The 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.
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.
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...
An updated version of the “The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of World War II" exhibit begins its tour at the Angel Island Immigration Museum in San Francisco Bay on October 1, 2022. There will be a panel presentation that day with guest speakers Lawrence Distasi,...
Grace Shimizu, director of Campaign For Justice: Redress NOW For Japanese Latin Americans! recently announced that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published its verdict in the case Isamu Carlos "Art" Shibayma vs United States, holding that the...
The Uvalde Leader-News, a newspaper “Informing Southwest Texas since 1879,” published "Texas visitor recalls war internment" on May 15, 2022 about Werner Ulrich Jr., who, with his family, was interned in the Crystal City, Texas Family Internment Camp during WWII. Way...
Ft. Meade guard tower. Image from sketch by German internee Paul Lameyer, courtesy of his grandson, Randy Houser.