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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:33 PM

German prisoner of war camps in the US???

Shit. Rachel is going over this. I never even heard of this. Am I clueless and alone? New MX was where the camp was.

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Reply German prisoner of war camps in the US??? (Original post)
babylonsister Jan 2013 OP
bluerum Jan 2013 #1
kelliekat44 Jan 2013 #44
FSogol Jan 2013 #115
kelliekat44 Jan 2013 #135
niyad Jan 2013 #2
madokie Jan 2013 #85
dflprincess Jan 2013 #3
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #8
Larrymoe Curlyshemp Jan 2013 #75
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #84
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #88
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #89
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #93
Jenoch Jan 2013 #107
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #126
amandabeech Jan 2013 #77
rppper Jan 2013 #113
amandabeech Jan 2013 #116
rppper Jan 2013 #117
amandabeech Jan 2013 #121
rppper Jan 2013 #122
Manifestor_of_Light Jan 2013 #139
rppper Jan 2013 #140
madinmaryland Jan 2013 #4
alfredo Jan 2013 #45
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #5
kentauros Jan 2013 #105
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #108
kentauros Jan 2013 #110
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #111
dsc Jan 2013 #6
Bucky Jan 2013 #15
amandabeech Jan 2013 #79
virgogal Jan 2013 #41
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #43
northoftheborder Jan 2013 #7
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #9
Bucky Jan 2013 #10
babylonsister Jan 2013 #19
Aristus Jan 2013 #49
amandabeech Jan 2013 #80
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #97
amandabeech Jan 2013 #81
Bucky Jan 2013 #123
amandabeech Jan 2013 #124
pinboy3niner Jan 2013 #125
datasuspect Jan 2013 #103
Earth_First Jan 2013 #11
JustAnotherGen Jan 2013 #101
Cooley Hurd Jan 2013 #12
Earth_First Jan 2013 #17
Cooley Hurd Jan 2013 #20
Earth_First Jan 2013 #23
Cooley Hurd Jan 2013 #30
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #13
RomneyLies Jan 2013 #14
babylonsister Jan 2013 #16
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #52
babylonsister Jan 2013 #63
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #94
Lars39 Jan 2013 #65
amandabeech Jan 2013 #82
ChazII Jan 2013 #74
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2013 #18
DURHAM D Jan 2013 #21
sarisataka Jan 2013 #22
jberryhill Jan 2013 #24
pinboy3niner Jan 2013 #25
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #26
dsc Jan 2013 #32
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #27
Recursion Jan 2013 #28
LibertyLover Jan 2013 #92
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #29
Earth_First Jan 2013 #36
sarisataka Jan 2013 #39
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #48
sofa king Jan 2013 #73
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #83
Aristus Jan 2013 #51
SDjack Jan 2013 #130
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #131
msanthrope Jan 2013 #31
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #33
rzemanfl Jan 2013 #34
niyad Jan 2013 #35
hobbit709 Jan 2013 #37
derby378 Jan 2013 #38
kentauros Jan 2013 #100
kimbutgar Jan 2013 #40
kimbutgar Jan 2013 #42
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #46
thelordofhell Jan 2013 #47
newfie11 Jan 2013 #50
procon Jan 2013 #53
Cleita Jan 2013 #54
babylonsister Jan 2013 #70
elfin Jan 2013 #55
doc03 Jan 2013 #56
Hekate Jan 2013 #57
madamesilverspurs Jan 2013 #58
RB TexLa Jan 2013 #59
Hekate Jan 2013 #60
babylonsister Jan 2013 #61
myrna minx Jan 2013 #62
Kaleva Jan 2013 #64
Historic NY Jan 2013 #66
Silver Swan Jan 2013 #67
sammytko Jan 2013 #68
Bavorskoami Jan 2013 #69
HeiressofBickworth Jan 2013 #71
reorg Jan 2013 #72
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #76
1monster Jan 2013 #78
trof Jan 2013 #86
Paladin Jan 2013 #87
LibertyLover Jan 2013 #90
jwirr Jan 2013 #91
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #95
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #96
grantcart Jan 2013 #98
X_Digger Jan 2013 #99
Purveyor Jan 2013 #102
Go Vols Jan 2013 #104
Courtesy Flush Jan 2013 #106
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #109
FightForMichigan Jan 2013 #112
joelbny Jan 2013 #120
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #114
Manifestor_of_Light Jan 2013 #118
Bucky Jan 2013 #127
WorseBeforeBetter Jan 2013 #119
Jane Austin Jan 2013 #128
madrchsod Jan 2013 #129
Libertas1776 Jan 2013 #132
Scruffy Rumbler Jan 2013 #133
Z_I_Peevey Jan 2013 #134
JPZenger Jan 2013 #136
Libertas1776 Jan 2013 #138
babylonsister Jan 2013 #137

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:35 PM

1. U mean prisoners of war during WWII. Yes. German and others. Some stayed after the war.

On edit - why is that so hard to believe?

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Response to bluerum (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:05 PM

44. A lot stayed after the war and received better treatment than black returning vets.

nt

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:16 PM

115. +1. Pete Jordan (Dishwasher) wrote about it. n/t

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Response to FSogol (Reply #115)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:52 PM

135. name of book? nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:35 PM

2. a list of the camps

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_War_II_prisoner-of-war_camps_in_the_United_States


I can remember seeing a couple of different movies that had these camps in the films. sorry, cannot remember the names right now.

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Response to niyad (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:34 AM

85. Wiki had nothing on any of the sites I wanted to check out

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:36 PM

3. There were several German POW camps scattered around the U.S. during WWII.

Last edited Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:44 PM - Edit history (1)

They were even hire out POWs to work on farms or small businesses (due to the labor shortage).

