Talk:German prisoners of war in the United States

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Initial Article[edit]

Hello, I just finished putting this article on Wikipedia and I hope many others will add new information to it or edit the mistakes. Leidseplein (talk) 01:22, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

WW I ?[edit]

Does anyone feel competent to write a section on WWI German prisoners in America? This could be a new section but I couldn't find much info about it. Leidseplein (talk) 01:22, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

There is an extreme lack of information about World War I German POWs in America, perhaps because there were so few of them. I composed a brief section about them, obviously it's open for more additions if anyone feels its necessary.Leidseplein (talk) 02:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Editing help - fix cite please[edit]

I can not get cite number 9, (Bob Janiskee...) to encode properly such that only the article name appears in the link in the cite.As it is now the whole url appears as a link (when it should be hidden, but activated once the article title is clicked). Please help and fix it if you can. Leidseplein (talk) 04:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Nevermind, I fixed this myself. I discovered there is a character limit to the titles of linked cites.Leidseplein (talk) 04:29, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Does editor Leidseplein appear moderately inane by asking - and then answering - his/her own posts here????Leidseplein (talk) 04:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Some people might just delete the post and hope no one noticed, but I am not one to judge. Are you familiar with the Template:Cite web and related WP:Citation templates (their use is optional but I thought you might find them useful)? VQuakr (talk) 05:03, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Template Help[edit]

I think this article belongs in the overall WW2 portal and I think I added it there, however I don't know how to add this template Template:World War II to the bottom of this article (the way it appears on similar articles like German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. Can someone add this template to the bottom of this page if they know how?Leidseplein (talk) 16:50, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to Ericoides for putting up the template. As you noted this article covers more than WWII prisoners, I will now see if I can emulate what you did and add the article to the WWI template (or possibly other templates, if applicable). Leidseplein (talk) 20:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I added the WWI portal template to the bottom of the article, after placing this article in the WWI template. Someone might care to review the placement of this article in the WWI portal template - as there was no previous category or linked article devoted to prisoners of any kind, (so I created one - may not be right!). Leidseplein (talk) 21:15, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

More WWI info[edit]

There's more info and sources here: German American internment, which is listed in the "See also" section. I think we need to distinguish more carefully between POWs and internees. Most WWI internees were not POWs, properly speaking. And some of the sailors mentioned in the WWI section were not military men, but civilians from merchant ships. The camps were therefore not POW camps per se, but detention camps that held POWs and others.

Perhaps a merger into German American internment is in order? "POWs" are a subset of "internees". Most of the info in World War II related internment and expulsion of Germans in the Americas has already been incorporated into German American internment, but someone opposed a merger, which would have made great sense to me. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Civilian internees and enemy belligerent POWs are so remarkably different that I'm afraid I disagree that "POWS" are a subset of "internees" and I therfore oppose any merger into the article you created. The civilians interned by the U.S. and other countries did not fall under the Geneva Convention or the Hague Convention and are "merely" a result of domestic policy - which is a different sphere than POWs, who are a subject of international law (treaties), including the rights and obligations obtained in declaring war. How one country handles its own citizens or residents is a very different topic than how it handles enemy belligerents.
With that said, yes in the case of WWI in the US there were apparently intermingling of foreign POWs and domestic internees in the same camps. However, they were still administratively segregated and the legal (and practical) obligation to treat POWs to an agreed international standard (not applicable to domestic internees) was public policy. A big practical difference is the need to make sure the enemy was aware of the standards POWs were afforded so as to reasonably expect equal treatment of US POWs in enemy hands.
See, for instance,
The case of civilian merchant seamen as prisoners is indeed another special case - in fact I may write a separte article about that important subject. It seems in most countries they were treated as POWs. But, for instance in Britain to this day there is a big controversy over whether these civilian sailors should be regarded more as military or civilian
See, for instance,

Thanks for your comments and I hope others will consider them and comment. Leidseplein (talk) 20:51, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Third Geneva Convention and WWII siting of POW camps[edit]

I deleted a passage that read, with references,"The Geneva Convention stipulates that enemy combatants should be held in a similar climate to wherever they were captured.[1] This meant, for instance, Germans captured in the African desert were assigned to camps in Florida, Arizona or elsewhere in the southern United States.[2]". This has no basis in the Geneva Convention of 1929, then applicable; see full text available at the ICRC website, at . By Article 9, that provided "Prisoners captured in districts which are unhealthy or whose climate is deleterious to persons coming from temperate climates shall be removed as soon as possible to a more favourable climate" and that may have given rise to the passage deleted. The 1949 Convention which replaced the 1929 Convention (and remains in force) provides similarly "Prisoners of war interned in unhealthy areas, or where the climate is injurious for them, shall be removed as soon as possible to a more favourable climate". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I've reviewed the material cited and this comment appears correct. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 15:51, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 15:44, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

A couple of other points[edit]

I'm relying on memory here, so none of this is suitable as is to be put in the article yet. However, I seem to remember that the really hard-core Nazis were eventually sent to a special POW camp, but I cannot remember its location. I also seem to remember something about German POW's working in camp mailrooms who figured out a way to communicate with prisoners in other camps, their exact methods unfortunately escape me.

Also, I believe there was a major effort to separate the German prisoners from the Austrians, who were presumably less ardent Nazis.

If any can confirm or deny any of this, please jump in.

RogerInPDX (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

fwiw, the earlier (and now passed on) generations of my extended family would use the saying that "the Austrians were better Nazis than the Germans". (meaning, of course, that they were much worse...)

I don't know how valid that comparison really is, but it seems to be a common meme, so you might want to keep that in mind.

(oh, and I corrected your typo of "priosners" simply because my screen was blinking it madly at me...) wiki-ny-2007 (talk) 22:13, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Burning uniforms and volunteering[edit]

After the liberation of the concentration camps, films taken of them were shown to the prisoners, which had results such as organized calls from them to end the war to Germany, and prisoners at several camps formally burned their military uniforms. And, in an idea seriously considered but ultimately rejected by American military officials, a few prisoners even volunteered to fight in the war against Japan.

Needs citations. What's the truth to this? --Harizotoh9 (talk) 07:33, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes it does. We have a {{citation needed}} tag for just such an occasion. If you put in the effort to check (and you most likely didn't) and still couldn't find anything, then remove it from the article. From the source cited for the rest of that section:
Historian Arnold Krammer noted that after the compulsory viewing of atrocity films at Camp Butner, North Carolina, 1,000 POWs "dramatically burned their German uniforms, and at numerous camps across the country, groups of prisoners voluntarily took up collections for the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps." p119
Following the link to Krammer, I was able to find a source for the statement on volunteering against Japan. Please don't go around removing things unless you're willing to put in a little effort to research the truth. Thanks.-- (talk) 19:59, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you. Also see:

--Harizotoh9 (talk) 22:18, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Here, I looked that one up for you too:
Accusing someone of making personal attacks without providing a justification for your accusation is also considered a form of personal attack.
Thankfully, I think your passive-aggressive suggestion stopped just short of an accusation, so you're probably fine. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.-- (talk) 00:54, 20 March 2014 (UTC)


Just a question, does anyone know if the films they showed the prisoners and the documentaries on holocaust camps were in German? (I Dan tha Man I (talk) 02:11, 14 March 2016 (UTC))

  1. ^ Stephenson, Megan, "How Did Americans Feel About Incarcerating German POW's in W. W. II on US Soil?", History News Network. Published by George Mason University. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  2. ^ Luciano, Cristine, "Students Excavate Site of Fort Hood WWII POW Camp", Environmental Update. United States Army Environmental Command. Retrieved March 28, 2011.