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.
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...
We are so pleased to announce that Sigrid Banzhaf Toye, PhD, has joined our Board. Sigrid's father, Eugen Banzhaf, was interned for several years during WWII, before being released on parole. She is an educational and behavior therapist in private practice and holds a...
Enemies Among Us: the Relocation, Internment & Repatriation of German, Italian & Japanese Americans During the Second World War
Schmitz, John E. Enemies Among Us: the Relocation, Internment & Repatriation of German, Italian & Japanese Americans During the Second World War. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2021. In Enemies among Us John E. Schmitz examines the causes,...
John E. Schmitz, Ph.D., son of former internee John Schmitz, and history professor at Northern Virginia Community College, has written Enemies Among Us: the Relocation, Internment, and Repatriation of German, Italian and Japanese Americans during the Second...
Ft. Meade guard tower. Image from sketch by German internee Paul Lameyer, courtesy of his grandson, Randy Houser.