Supposedly when German troops knew they were beaten they tried their best to be captured by the Americans because they knew they would be treated well....Times have changed.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:39 PM

8. That is true. No one wanted the Russians to get them.

 

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:50 AM

75. the Von Braun excuse

 

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Response to Larrymoe Curlyshemp (Reply #75)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:29 AM

84. So what is wrong with not wanting to die in the hands of the Russians if you know

 

that is how they treated prisoners. I know I wouldn't want to end up there knowing how they treated prisoners. I bet you wouldn't either.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #84)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:54 AM

88. The Eastern Front during WWII was an awful place to be taken prisoner by either side....

...the Germans let most of their Russian POWs starve to death unless they could work them to death instead. It's no surprise that the Russians treated German POWs in the same way.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #88)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:01 AM

89. Well I remember my father-in-law telling me a story when he was in WWII. He said you be

 

very surprised what people do during war time that you would be shocked by. He was a grunt and they were travelling in a war zone (I can't remember where) area. They had a fire fight with a german unit and they ended up with a prisoner. They wanted to keep going and he told one of the soldiers to take the prisoner back unit someplace. Well the soldier took him so far and ended up killing him. I asked him what did he do. He said nothing. You get pass shock sometimes. The soldier took revenge on him because his friend was killed. He said the americans were no angels either. He said war is terrible and you do things you would never think you would do and you certainly wouldn't do them at home. I was shocked. My dad was wounded with a machine gun fire up his leg and my father-in-law was wounded in VN with burns on his body. He said VN was worse than WWII and Korea.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:19 PM

93. With the way the Germans treated the Russians, you couldn't blame them

The Soviet Union (Russia) lost about 23,000,000 people during the war, or just under 14% of its population. The Germans were fighting a war of annihilation with the Soviets, not just a war of conquest.

I took a couple of German history classes when I was in college. This is a subject that I'm very well versed on and interested in reading about. since Germany didn't exist as a unified country until the late 1800s, most of the history of Germany invariably focuses on WWII and the period leading up to that war.

Up to about 1/3rd of German labor during WWII was made up of Russian civilian slave labor. They were treated only slightly better than the Jews and other people thrown into the concentration camps.

I lived in Germany for about 4 years while I was serving in the Army. My wife and I went on a trip to some tourist trap in the Black Forest region and the old German guy came up to me and started talking all excitedly to me about how much he loved the US. He said that he spent some time in a POW camp in Texas, learned English, and fell in love with our country.

I lived off-base and rented an apartment from an old German guy. I always thought it was funny that, of all the old German men that I saw and spoke to, that they all claimed that they had nothing to do with WWII or the Nazis. Kind of funny, since I was living in Bavaria and about 40 minutes outside of Nuremberg - the center of support in Germany for the Nazis during WWII.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #93)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:16 PM

107. It sounds like you may have been stationed at Bamburg.

I have a nephew who spent about two years at Coleman Barracks in Mannheim.

I have relatives who spent the war as forced labor in German camps in Holland. After the war they ended up in an Allied refugee camp and got to the U.S. in 1949. If they had been sent back to the Soviets they would have been executed. No returning refugees that had worked for the Germans were allowed to live.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #107)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:12 AM

126. I was actually in Vilseck and Grafenwoehr

There are little military installations located all over Germany. Many of them either have been or are in the process of shutting down. Bamberg, last I knew, wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. I loved living in Europe and Germany. If I spoke the language and had an easier time finding work there, I'd move there in a heartbeat.

Nuremberg, by far, was my favorite European city. It was big enough to have everything I wanted a city to have but small enough for you to really get to know. I also love learning about the history of that city. Some really interesting (and sinister) things happened there. Albrecht Duhrer, the artist who was credited with bringing the renaissance over the Alps and to the rest of Europe lived in that city. Also, much of the creepy torture devices that you read about from the middle ages were invented there. Not to mention that Nuremberg was the center of support for the Nazis prior to WWII are the location of the trials after the war. Munich has Octoberfest, but the Nuremberger Fest is essentially a miniature version of the same thing. They also have some first-rate museums there.


My wife's family has some friends with a similar story to the one that you cite. It is fascinating hearing them talk about racing to get west before the Soviets made it impossible for them to escape. They still have a few pieces of silverware left that the family used to barter and finance their escape with. It would be really cool to have a relic with a story like that in my family.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:16 AM

77. Germans made Gerber's baby food in the original Fremont, Michigan, plant

during WWII.

There were very few babies made during WWII, and Gerber converted most of their canning lines to serve the military--lots of applesauce.

POWs couldn't work at jobs directly supporting the war. Canning baby food clearly wasn't forbidden.

How do I know? My aunt, who was 15 then, worked on the military lines after school and flirted with the Germans. She said that they were very young and cute.

She went through nursing school on an Air Force scholarship. She became a flight nurse during the Korean Conflict, became a captain and met her husband, who was a pilot. She had full military honors at her internment several years ago. He's gone, too, and I miss them both very much.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #77)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:13 PM

113. My mother grew up near a camp in Lufkin Tx...

They used the German POWs to help in the lumber industries around east Texas....she said the same thing....blond haired blue eyed and cute....lot of flirting...her estimate was that about 1/2 of the prisoners stayed after the war ended....many had nothing to go back to ...

http://www.texasescapes.com/BobBowman/Nazis-in-East-Texas.htm

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Response to rppper (Reply #113)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:29 PM

116. Same deal, different climate!

I've been to Lufkin. People think that all of Texas looks like Lubbock. They're wrong.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #116)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:53 PM

117. East Texas is still the "pretty" part of the state...

IMHO....but the foothills and plains have a certain beauty....one of the most awe inspiring. Things I ever saw in Texas was a sunset an hour or so east of El Paso....

That being said, and like the article states, it was due to the lumber giants (that are still a huge industry there) needing bodies that the camps were established...the eastern 1/4 of the state is still made up of pine and oak trees...I've helped load more than a fair share of pulpwood as a kid for spending money!

