History of Crystal City Internment Camp now online

Joseph O’Rourke, who commanded the Crystal City, TX Family Internment Camp, wrote this “Historical Narrative of the Crystal City Internment Camp” in 1945, as  the facility was slowly being emptied. The report detailed its establishment, construction, organization and administration, as well internee populations and census numbers, camp life, education and activities, procurement and supply, problems […]

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detail of map

Crystal City, Texas Family Internment Camp map

Crystal City, Texas Family Internment Camp map (2018) annotated by former internee Werner Ulrich—includes plot plans, drawings of building types, and location of work areas, as well as lists of internees held in the camp, births, and deaths. Staff, including teachers and medical personnel, are listed. Which cottage each interned family lived in is also shown.

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Ellis Island petition for release of German civilian internees

A petition was submitted to Congress on January 24, 1947, signed by 156 internees held on Ellis Island, asking for their release, rather than enforced deportation/repatriation to Germany. They requested the same for internees being held in Crystal City and other detention centers. On January 29, 1947, a group of Ft. Lincoln, ND, internees wrote directly to […]

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Ellis Island 29 Feb 1944 name list

A three page Immigration and Naturalization Service list of civilian enemy aliens of German ethnicity in custody on Ellis Island, New York Harbor, New York on 29 February 1944. (A few internees of Italian and Japanese ethnicity are included.) NARA, RG 59, State Dept, Special War Problems Division, Entry A1 1357, Subject Files, 1939-1955, Box 190, […]

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Seagoville, TX internment camp inspection reports

During WWII, internment camps in the U.S. were visited periodically by neutral representatives, usually from the International Red Cross, or from Switzerland, acting for German interests, or Spain, overseeing Japanese interests. These representatives were generally accompanied by a State Department official, since a number of internees were from Latin America, imprisoned by the State Department’s Special War Problems Division. These Seagoville, Texas […]

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Inspection report for Ft. Lincoln, Bismarck, ND, 1945

On October 24-25, 1945, Ft. Lincoln was inspected by Dr. Rudolph Fischer, Swiss Legation representative, and Van Arsdale Turner, Department of State. Activated in 1942 as an internment camp for civilians of Japanese ethnicity, it later became exclusively a camp for German American and Latin American civilians until February 1945. At the time of this report, the facilities […]

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