Three Stringtown, Oklahoma Alien Internment Camp inspection reports

Three Stringtown, Oklahoma, Alien Internment Camp inspection reports are now online. The first, written by Max Habicht, representing the Swiss Legation in charge of German interests, and Whitney Young, Department of State, described a visit from 25-28 June 1942, shortly after the facility opened. They were highly critical. “The appearance and atmosphere of this camp are those of a penal institution…” Badly overcrowded sleeping quarters, inadequate washing and toilet facilities, poor sanitation in a temporary infirmary, no dental care, and bedbugs were some of the concerns. Jewish internees complained of constant harassment by some Nazi-leaning internees.

The second describes a visit made 21-23 September, 1942, by W. Bruppacher, representing the Swiss Legation, G. H. Martin, International Red Cross Committee representative, and P. W. Herrick, Department of State. The twelve page report describes the facilities, which they felt were much improved, attempts to quell the continuing bedbug infestation, and tensions between the men seeking repatriation to Germany and those wishing to remain in the U.S. or return to Latin America.

1942 reports found at NARA, RG 59, State Dep’t, Special War Problems Div., Entry A1 1352, Inspection Reports, 1942-1946, Box 21, folder “Stringtown ’42.”

On 4 December 1943, Emil Greuter, Swiss representative, accompanied by Carl Marcy of the Department of State, again evaluated the facilities. All civilian internees had been transferred by June 1943, and only POWs were housed there by then. Conditions were deemed satisfactory. NARA, RG 59, State Dept, Special War Problems Division, Entry A1 1352, Inspection Reports, 1942-1946, Box 21, folder “Stringtown ’43.”