp that was a secret was the Huntsdale camp, I cannot find any physical location for the Huntsdale Camp in any search, I can with Michaux - it was later a Girl Scout Camp and there are some remnents of the POW camp there yet.

I will speculate that the Huntsdale location was located at what is now the Kings Gap PA State Park  at one time the C. H. Masland estate located high on the mountain. The address would have been Huntsdale in 1940's. There were stories I cannot confirm this was the secret interrogation camp, the building was luxurous, the setting secluded and it is only a few miles from the Army War College at Carlisle . I lived in the area and am not aware of any other possible location for Huntsdale. 

When Camp Michaux was in operation the POW's were taken off the train at Hunters Run Station, just off State route 34 about a mile north and marched about a mile to the interseciton of SR 34 and the Pine Grove Road then to what is now Michaux Road and to the camp.  Later the train proceeded to where the prisoners could be taken off the train at the railroad crossing on Pine Grove Road about 300 yards from SR 34. 

Prisoners from the camp were also taken to various factories and farms in the area to work.  My Dad, Ralph Roscoe Brandt worked at the Mann plant at Aspers PA named Adams Apple.  (No Kidding).  After the war it was purchased by Duffy Mott Company of New York which has since been purchased by Canterbury Schweppes but it continues food production to this time.  Others including the Knouse and C H Mussleman plants at Ortanna and Gardners also had labor from the prisons. The prisoners also were in forests cutting trees and in the farm fields helping to harvest crops. News articles from various sources show this. The Gettysburg Times April 24 article "See Acute Farm Labor Outlook " discusses the impact of the repariation of the German POW's that was done in early 1946. It states that the Adams County Camps (Michaux and Gettysburg) were the last to close in the state. It lists Jamacians as possible labor to replace them but is negative on the possibility of enough workers.  Ironically the same recently written articles that call Michaux a secret camp mentions that the prisoners worked in fields, woodlands and factories as does the one below.  This is totally incomprehensible and completely false.  The camp was not in any way a secret.  There were far too many public exposures of prisoners at Michaux as there were at many of the over five hundred camps in the US.

There is another account here about a prisoner, Sgt. Georg Hertig who was killed at Adams Apple and the account of this is recorded in the Gettysburg newspaper in November 1944.  He was buried at Camp Meade in November 1944.  The link points to the burrial informtion at Camp Meade.  He is #13 on the list 13 HARTIG, Georg 21 Jan 1906 (Born)  01 Nov 1944 (Deceased)

The article about his death appeared in the January 12 2007 Gettysburg Times "War Prisoner Hangs Self In Aspers Plant " as a reprint of the article from November 11, 1944 and also Georg Hertig  The Evening News, 3 Nov 1944. This information agrees with the Camp Meade data.  November 11, 1944 was a Saturday.  The preceding Wednesday would have been November 1, 1944 as is shown in the Camp Meade data.

An intersting sidelight of the camp is the two prisoners who escaped after the war was over.  These two prisoners, Hans Herman Harloff and Bernhard Wagner were aided in their escape on January 4, 1946 by local residents Byron Cease, his wife and daughter as detailed in the Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) 16 Mar 1946, Sat Page 2 article "County Couple and Daughter are Indicted".  The article tells that the men wanted to remain in the US, the Cease family got to know them at the Knouse Ortanna plant and decided to help them.  The prisoners were arrested on Jaunary 7, 1946. Again this tells how the prisoners worked in these local factories. 

Another article from the Gettysburg Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 10 Feb 1945, Sat Page 1 "Naxi Prisoners from Camp Here Cutting Wood" details how about 160 POW's fromt he Gettysburg Camp were being transported to and from the forests to work an 8 hour day cutting pulpwood.  The "Gettysburg" camp's proper name was "camp in MacMillan woods: and had the same commander as the Michaux camp. See Camp list.


References

  1. "Camp Information for S-51-Pa". Pennsylvania CCC Archive. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/ccc/Camp.aspx?ID=77. Retrieved 2011-06-04.  In 1929, the Uriah Camp was near Pine Grove.[1]
  2. Atkins, Elizabeth (2008). "'The Prisoners Are Not Hard to Handle': Cultural Views of German Prisoners of War and Their Captors...Gettysburg, Pennsylvania". pp. 12, 22. http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=bgsu1211135474. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 

Coordinates: 40°01′55″N 77°18′32″W / 40.032°N 77.309°W / 40.032; -77.309

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