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Response to rppper (Reply #117)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:00 PM

121. Actually, I lived in Tyler for a year.

I had an internship there.

Unbelievably conservative.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #121)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:55 PM

122. Tyler is the church capital....

...of NE Texas....I grew up just down the road in Longview....Tyler was in a dry county....there used to be bars, strip joints and ABC stores right on the county lines...Longview was a wet county but we still had blue laws when I lived there...they wouldn't put MTV on the cable systems there due to the church's influence...it hasn't changed for the better in 20 years...if love to move back but frankly my wife is black, I'm white and from the stuff I read in FB from old friends I knew there I'd be concerned for my safety and hers...I wish it was different. I miss home...

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Response to rppper (Reply #122)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:20 AM

139. I'm a ways south of Tyler. It's horrible all over East Texas.

Angry bible thumpin' rednecks.Ignorant 'n' proud of it.

Even the college graduates don't believe in evolution.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #139)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:31 AM

140. It's not the same east Texas I grew up in...

After Anne Richards left office it seemed to go downhill fast...my dads rep is Louis Gohmert...that should say everything...Florida isn't a bastion of liberal ideas...trayvon Martin was murdered 25 miles from my house and the villages are close, but at least this area put Alan Grayson back in office and Florida went for the president....besides east Texas doesn't have a beach, two bike weeks per year and the 2 races....well, the races are a story unto themselves...it's like being at the redneck Mecca twice a year...NASCAR owns Daytona! Lol

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:36 PM

4. Same here.

There were camps in 46 states according to Rachel.


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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:05 PM

45. I think one was outside of Ayre Mass at Ft Devens. My barracks there was part of the POW camp, at

least what they told me. They had no insulation. We had to sweep the snow off our floor and foot locker because there were large spaces between the boards. Because of the threat from meningitis we had to keep the windows open. We slept with our clothes on because the army issue wool blanket was woefully inadequate. I'm sure conditions were better in the forties when they housed prisoners.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:38 PM

5. Not to long ago I say last week or so I think it was on the History channel they did

 

something on internment camps in america during WWII. They had camps were they had Japanese, Italians and Germans in the same camp. It was interesting. I knew they had camps from prisoners also.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:08 PM

105. Here's an article about three internment camps in Texas:

World War II Internment Camps

The facilities at Seagoville made it the most unusual camp operated by the INS. Twelve colonial-style, red-brick buildings with cream limestone trim were surrounded by spacious lawns. Paved sidewalks and roads connected the buildings, and visitors remarked that the camp resembled a college campus. Nevertheless, a high, woven-wire fence surrounded the camp, which had a single guarded entrance. A white line painted down the middle of the paved road that encircled the camp marked a boundary that internees could not pass. The six dormitories had single or double rooms and were furnished with chests of drawers, desks, chairs, and beds. Communal laundry, bathing, and toilet facilities were located on all floors. Each dormitory had a kitchen with refrigerators, gas stove, and dishwasher, as well as a dining room with four-person maple tables, linen table coverings, cloth napkins, and china.


Much more at the link

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Response to kentauros (Reply #105)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:01 PM

108. They said they made sure the children were treated well.

 

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #108)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:16 PM

110. What I've read so far is that they were all treated well,

though the complaints were typical of "prisoners". Mail was censored, they had guard towers and hire wire fences, as well as patrols around and within the camps. The rest of life there may have been good, just with a constant reminder that they weren't free.

The only thing specifically about the children in what I've linked was that those of parents that wanted to repatriate were taught their native languages by other internees.

There have been many funny and heartwarming stories on this thread. It's amazing what we can accomplish by being good to each other, no matter what the circumstances

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Response to kentauros (Reply #110)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:52 PM

111. What I saw on the show was that even within each nationality they had problems. Like in

 

the German group you had people who were loyal to america and there were germans who wanted to be Nazis. Really interesting.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:39 PM

6. yeah there was even a book that was widely read in schools

about a local US girl falling in love with a German prisoner. I don't recall the title of the novel but I read it in 8th or 9th grade. It should be noted that there were even a few citizens of Italian ancestry that were sent to internment camps.

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Response to dsc (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:42 PM

15. And that little girl grew up to be...

Mrs Karl Rove.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:17 AM

79. I think Rove is Norwegian.

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Response to dsc (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:00 PM

41. Summer of my German Soldier----Bette Greene, was the book. We

saw Italian POWs cleaning a beach here in MA (Yes.I'm old)

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Response to dsc (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:02 PM

43. 'Summer of My German Soldier'.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:39 PM

7. Yes I was aware of this.

My father-in-law, who was raised in a German speaking family here in Texas, was assigned during his army service to several different POW camps in the US as translator.

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:40 PM

9. Wow I bet your dad had alot of interesting stories.

 

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:40 PM

10. What do you think we did with the prisoners?

Not like Gitmo was built yet. My dad knew some German and Hungarian prisoners when he was a kid in Oklahoma.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:45 PM

19. I didn't know we farmed them back here. I'm aware of

the Japanese camps, but not the German ones. Sorry.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:09 PM

49. They were much less of an escape risk here than if they had been interned in the U.K.

Right across the English Channel from either Germany or German-occupied territory.

Internment in the U.S. put the entire Atlantic Ocean between them and Europe.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #49)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:20 AM

80. Plus, having them here and in Canada meant that their food,

clothing, and essential personal items were consumed where made, and did not have to be shipped across the Atlantic. It also saved building materials and coal or oil for heat, all of which were in short supply in wartime Britain.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:28 PM

97. The "Japanese" camps were for US citizens

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Response to Bucky (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:21 AM

81. See my post above. Some made baby food. n/t

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #81)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:51 AM

123. Oh my God! We cooked them and fed them to babies?! That's just terrible!!

They never teach you that stuff in school.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #123)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:57 AM

124. LOL!!! n/t

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Response to Bucky (Reply #123)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:03 AM

125. Soylent Reich was my favorite

It was delicious!

