Chelsea Handler Visits POW Museum in Algona

ALGONA, IA – An A-List visitor planned a trip to a North Iowa attraction earlier this spring but no one knew who was coming into town until she got there.

Jerry Yocum, the historian at the Prisoner of War Museum in Algona was the first to hear about their expected visitor.

“We were contacted by the program ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’” he said. “And that program takes celebrities and finds out about their past.”

Sure enough, celebrity Chelsea Handler, host of her late night talk show, ‘Chelsea Lately’, has a family connection to Algona and flew into the area to learn more about her history.

Her grandfather was held as a prisoner at the POW Camp in Algona was where approximately 400,000 German and Italian prisoners were held during WWII.

They were brought to the U.S. because the camps in Europe were full and the U.S. needed people to fill labor positions while  Americans were serving in the war.

“So the dilemma was for her, was he a Nazi? Was he one of these people that helped round up Jews? I mean she knew her grandfather but she just had that question,” Yocum said.

That question will be answered, Tuesday night during the TLC show ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

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