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Uneasy Neighbors: Using Historical Fiction to Explore Washington’s German POW Camp in Washington During WWII

July 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Historical Society is pleased to offer this program about the German POW camp that existed in Washington during WWII. The public is invited to attend.

The program will be presented by Jennifer Sears who teaches creative writing and composition at New York City College of Technology, City University of New York. Her writing has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her stories and essays have been published in many literary and scholarly journals and have received citations in Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Non-Required Reading. She is currently researching a novel based on a brief story her father shared about the German POWs at Camp Washington, Illinois during World War II and is eager to learn more about this time in Washington.

Ms. Sears’s father, Earl Sears, grew up on a farm on Dutch Lane just outside of Washington, Illinois with his three older brothers and his twin brother Merle. All five Sears brothers attended the one room Stormer School, also on Dutch Lane. Earl graduated from Washington High School and, after serving in 1-W as a conscientious objector during the Korean War, studied at Goshen College and the Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Goshen, Indiana. His first church after seminary was in Flanagan, Illinois where Jennifer and her sisters were born. Earl and his wife Jane retired to Illinois in 2000, living in rural Tiskilwa, Illinois where they did land conservation and historical work at the nearby Illinois Mennonite Historical and Genealogical Society. Jennifer’s uncle, Merle Sears, her aunts Joy Sears and Kay Sears, and many cousins still live and work in Tiskilwa, Princeton, and Eureka, Illinois.


July 27
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Washington Historical Society
128 Washington Square
Washington, IL 61571 United States
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