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Response to Bucky (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:04 PM

103. we fed them good and put them to work

 

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:41 PM

11. Yes, absolutely. Pine Camp (now Fort Drum) was the first such camp in New York State...

There were also camps in Letchworth State Park, Attica, and Geneseo as well as smaller camps scattered across the state.

There was a POW camp in Cobbs Hill Park in Rochester until closing 1945.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:59 PM

101. +1

I knew that! Was going to post it - about Cobbs Hill. My mom is in the Hospitality/Tourism industry back home. It's an oddball fact about my pretty little home city.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:42 PM

12. We had one about 12 miles north of us in Central NY...

It was originally a CCC camp during the 30's and, after the entry of the US in WW2, they used it as a "stalag", so to speak.

My Mom told me a great story about, when she was a teenager, she would walk to school in the winter and would pass the same group of POW's shovelling snow on the street. She remembered one POW in particular, because he was blonde, blue-eyed and quite striking. She developed a crush towards him, but nothing ever became of it, for obvious reasons.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:44 PM

17. I assume you reference the camp in Letchworth, outside Castile?

?

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:45 PM

20. Howland's Island, Cayuga County

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:47 PM

23. Quite right...

It's been some time since I've visted.

Is the bridge across the river still intact/in use?

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:54 PM

30. The trail is still navigable, but not much of the camp remains...

The whole area, which abuts the Monetzuma Wildlife Refuge, is simply beautiful!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:42 PM

13. My uncle was one of the soldiers responsible for guarding prisoners during transport

within the country.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:42 PM

14. There were multiple POW camps in the US during the war. n/t

 

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:43 PM

16. Thanks, everyone. My ignorance is noted!

I honestly didn't know this. I guess I need to watch the History Channel more, or read!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:19 PM

52. My grandfather was the one who told me about it.

otherwise i wouldn't have known either.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #52)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:50 PM

63. Darlin'! How the hell are you? Nice to see you!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #63)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:22 PM

94. I'm fine, so's the family.

Hugs backatcha!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:56 PM

65. I found out about them by watching

The Hitler Channel. The thing that really stayed with me was the comment that putting all the US Nazis together in the camps probably wasn't a good thing...it gave them more time together to plot and plan.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:26 AM

82. Actually, the prison authorities tried to separate the gung-ho Nazis from the

others. There were fights between groups in the camps.

I seem to recall reading that the worst Nazis were kept in Kansas or Nebraska, farthest away from any port.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:45 AM

74. German prisoners in AZ built a tunnel and escaped

from the camp in Phoenix. They even built a raft and with a map headed to the Salt River. They did not know that river did not have water in it and so they were caught. This is one of my favorite stories from AZ history.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:45 PM

18. There were many all over the midwest.

My mother came into contact with some of the POWs in her home town in Wisconsin where she was working as a nurse. She said most of them were hardly more than kids.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:46 PM

21. Not watching Rachel but

Last edited Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:18 PM - Edit history (1)

grew up aware of their existence. Some of the prisoners lived with and worked for farmers in my little community for the duration.

ETA: Not only was I aware growing up of who the POWs were that returned to marry and work in my area I was also aware of the men who arrived on and were picked from the Orphan Trains. Do you know about these -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_Train

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:47 PM

22. The father of a good friend

says about WW2- 'I was in the war, we lost.'

Actually he was a 15 yo conscript on an AA gun near Munich. His unit was surprised by American troops and surrendered without firing a shot. He was one of the POWs who worked on farms outside of the camp and got along well with the primarily Germanic people. When given the option to return to Germany, he chose to stay in the US and become a citizen.

He has interesting stories of growing up in a rural area of Germany, the people's view of the war, belonging to the Hitler Youth... He is very much a Democrat, but understandably does not trust politicians.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:48 PM

24. And Italians

Some of them were hired out to farmers and ranchers in the area on the AZ/NM border where young Sandra Day O'Connor lived as child. This is mentioned in passing in "Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest" by O'Connor. Interestingly, the ranch was 180 miles from Alamagordo.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:48 PM

25. In the early '70s I knew an Italian former POW

He was allowed to stay in the U.S. after WWII, and was able to bring his wife here from Italy after a year or two. They opened an Italian restaurant in San Francisco and that's where we met.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:49 PM

26. Perhaps one of the most famous young adult fiction books of all time covers this topic

Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green (1973)

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:54 PM

32. that's the book I was thinking of

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:49 PM

27. There was one in the Napa Valley, California, just south of Rutherford!

It was right along the side of Silverado Trail, across from Rector dam. It held mostly Italian POW's, but quite a few Germans too. They did a lot of work on farms and in orchards in the valley during the war (back then grapes were only a very minor part of Napa Valley agriculture).

The site is still visible next to the road; a large, flat, open area, now covered in brush. If you have GoogleEarth the coordinates are:

38°26'38.01"N 122°21'13.97"W

Happy New Year!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:52 PM

28. Yeah, mostly Kriegsmarine

Sailors whose ships got captured.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:28 AM

92. My mom is from a small town in upstate New York, Catskill,

and one of the gas stations there was owned by a former German U-boat sailor who had been captured and interned in a camp in New York state, although I don't know which one. Hans was a wonderful man. My mom's brother-in-law had loaned Hans the money to buy the gas station. Lou became very ill during the gas shortage in 1973-74 and my mom had to drive up to Catskill from our house in New Jersey a lot because her sister just couldn't cope. Hans always made sure that mom got gas for the trip back because of how her brother-in-law had helped him.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:53 PM

29. More cool info on German POWs: many joined the French Foreign Legion and ended up in Indochina

and Algeria.

Why?

