“Innocent Enemies,” by Margret S. de Oliveira Castro

Margret S. de Oliveira Castro’s book, Innocent Enemies, details the experiences of her father, Friedrich Walter Schlösser, who was jailed in El Salvador, interned in the USA, and deported to Germany during WWII. Arrested in 1941, he spent more than a year-and-a-half incarcerated in Camp Kenedy, Texas, before being moved to Crystal City, Texas family internment camp, […]

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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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small group of internees work on the railroad

Ebel Story

Max Ebel, a German Immigrant’s Story Max Ebel, a U.S. resident German alien, was interned from September 1942 until June 1944. The reason for his internment was never explained to him. During the time he was interned, he was in five different internment facilities and worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad in North Dakota. This […]

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man, woman, adult daughter

Herrmann Story

“The Hard Way to Become a Citizen” As told to grandson, Michael Murphy The reality of World War II came knocking on the door of the Herrmann’s home in Chicago on August 6, 1942. The United States had declared war in December of the prior year but the impact on certain US residents of German […]

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Werner Ahrens' three children

Werner Ahrens, Enemy Alien

Dad’s Story: Werner Ahrens, Enemy Alien written by his oldest daughter, Shirley Weiss November 20, 2005 My father died in 1957 at age 45. Because of his early death, he took his internment story to his grave. Perhaps he signed an oath of secrecy like other internees, or like most others he wanted to forget […]

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image of text

Distressed Seamen or Internees?

On January 19, 1939, having scuttled their boat off Cuba to avoid its capture by the British, German sailors from the luxury liner, the S.S. Columbus, were brought to Angel Island, California, March 1, 1940. At first these internees were labeled “distressed seamen paroled from the German Embassy,” but later, when the U.S. entered the war, the […]

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Banzhaf Story

  My parents Emmy Elfriede and Eugen Banzhaf’s lives included two world wars, the severe inflation in Europe during the period between the wars, the depression in the United States, and the isolation and marginalization that came with interment during the second World War. This is their story. Eugen Banzhaf, came to the United States […]

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German Sailors on the High Desert: a WW II Detention Camp at Fort Stanton

“German Sailors on the High Desert: A WW II Detention Camp at Fort Stanton” was written by Tomas Jaehn, an historian who works as archivist and librarian at the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Published for El Palacio, the oldest museum magazine in the country, it is one of a three-part series on […]

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