Stark Decency

German Prisoners of War in a New England Village

Allen V. Koop

Stark Decency is a window into the events of two vastly different worlds: German combat veterans captured in North Africa and Normandy, and the small New Hampshire logging town which found itself hosting the prison camp. Each side was forced to confront its prejudices and fears, and examine the merits and flaws of its ideology. Then, an astonishing thing happened: in their rural isolation, sharing harsh weather conditions and the pinch of wartime rationing, friendships began to develop. Prisoners and their guards sometimes even worked together to meet the daily pulpwood quotas, and little handmade gifts to the local villagers cemented friendships that continue to this day.

Paper: $17.95 | E-book: $15.99
ISBN-13: 9780874514681
Pages: 150 | Size: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
Date Published: August 1, 1988


  • A well-written book, that is highly recommended, not only for New Hampshire history buffs, but for anyone interested in seeing how the most terrible of times managed to bring out the best in the human spirit.

    New Hampshire Sunday News

About the Author

Allen V. Koop

Allen Koop earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Koop currently teaches European and American history at Dartmouth College and has published books and articles on New Hampshire and American history including Stark Decency: German Prisoners of War in a New England Village.

Hartmut Lang

Hartmut Lange was born in Berlin Spandau, 1937. After studying dramaturgy at the Babelsberg Academy of Film, he started working as a dramaturge in 1960 in East Berlin. After leaving for a trip to Yugoslavia, however, he did not return to the GDR. Instead, he went to West Berlin, working as a dramaturge at various prestigious theaters. Lange’s plays, essays, and prose have won many awards, among them the Gerhart Hauptmann and the Laure-Bataillon Prize.

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