In the French POW camps, the Germans were not treated nearly so well as in the US and British camps. Indeed, they were starved, and many died. One way out of the camp was a contract: for the French Foreign Legion. The Foreign Legion, which knew it was going to be on the frontline of the colonial fights after the war, was eager to get highly trained seasoned combat veterans like the young Wehrmacht POWs. So they engineered the POW camps to incentivize, ahem, volunteering. if you look at the rolls of battles like Dien Bien Phu, you see an odd presence of German names.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:55 PM

36. No kidding...

Thanks for the tidbit.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:59 PM

39. I have heard several anecdotes

that it was these German FFLs who helped give the Legion its reputation for ruthlessness. Former Wehrmacht and SS troops had few scruples in dealing with rebel fighters and civilians in Algeria and Indochina.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:09 PM

48. The Wehrmacht and SS were not trained to deal kindly with anyone



Especially if we're talking about units that were moved from the East, or that managed to escape the Russians and fall into French/British/US hands. These troops were actually trained in colonial counterinsurgency warfare. There are some very good recent books that argue that the East (particularly Ukraine) was essentially the same sort of structure for the German state and military as any of the "colonies" traditionally conceived (Indochina, Algeria, India, etc.). (I'm thinking especially of Wendy Lower's terrific Nazi Empire Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine. It is, of course, well known that Western colonial warfare and subsequently US counterinsurgency strategy was developed directly from the Wehrmacht anti-partisan principles. But there really was no big leap from counterinsurgency/colonial war in Ukraine to counterinsurgency colonial war in Indochina.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:42 AM

73. I think it depended on the country.

I recall reading that in Western European countries occupied by the Nazis, occupying soldiers were sometimes noted for their politeness and even helpfulness at times. (The civilian Nazi leadership in those occupied countries was rarely entirely civil, and any outburst was still ruthlessly suppressed.)

There was, of course, a dark ulterior motive for such behavior in places like the Netherlands and France, which was that the Germans had quietly pushed the currency exchange rates heavily in their own favor, so that quiet and sustained output by the people in those occupied countries directly fed the German war economy.

When charitable behavior is profitable, as noted German propagandist Ari Fleischer recently pointed out, even terrible people will pursue it. That doesn't make them less terrible, though.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #73)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:29 AM

83. Yes

Certainly, occupation in the East was far more the colonial operation, as I noted.

Good details, though.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:13 PM

51. Not to mention the probability that many German FFL volunteers already spoke

at least a little French. The Germans from Alsace-Lorraine were probably fluent.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #29)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:08 AM

130. My BIL was a German soldier who was held in a French POW camp after WWII ended.

The general treatment of the German POWs by the French was brutal. Every night, the camp was subjected to the screams of a SS prisoner being tortured to death. My BIL was almost starved to death before being sent to Germany in 1947. He was envious of the POWs who were interned in the US and Canada. He left Germany as quickly as possible for Canada.

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Response to SDjack (Reply #130)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:14 AM

131. Indeed

A little known history.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:54 PM

31. Yes. They picked veggies for one of my great-uncle's farms. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:54 PM

33. When I lived in small towns Germany and Austria, I occasionally met men who

had been "imprisoned" in the US during the war and who had worked with Americans on farms.

They were invariably very friendly and very pro-American and thanked me profusely for the way they had been treated because they liked the families and farms on which they were placed.

Maybe if an ex-POW was not treated well here and did not like Americans, he did not seek me out to say thanks.

American farmers ate a lot better than Germans during WWII, so the German POWs here probably thought they were pretty lucky.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:54 PM

34. There were German prisoners of war working the orange groves and orange processing plants

in Pasco County, Florida. They had serious problems with them fraternizing with the women workers. I always joke that it was the first time the women in Pasco had a chance to have sex with someone they weren't related to.

There was also a camp in or near MacDill in Tampa, one prisoner tried to escape but couldn't get out, he survived for quite a while by hiding under a building and drinking the condensation off the water pipes. I read a book about this some years ago, Hitler's Soldiers in the Sunshine State by Robert D. Billinger, Jr., Gainesville University Press of Florida, 2000.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:55 PM

35. just to give you an idea of the scope of this operation



In the United States, at the end of World War II there were 175 Branch Camps serving 511 Area Camps containing over 425,000 prisoners of war (mostly German). The camps were located all over the US but were mostly in the South because of the expense of heating the barracks. Eventually, every state with the exception of Nevada, North Dakota, and Vermont had POW camps

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_War_II_prisoner-of-war_camps_in_the_United_States

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:57 PM

38. I'm an hour's drive away from two World War II POW camps in Texas

One is Camp Howze in Cooke County (only a few ruins remain), the other has been converted into a park at Princeton in Collin County.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:53 PM

100. The Handbook of Texas Online has an excellent article

about German Prisoners of War, and a list of camps.

I also found this bit about the few escapees:
Most escapes were comical affairs: a prisoner from Mexia calling for help after having been chased up a tree by an angry Brahman bull; three from Hearne who were found on the Brazos River in a crude raft hoping somehow to sail back to Germany; and another from Hearne who was picked up along U.S. Highway 79, near Franklin, heartily singing German army marching songs.


And how many thought of their stay in Texas:
Apparently the majority of German prisoners who spent the war years in Texas remembered their experience as one of the greatest adventures of their lives.


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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:00 PM

40. I saw this on the history channel years ago

Sadly they treated those Germans better than the American Japanese in the internment camps.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)


Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:05 PM

46. Here's a fairly extensive list of WWII POW camps in the US....

POW Camps in the USA

Had no idea so many were in operation during WWII.


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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:06 PM

47. They were doing jobs Americans wouldn't do

To coin a phrase from republicans about farm labor..........

