Creation from Chaos
During an inspection of the Camp on the day after Christmas 1944, Lt. Col. Lobdell noticed a 12 foot long nativity scene in one of the mess halls. He asked to speak with the prisoner who created it. Sergeant Eduard Kaib was brought forward. Kaib explained to Lobdell that prior to being drafted, he had been employed decorating department stores. As a non-commisioned officer, Kaib was not required to work, and feeling that the canteen should have some decorations for Christmas, Kaib fashioned the figures Lobdell spotted.
Eduard Kaib had a vision for a larger nativity scene for 1945, should he still be a prisoner of war. His detailed proposal called for a circular space for an audience, surrounded by a town scene on the left, the manger scene with the Holy Family in the center, a shepherd scene to the immediate right and a scene with the three Magi, their retinue and camels coming from the far right. In Kaib's vision, the diorama would fill a room forty feet wide, thirty-three feet deep and twelve feet high. The proposed 75 figures were to be one-half life size and include 33 people, four angels, and 38 animals.