About Us

he German American Internee Coalition (“GAIC”) was formed in 2005 by and for German American and Latin American citizens and legal residents who were interned by the United States during World War II. We are former internees, or their families and friends. We come from all walks of life and from countries around the world. We would like you to know our story. GAIC is a nonprofit corporation registered with the New Hampshire Department of Charitable Trusts.

Our Mission Statement & Goals

GAIC is dedicated to making public the little known United States World War II policies that led to internment, repatriation and exchange of civilians of German ethnicity, both in the United States and Latin America.

  • We will educate the general public about the U.S. government’s detention and internment of over 11,000 German American and Latin American citizens and residents during World War II.
  • We will reach out to former internees, their families and supporters. We will gather their stories, share information, and support their efforts to make their stories known.
  • We will seek full U.S. government review and acknowledgment of the civil rights violations endured by the German American and Latin American communities.
  • We will work collaboratively with other internee groups who have similar purposes. As we work toward these goals, we also hope that our efforts result in better protection of the civil liberties of future vulnerable ethnic groups.

February 2017

The German American Internee Coalition formed in 2005 to educate the public about our experiences, after United States officials declared U.S. and Latin American civilians of German background “enemy aliens” during WWII.

Feared collectively because of our German ethnicity, our civil liberties were abused by the U.S. government. Similar indiscriminate presumptions should not be made today. Ethnicity, religion, nationality or appearance is not enough to declare whole groups of people unwelcome in the United States.             


In Our Midst, a Novel about Internment

Drawing upon a long-suppressed episode in American history, when thousands of German immigrants were rounded up and interned following the attack on Pearl Harbor, In Our Midst follows one family, the Austs, as they struggle to stay together in a new America—one...

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Art Jacobs’ Death

Art Jacobs, former internee, U.S. Air Force Major, and educator at Arizona State University, died November 20, 2023, at the age of 90, in Tempe, Arizona. Art was the one of the first former internees to educate the public about internment policies with a website, a...

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the Lorenz Family Story

the Lorenz Family Story

Tracking the Lorenz Family Through Franklin Roosevelt’s Internment by Karl Malek Early in 1942, while World War II was ravaging the globe, my great-grandfather, my great-grandmother, my grandfather, and my great-aunt were being detained by the Peruvian government in...

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Crystal City Event Planned for October 26-29, 2023

The yearly pilgrimage to Crystal City, Texas, by former internees, their families and friends is planned for October 26-29, 2023. This year’s Pilgrimage theme is “Reaching Across Barbed Wire Fences.” In addition to learning about the unique history and stories of...

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Ft. Meade guard tower. Image from sketch by German internee Paul Lameyer, courtesy of his grandson, Randy Houser.