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:10 PM

50. I was just talking to someone about this last week

She is a long time resident of western Nebraska. There was a POW camp and some of the prisoners worked on the local farms. When the war ended they were sent home . The ones that wanted to stay could IF they had a family to sponsor them. I guess there were a few that stayed and worked the ranches and farms around here.
Fascinating story.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:21 PM

53. I remember meeting German POWs at my grandparent's house

My grandparents were 2nd generation German immigrants and spoke German. Gramps was a boilermaker, a valued skill that kept his shop open during the war, but there was such a bad labor shortage that he used POWs from Camp Grant at Rockford, Ill, where grandma worked as a nurse and translator.

These young men often came home with him for dinner when they had to work late. They slept in the cellar. Grandma sewed their buttons back on and she gave one of them new socks on his birthday. I remember they were very polite and mannerly.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:22 PM

54. You didn't know that?

They were all over the US. Most were put to work on farms bringing in harvests. I even remember meeting some of the former prisoners who immigrated back to the USA after the war. They had liked it here back then. I also met a German kid here in the USA around 1975, whose father was in the Luftwaffe and was shot down in the sea between England and Ireland. The Irish picked him up and he spent the war in Ireland, not exactly as a prisoner because the Irish were neutral, but I guess as sort of a guest. They didn't want to turn him over to the allies and they couldn't send him back to Germany, so they let him attend university there. After the war he went back to Germany with a nice education behind him.

A friend of mine had been stationed in England in the American Army during the war. He told stories of the Italian prisoners of war in England being allowed to go anywhere they wanted to on their time off. The soldiers both Brit and American would buy them drinks in the pubs because the POWs didn't have any money. It seems war was different back then.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #54)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:54 PM

70. No, I didn't know that, Cleita. That's why I asked, and got a great education! nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:25 PM

55. A nice one at Kandlers hotel

On Lake Keesus about half hour or so outside of Milwaukee. I understand they appreciated the German speakers and food here. A beautiful setting and rural enough at that time to be out of the way.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:31 PM

56. A guy was talking about one of those camps in Ohio a few weeks ago.

He said they had one in Ohio were they housed SS troops. He said all those guys were these blond haired blued eyed specimens and they had more trouble keeping our women out of the camp then keeping them in. I sure he was exaggerating somewhat.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:36 PM

57. Sure there were. They got treated a lot more humanely than POWs in Europe, iirc.

I must be getting old -- this is information that was out there the whole time I was growing up post-WW II. I guess it's something that needs repeating in every generation.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:37 PM

58. There was a large camp just west of Greeley, Colorado.

At that location today are two stone pillars marking the site, but it's now farmland. Some of the barracks buildings were 'repurposed' and brought into town; they're located about three blocks away from me, white clapboard buildings converted into apartments.

A friend's father had several German POWs assigned to his farm. The story he loved most to tell was about the day he fell asleep while 'guarding' his charges, and woke up to find that his rifle had been cleaned and polished by those prisoners, then placed back on his lap.

-

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:39 PM

59. In Louisiana we had Camp Ruston. The POW provided agricultural labor.


Camp Ruston was one of the largest prisoner of war camps in the United States during World War II, with 4,315 prisoners at its peak in October 1943.

From June 1943 to June 1946, the camp served as one of more than 500 prisoner of war camps in the United States. The first 300 men, from Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s elite Afrika Korps, arrived in August 1943. In 1944, the captured officers and crew of U-505 were sent to the camp and kept in isolation in a restricted area in order to prevent them from communicating to the enemy that secret German naval codes had fallen into Allied hands.

During 1944, French, Austrian, Italian, Czech, Polish, Yugoslav, Romanian, and Russian prisoners were also housed in the camp. During their incarceration in Camp Ruston, the prisoners benefited from food, medical care, and physical surroundings which were better than what their countrymen were experiencing at home. They were permitted to engage in athletic and craft activities and allowed to organize an orchestra, a theater, and a library.

Those prisoners who were enlisted men were required to work at the camp and for farms and businesses across north Louisiana. They picked cotton, felled timber, built roads, and performed other tasks to help solve the domestic labor shortage caused by the war. They were paid in scrip which they could use in the camp canteen.

In 1944, the War Department began a program to educate prisoners of war throughout the United States in academic subjects and democratic values. One source of books was the library of Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (now Louisiana Tech University). Some prisoners even took correspondence courses from major American universities.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Ruston

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:43 PM

60. I'm impressed how many of you remember, some of you first-hand!

Thanks for your reminiscences.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:45 PM

61. Thank you all! I'm so astounded at this response. THIS is what DU is good at!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:56 PM

64. There were several POW camps in Upper Michigan

Security was quite slack as it was common to see groups of Germans walking along side of the road unescorted as they traveled to their work place and back to camp. Some of the lucky ones who were assigned to work at local farms were allowed to live at the farm instead of the camp.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:01 PM

66. I had 4 near me including 3 at or very near to West Point...

the Germans did a lot of work building up the old camps that still exist today.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:23 PM

67. There was a Pow camp in my home town in Michigan

This was in 1944-1945. The prisoners worked on local farms and in a local factory.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:28 PM

68. They were all over the place. Lots in Texas

Some met women and stayed.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:48 PM

69. POW who returned home

When I was stationed in Germany in 1969-1972 I knew a local restaurant owner who had been a POW in the US. He said, as much as he was now happy with his life back home in Germany, at the time he would have stayed in the US if given the opportunity.

A friend of mine grew up in Door County, Wisconsin where a lot of German POW's worked the farms nearby.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:13 AM

71. I was born in Joplin Missouri

My father was US Army stationed in Joplin at Camp Crowder which was a German POW camp. My mother said she and a couple of other Army wives used to go to the camp and taunt the POW's by telling them that Germany was losing the war.

