German POWs in America

It’s a lesser known fact about WW2, but America housed German POWs in special camps. Surprisingly, they were treated well in American hands. America agreed to house the German prisoners because Britain had a housing shortage, but were unprepared to accommodate so many German prisoners. The government at first was weary, because the enemy on US soil could make civilians fearful and create a security problem. Some Germans were glad to be captured by the Americans, as the alternative of being captured by the Russians was far worse. The prisoners were required to have similar housing conditions to the US soldiers in the Geneva Convention. The POWs that were here were used to help with labor shortages as well and many worked on farms. They had to be paid US military wages and officers didn’t have to work. Surprisingly, movies were often shown for entertainment in the camps. Most of the movies were to denounce Nazism. The Germans had their own officers discipline them in camp, as many US guards couldn’t speak German. Some of the American people who knew about the camp’s fair treatment protested, citing how many US casualties there were, and the government had a hard time explaining that the Germans may reciprocate good treatment to US POWs. The German POWs overall were pleased with the US once they were released. “They had benefited from being held by a nation that largely did not hate German soldiers; a November 1943 poll found that 74% of Americans solely blamed the German government, not Germans, for the war. After repatriation about 5,000 Germans emigrated to the United States, and thousands of others returned later to visit.” (Wikipedia)

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About persnicketythecat

I like ancient and medieval history!
This entry was posted in Military, Modern History. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to German POWs in America

  1. Carol says:

    very interesting, I want you on my trivia team!

    Liked by 1 person

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