A Nativity scene that’s known around the world will open next week in northern Iowa. The scene was designed and built by German prisoners of war, while they were emprisoned in a camp in Algona during World War Two. Marvin Chickering is a caretaker of the scene. Chickering says the P-O-Ws, who were our enemies, wanted to leave a symbol of peace and built the set with their own money. The large scene is cared for by members of the First United Methodist Church of Algona. He says first-time visitors don’t realize the size of the display until it’s before them. Chickering says there are 60 pieces — ranging from human figures to camels — all done half-life size. The lifelike scene has been drawing people to Algona during the Christmas season for decades. He says the German prisoner who designed and helped build the scene was Eduard Kaib (KIBE) who was an architect and design engineer. Kaib was lonely at Christmastime and built a small Nativity set initially which the camp commander saw and liked very much — and then asked him to build another one, only larger — and it’s still on display every December in Algona. There is NO admission charge. It will be open every day between December 4th and 31st. For times or directions, call (515) 295-7241.
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