The Bus-eum features a display of photos and short histories of Midwest POWs (including Iowans) in Nazi Germany. Many of the photos were obtained when Luick-Thrams did research for the project in Switzerland and Germany last year. There are also several video narrations.
"The Red Cross in Geneva was extremely helpful in putting this display together," he noted.
The Kalona stop was one of many community visits the TRACES bus will make between now and Memorial Day. "We want to visit all 99 Iowa counties this spring (in a 53-day period)," he pointed out.
"That's what we are all about, the little people," he stressed. "We are taking this history to the people. I think we should take our resources to where the people are."
Luick-Thrams said he hopes to find a permanent home for the TRACES Bus-eum in Des Moines so more Iowans can see it, but he hopes to take the Bus-eum on the road at least two months of the year to give people from all of Iowa a chance to see the display that has been put together by volunteers since January 15.
"It was very well done," said Lois Gugel. "You really need a lot more time to adequately view all the panels."
TRACES does have a book that compiles the information on all the panels as well as the many photos not previously displayed. Additional information is available on www.TRACES.org.
Gugel had Luick-Thrams sign his book, Out of Hitler's Reach: The Scattergood History for European Refugees 1939-43. Luick--Thrams said he would be going to Europe this summer to do research for two children's books.
Luick-Thrams noted this project was possible because of a large number of volunteers, such as Gary W. Snyder of Riverside who helped out on Saturday. Snyder said he is doing research on his parents and an uncle who served.
Luick-Thrams urged everyone, including children and grandchildren, to view the Bus-eum.
"Do it for Iowa's veterans," he urged.
Ellen Krueger, Washington, a Washington County World War II historian, noted that there were 15 POWs from Washington County.
TRACES has a book available of letters from POWs and their families. This book includes some letters from POWs in Washington County.