German POWs in World War Two

My great-grandfather, Emil Otto Gravert, immigrated from Germany when he was a teenager. He worked at the Heinz factory in Muscatine, Iowa. During WWII, there was a German POW camp near Muscatine and the prisoners worked on the Heinz farm, planting, weeding, tending, and picking the tomatoes used to make ketchup. Since my grandfather spoke German, he was in charge of the prisoner’s work routines. By all accounts, the prisoners actually enjoyed their time on the farm and one of them gave my grandfather a calendar that he carved out of wood. The calendar sat on top of a china cabinet at my grandparent’s house. I thought it was so beautiful but I was not allowed to touch it. Now it is in The Pearl Button Museum in Muscatine and I was allowed to touch it and take pictures. On the bottom part, it has two woooden scrolls that change the day and month. On the top, it has two wooden wheels that change the date. The inscription from the museum also mentions two rings made by another prisoner. These were my great-grandparent’s wedding rings. Below, is my grandmother’s ring which was too small to fit on my ring finger.