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.
Recent broadcast features John E. Schmitz, author of “Enemies Among Us”
"With Good Reason," Virginia Humanities Radio, aired an hour-long program called "Legacies of World War II" on May 6, 2022. John E. Schmitz, author of Enemies Among Us, was interviewed in one segment about his family's three-year internment in Crystal City, Texas and...
Justice Denied: an Historical Sojourn
Wendel, Joe. Bloomington, Indiana: Archway Publishing, 2017. Dr. Joe Wendel writes a wide-ranging history of German and German Americans, focused on providing insights into the two World Wars from the viewpoint of a German American who lived in Austria during WWII....
National Day of Remembrance ceremony
Disturbed that the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC planned a February 2022 three-day commemoration focused solely on Japanese American relocation during WWII, students in Teresa Van Hoy's history classes at St. Mary's University, San Antonio,...
Commemorating Tuna Canyon Detention Station
On December 2, 2021, Adam Schiff, a California delegate to the House of Representatives, spoke to the Congressional Record, recognizing the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station in California and commending the Tuna Canyon Detention...
Ft. Meade guard tower. Image from sketch by German internee Paul Lameyer, courtesy of his grandson, Randy Houser.