the Harten Family Story

By Gertrud Harten – 1939 to 1948, and Karin Harten Schramm – 2019 My parents were both from Hamburg, Germany. My father, Wolfgang Harten, born in 1907, finished his apprenticeship in an import/export company in 1927. At that time Germany was suffering under the hyperinflation after World War I which caused considerable internal political and economical […]

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diplomatic internees in a large group, with many children in the first 3 rows

the Mantel Family Story

My father’s name was Herbert Erich Mantel. He was a diesel mechanic, born in Hamburg, Germany on August 17, 1898. He traveled to Barranquilla, Colombia in the 1920’s, I think. He was Chief Engineer on a riverboat on the Magdalena River at first, and later he managed the German Club in Puerto Colombia. He married […]

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Adolf Hamann & Wife

the Hamann Family Story

My father, Adolf Hamann, was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1884. His father was pastor of a Lutheran church, and his mother died while he was still young. My grandfather married again and that caused some unhappiness with my father when he was young. So in 1904, at about the age of 20, he took […]

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Left: Albert Eckardt, with Ted -- 1936 Right: Ted, in lederhosen

the Eckardt Family Story

The Eckardt Story A part of my story, by Theodore A. Eckardt, 1997 German-Latin Americans also were imprisoned in the U.S. during WW II. My story begins when my Dad, Albert Eckardt, as a young lad at the age of 15, came to America from Leonberg, Germany seeking freedom and work. He arrived in Ellis Island, New York […]

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Carl Otto Schütt

Carl Otto Schütt’s Story

Carl Otto Schütt Story by Christina Schütt, his granddaughter “Suche sie ein”… “Choose one” my grandfather’s father answered to his brother. Otto Schutt had been running the family business in Haiti and felt as he got old he needed to “assurer la relève”. He had no children and his brother had three sons. On a […]

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snow drifts and icicles along buildings and barbed wire fence

the Sapper Family Story

Helmuth Sapper Family Story by his daughter, Maya Sapper I am a 2nd generation Guatemalan with roots from Europe. My grandfather emigrated from Germany to Guatemala in 1884 as a young man, looking for opportunity in a new land. Years later met and married my Swiss grandmother during a visit to Europe and together they returned to […]

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Joseph Leber, 1952

Joseph Leber’s Story

The Joseph Leber Story On the sunny morning of January 6, 1942, Joseph “Joe” Leber was arrested at the Guatemala City Tennis Club by Guatemalan police agents. Joe had left Germany in 1920 for the USA. He lived in New York for some six years before he moved to Latin America to work for US […]

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left: two men, one woman, seated and smiling. right: Hugo and small daughter

Hugo Droege’s Story

The Hugo Droege Story Hugo Droege emigrated from Germany to the Guatemalan highlands to find a better life. He married and lived quietly for 20 years far from Germany. He established and managed a coffee farm as he raised his family. One night, six Guatemalan police arrived with guns drawn to take him away.  Mr. Droege […]

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separate photos of Veronica and Ewald

the von Schemm Family Story

The Von Schemm Story Ewald and Veronica vom Schemm were friends of my parents, brought together by the hardships both couples faced during World War II in Costa Rica. Veronica told me a bit of their internment story in 2000, when I was searching for more information about my parents, Werner and Starr Gurcke. She […]

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family mug shot, 1943

the Gurcke Family Story

The Gurcke Family Story © 2006 By Heidi Gurcke Donald Our family was one of thousands in Latin America, caught in the far flung net cast by U.S. authorities seeking “the enemy” during World War II. My father, Werner Gurcke, and his brother, Karl Oskar, lived through World War I as children in Hamburg, Germany. […]

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