“Train to Crystal City” shortlisted for Dayton Literary Peace Prize

The Train to Crystal City, by Jan Jarboe Russell, has been shortlisted for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the only literary prize in the U.S. that recognizes the value of literature to help promote peace and reconciliation throughout the world. The winner will be honored with a $10,000 prize in November in Dayton and the runner-up will receive […]

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Daily Life at Crystal City Internment Camp

Have you ever wondered what daily life was like for internees held in a WWII internment camp in the U.S.? Caitlin T. Dietze’s thesis,  “Daily Life at Crystal City Internment Camp 1942-1945” (2016), was recently published on-line by the University of New Orleans. She relates the experiences of Crystal City Internment Camp residents through oral histories […]

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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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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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Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition

The Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition formed in 2013 “to preserve the stories of the Japanese, Germans, Italians, Japanese Peruvians and others at the Tuna Canyon Detention Station, which was operated by the U.S. Department of Justice during World War II and was located in the city of Los Angeles.” In 2015 they received $102,900 from […]

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“Real People”—another family

Sigrid Banzhaf Toye shares some of her family’s experiences during WW II with us. Her father, Eugen, mother, Emmy, and Sigrid were visiting her grandmother in Germany when war broke out. Scrambling to find passage back to the U.S., where her parents were legal residents, the French boarded the ship once it was in international water and […]

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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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