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Dr. Robert Billinger to Speak at the Watauga County Public Library on Saturday Afternoon

By Colby Gable

On Saturday, August 17 the Watauga Public Library will be sponsoring an event led by Dr. Robert Billinger Jr. about Nazi POW’s that were held in North Carolina from 1942-1946. Billinger Jr., is a Professor Emeritus of History at Wingate University where he taught for over 35 years.

Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he completed his graduate degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was also was a Fulbright Graduate Scholar to Vienna, Austria. He is the author of several books on Nazi Prisoners of War in America during the mid-twentieth century, such as Hitler’s Soldiers in the Sunshine State: German POWs, published by the University of Florida Press, as well as Nazi POWs in the Tar Heel State,  published in 2008. The lecture is also made possible by the North Carolina Humanities Council, whom Billinger is still a featured author for.

Billinger also has published various pieces on North Carolinian history such as “Playing for Empowerment: Mill Town Baseball During the Depression Era,” an overview of how baseball was utilized to overcome the existential dreariness of the Depression-Era South, specifically in that of North Carolina, and how it led to the development of community within these mill-town areas.

The speech will be held at 2 PM inside of the Watauga Public Library’s meeting room, located at 140 Queen St, Boone, NC with its hours at 9 AM – 7 PM Monday – Friday, and 9AM-5PM Friday and Saturday.