The Hellwig Brothers’ Farm in Chesterfield, Missouri, became a carceral space during World War II. The Hellwigs contracted Mexican and Mexican American farmworkers, incarcerated Japanese Americans, and prisoners of war from Italy and Germany through the War Food Administration, War Relocation Authority, and Office of the Provost Marshal General to meet wartime food demands. Growers racialized farmworkers’ access to space before the war, but wartime labor programs made the Hellwig Brothers’ Farm a formal prison. This article argues that the Hellwig Brothers’ Farm reveals the wartime combination of an agricultural preoccupation with worker mobility and the carceral preoccupation with making immobile prisoners productive. By focusing on how the Hellwigs configured their landscape before, during, and after World War II, this article demonstrates that farmers learned to control laborer mobility from the wartime carceral state.

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