When I lived in Germany (1965-67) I knew of two stories about German POW's. One neighbor in the little village we lived in had been captured on the hill right behind my house and was taken to the US for the duration of the war. One time, my husband and I were on a road trip when we got not one, but two flat tires. A German woman stopped, offered to take us to the next town to get the tires fixed, waited with us until they were fixed and then drove us back to our car. She said that her brother had been taken prisoner during the war and was at a POW camp in the US. He was so well treated that his family vowed to help any Americans who needed it. She wouldn't accept anything from us except our thanks.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:39 AM

72. there were also internment camps for German civilians

not just for "11,000 German enemy aliens, as well as a small number of German-American citizens, either naturalized or native-born" but also for several thousand German citizens that were rounded up in Latin American countries to be sent to internment camps in the US:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American_internment

My uncle had been working in Costa Rica as a teacher. Never been involved with politics or the military, he had emigrated from Germany in the early thirties. When the US joined the war, his entire family including a pregnant wife and a little daughter were interned and shipped to Crystal City, Texas, where my cousin was later born.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:16 AM

76. My mother-in-law's family is of German ancestry

Some of the family came here before the war. A couple of their German relatives ended up in US POW camps, and the American relatives visited. They said it was pretty awkward!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:17 AM

78. Summer of My German Soldier, the movie was the first I ever heard of the camps...

Starred Kristy McNichol. The full movie is here:

The book by Bette Greene
http://www.amazon.com/Summer-German-Soldier-Young-Puffin/dp/014130636X#_

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:43 AM

86. Yes, there were several in Alabama.

A girl I dated in college (Tuscaloosa) remembered her family having a German POW gardener from the nearby POW camp.

The town of Aliceville has a museum dedicated to 'Camp Aliceville'.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:44 AM

87. Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX


My father was in charge of a medical lab there and he utilized some German POW's during the war. I remember him saying that they were good, reliable workers.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:16 AM

90. Yes, there were German and Italian prisoner of war camps in the US

Years ago I knew a woman who met and married one of the Italian POWs. He and others from his camp were working in Brooklyn, NY, at the Navy Yard doing unskilled labor. Maria was a young civilian secretary there during the war. Maria was an American citizen whose parents had immigrated from Italy and told me that her parents were thrilled she was marrying someone from the 'old country', although they were less thrilled about why he was in the US. She said that her father made it a condition of his approval that Frank become a US citizen. Maria and Frank went back to Italy every summer, in part to care for Frank's elderly mother. They owned a small house there and planned to retire to Italy when Frank retired. Sadly, on what turned out to be their last trip together, Maria had a stroke while returning home. The plane was over the Atlantic, equidistant to Europe and the US, so it continued on to JFK Airport. Maria survived, but that was about it. Frank took early retirement, built a bedroom with a wheelchair accessible bathroom and shower on the first floor of their home and cared for her the rest of his life. Sadly, his elderly mother outlived him. The last I heard, Maria was being cared for by her eldest son and his family who moved into their parents' house in New York. Frank rarely talked seriously about his time in the Italian Army or being a POW, although he had a font of amusing incidents he'd relate. Both were salt of the earth and life-long Democrats.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:19 AM

91. I am a German American and I had vaquely heard that there were such camps but did not know

any more about them - going to look up the various locations on the web today. Interesting.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:24 PM

95. And one for Italians, too

Haven't you ever heard of "Summer of My German Soldier," the celebrated YA novel? It's based on real occurrences.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:26 PM

96. German POWs could eat where Black US citizens couldn't

Even uniformed Black Americans.

How about that?

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:29 PM

98. I have posted on the subject here several times in the past

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:48 PM

99. It's a fascinating story.

Lots of old CCC camps and buildings in Appalachia were re-christened Fort-something-or-other and used to house POWs. A LOT of them stayed after the war, since land was cheap and it wasn't hard to get a family to sponsor you in exchange for some labor.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:00 PM

102. Camp Waterloo,, only about 4 miles for me. Turned it into a Dept. of Corrections camp after the

war. Just started to tear it down last summer.

Michigan had quite a few of them.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:06 PM

104. my land

borders an old internment/POW camp.All the buildings are gone,but miles of concrete roads crisscrossing still there.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:15 PM

106. We had them in my area. People still talk about them. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:05 PM

109. Studs Terkel's 'The Good War'

Studs Terkel's 'The Good War' is an oral history of WW2 taken from American, German, British and Russian soldiers, officers, generals, POW's, Rosie Riveters, etc.

One of those interviewed was a German POW imprisoned in the US for the duration (and the German POW's in the US were treated better that the black US soldiers stationed in the same camps and towns). Enlightening book, and a must-read if you're into that sort of thing.

Many camps throughout the American southwest, very few in the north or northeast. Internment camps too limited to the southwest for some reason.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:37 PM

112. I had great-uncles in German POW camps in both the US and Russia.

The one in the US was kept somewhere near Chicago and tried hard to stay in the US after the war, but for some reason did not or could not (maybe it hinged on whether he could bring his wife over?)

The one in Russia was sent to Siberia and kept in a heavy labor camp. They kept him for almost 10 years after the war ended. His unit made buses, and they made them intentionally poorly so that they would break down in a short time.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #112)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:31 PM

120. One of my grandfathers spent time working in one

One of my grandfathers served in the Army during WWII, overseas in combat and in the US.

He told stories about the war, including his stint working as a guard at a US jail for German soldiers, because he spoke some German. I think he said that he was friendly with them and the conditions were not bad, I'm sure compared to the Gulag.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:15 PM

114. There are lots of things we don't know about our country

as I'm finding out from watching Oliver Stone's documentary series. We're just as susceptible to propaganda as anyone.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:12 PM

118. Many German and Czech speakers in Texas.

German POW camps in TX would make sense because of that.

Admiral Nimitz was from Fredericksburg.

You can get great kolachen in places like Flatonia and Schulenberg, on I-10 between Houston and San Antonio.

I know this b/c I drove it many times going to college in SA. And you stop halfway and eat at Frank's in Schulenberg. I remember eating there when it was in town, before they finished I-10.

Ennis Polkafest, on I-45 south of Dallas.

In West Houston, you have street names like Westheimer, Bering, Beinhorn (bonehorn), Silber (silver), Gessner, Benignus (?) and Graustark.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #118)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:14 AM

127. A bunch of Yankees in the 1850s encouraged German immigration to Texas

They were trying to build up an anti-slavery region in the then-western extremes of the state in order to block the westward extension of the peculiar institution. It, of course, didn't work too good, what with the Civil War and all. But they knew the German & Czech immigrants were land hungry and would be morally opposed to slavery should matters ever come to a vote. And that's how we got Shiner Bock beer in Texas. If you haven't tried it, you haven't lived.

The main writer they hired to go write up Texas as a destination for immigrants was Frederick Law Olmstead, the architect who designed Central Park in New York City (among other notable places). His books are still good reads if you want to understand how the redneck mind works.

In the end, there can only be one.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:26 PM

119. Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria, VA, between DC and Mt. Vernon.

(Didn't read the full thread to see if anyone else has posted about this...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Hunt_Park

"In the 1930s the site was converted into a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. During World War II it was the setting for top secret World War II military intelligence operations (known as "P.O. Box 1142") as well as an interrogation center for high-value prisoners of war. At one time the United States Army ran a school of finance there, but this did not last long. Today, the park is a popular picnic and jogging area. A playground and sports facilities are also available, and the United States Park Police man a substation at the park, as well as stables for their police horses.

Lieutenant Commander Werner Henke, the highest-ranking German officer to be shot while in American captivity during World War II, was killed while attempting an escape from Fort Hunt in June 1944. In 1980, the remaining structures at the site were added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Fort Hunt Historic District."

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:17 AM

128. There was one in my hometown in East Texas

I think relations between the town and the camp were relatively friendly.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:08 AM

129. google is your friend

it`s a very interesting read .the germans were treated far better than the japanese americans

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:59 AM

132. The 3rd Geneva Convention

Since we actually followed the Geneva Conventions (what a quaint thought nowadays) back then, the German prisoners were treated exceptionally well compared to say, a prisoner ending up in a Russian gulag, which was a virtual death sentence. They were fed the same rations as American GIs, as required by the Conventions, so lots of meat, chocolate, and of course cigarettes! They were supplied with leisure items such as books, art supplies, etc.

I recall watching a documentary about the subject. Toward the end of the war, when Germany's war crimes were known to the world, the prisoners were made to watch film recordings of the Nazi death camps and the holocaust. The men that the documentary interviewed claimed they were shocked and horrified and wanted to know who was responsible for such deeds. At least for these interviewees, their claims were likely true as they had been fighting and were captured in North Africa early in the war, so its not unreasonable to believe that they were genuinely shocked at the extermination in the European theater.

Of course, separate from the regular Wehrmacht which post war would claim to be non-Nazi, strictly soldiers and all that (tho, historians of late have begun to contend that claim) there were the die hard gung ho nazis, the SS types who would threaten the soldiers within the camps if they dared speak ill of the Fatherland and of Hitler. In many cases, some prisoners were outright murdered. The guards tended to look the other way, although eventually their hand was forced to take action. I believe in one incident, about 12 Nazi prisoners were executed by the US for murdering prisoners. The execution itself wasnt carried out until after the war's end and Germany's collapse to assure there was not retaliation against American POWs.

There's a good fictional dramatization based around these real events in a movie starring Walter Matthau and Harry Morgan called "The Incident". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Incident_%281990_film%29

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:23 PM

133. My first awareness of this was from an episode of the Waltons.

And then the book, "The Summer of my German Soldier" as mentioned above.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:31 PM

134. Here's a good book with oral histories:

http://www.amazon.com/We-Were-Each-Others-Prisoners/dp/0465091237

And here's information about a museum on wheels that educates about the German (and other) Prisoners of War in the U.S.:

http://www.traces.org/Buseum_3_tour/Held%20in%20the%20Heartland%20Current/HeldintheHeartlandCurrent.html

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:03 PM

136. Germans Treated British and US Prisoners OK, Most Prisoners of Japanese Died a Horrible Death

Compared to most other nationalities, the Germans treated their white Christian British and American prisoners OK. Most survived the war, and some of their ill treatment was more the result of the crumbling German system at the end of the war, than intentional cruelty. I'm curious to know about how the Germans treated American POWs who were Jewish or African-Americans.

After the French collaborated with the Germans, the Germans sent their French POWs home. Some later went back to Germany to work in munitions factories. A few French soldiers actually fought in the German Army against the Russians.

In comparison, most prisoners taken by the Japanese died a horrible death. Most American and Filipino prisoners were taken after the US abandoned them in the Phillipines. They fought until they ran out of food and ammunition. However, many of the survivors said that if they knew how horribly they would be treated, they would have fought to the death with their bare hands instead of surrendering.

I was told that there was also was a POW camp near Marietta PA outside of Lancaster. It was a good location because many of the local residents spoke Pennsylvania Dutch, so they could communicate with the prisoners.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #136)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:11 PM

138. Again, the Geneva Conventions...

as i understand it, the Japanese never ratified the 3rd Geneva Convention of 1929. They considered surrender to be dishonorable, i guess on both sides of the gun. That, in part anyway, explains the brutal, inhuman treatment of the Allies compared to Allies in the hands of Germans who treated them at least "okay" like you said. In return of course, the Japanese (or in the contemporary vernacular "Japs") were viewed as war dogs and sub-human. Of course, the bulk of that attitude can be attributed to racist conventions of the time, but a fair part of it everyone can agree was a result of the brutal treatment by the Japanese and the stories that made it to the media. We, the United States, treated the Germans very well in comparison, since we abided by the Conventions.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:18 PM

137. This thread is unreal-thanks to everyone for the education.

Hopefully a lot of us learned something, not just me!

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