Several, including Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela among others set up their own camps. This would make t… The organization was also under close scrutiny by the US government. A further eight were suspected of spying. The POW then goes on to explain that his family had answered the call of the Fatherland. The German soldier on the Western Front depicted in Band of Brothers is believed to be a real person. According to The German Order of Battle by George Nafziger, the Waffen SS had five German Americans. In ww2, were they allowed to fight in the army? Another potential reason for the lack of evidence of these soldiers is the nature of the war. Although living in the DOJ camp wasn’t an ideal option for a family, many chose this rather than being separated. By 1940, Germans made up a large percentage of the “non-American” population in the United States. German American loyalty to America's promise of freedom traces back to the Revolutionary War. There were approximately 1.2 million German nationals as well as another 11 million US citizens who had at least one German-born parent. According to eyewitness accounts, an estimated 80 German prisoners of war were massacred by their American captors: the prisoners were assembled in a field and shot with machine guns. The civil rights of Germans and German Americans had clearly been infringed. These camps were referred to as DOJ (Department of Justice) Camps. A small number of these were believed to be Nazi party members who were recruiting for the Nazi Party’s overseas branch. The number of those who spent the war in such camps was, in fact, much higher than the 11,000 detainees. The truth is that we will never know how many German Americans went to fight for Germany in WWII. If so, how much could they have been, and how did they feel? Some of these were German nationals who had been living in the country for many years. The precedent was set during the First World War when laws dating back to the 18th Century were used to authorize the detention of anyone considered to be an “enemy alien” and therefore a possible threat to security and the war effort. The answer of Eugene, Oregon was a shock. They wanted recognition of this infringement of their rights as well as reparation. (The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) When we hear of "Rape...German women...WW2" we inevitably hear of the ugly, shoddily dressed, often Mongoloid Red Army soldiers. There were banned from certain areas and subjected to curfews. Though America produced enormous numbers of armored vehicles (forty-seven thousand tanks alone in 1943–44), only two main types were used by the U.S. Army. Family life was able to continue, and 153 children were born in the camp. German Americans are the largest ethnic group in the US. This led to the passing of the Wartime Study Act in 2007 to look at the complaints being made by surviving former internees and their families. It now required that all respondents included their ethnicity. According to retired history professor Stephen Fox, who has written a book about the FBI roundup of German Americans during World War II, roughly 3,000 Italians and 11,000 Germans … Equally enigmatic is post-World War II German Americans' perception of their heritage as inseparable from certain icons and costumes, notably, beer mugs, fast high-quality cars, sausage and sauerkraut— enlivened by the spirit of Bavarian folk music. On December 16, 1944, the Germans initiated a massive campaign against the Allies in the Ardennes Forest, a mountainous region extending throughout Belgium, France, and Luxembourg on the Western Front. Japanese, German, and Italian American Enemy Alien Internment. These five people were classified as “US Volksdeutsche” which means that they were of German descent. Internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War is widely known and well documented. Introduction. German soldiers of the Waffen SS. However, it never became law, and no further action was taken. All they would have been interested in was the fact that they were German. The American military had shrunk enormously between WWI and WWII, and was faced with the prospect of recruiting hundreds of thousands of men to fill the ranks. Nevertheless, during World War II, the US government and many Americans viewed German Americans and others of "enemy ancestry" as potentially dangerous, particularly recent immigrants. German POWs on the American Homefront Thousands of World War II prisoners ended up in mills, farm fields and even dining rooms across the United States These five people were classified as “US Volksdeutsche” which means that they were of German descent. In time, some of these would be exchanged as hostages for the return of American citizens detained in Germany. German Americans account for about one third of the total ethnic German population in the world. The lack of data regarding these soldiers could also be related to where German KIA and MIA losses occurred. As the war in Europe continued, America was laying the groundwork. They would need to state their intention to return to the country and were given access to a special currency that could be spent in Germany. It may well have been the case that others sent over were people that the government was keen to get rid of. Perhaps the most ironic outcome of this policy was the expulsion of 81 Jewish Germans who fled to Latin America to escape persecution in Nazi Germany. If they re-immigrated to the United States, they would have to account for where they had been and what they were doing. “Holy Grail” Was Discovered in 2015 with $17 Billion Cargo, Concentration Camp Guard Who Hid in US for 75 Years Will Be Deported, Seven Fishermen Blown Out of Water by a UXB, U-Boat Wreckage Found – Crew Claimed They Were Attacked by Sea Monster, WWII deserters the US Army tried to hide: the 2013 book revealed how gangs of AWOL GIs terrorized Paris with a reign of mob-style violence, Have You Heard of The Special Forces Ghost Car That Operated in Bosnia (with video), Graf Spee Eagle Worth $26 MILLION, Could be Displayed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Newly restored Messerschmitt Bf109G flies again: Test pilot shares his experience, Vietnam Green Beret Had 37 Separate Bullet, Bayonet, & Shrapnel Wounds & Still He Carried On Fighting. The American camps also held a large number of Germans who had been living in Latin America. After Germany surrendered, many of the internees were released and sent to Germany. Shocked by the December 7, 1941, Empire of Japan attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that propelled the United States into World War II, one U.S. government response to the war (1941-1945) began in early 1942 with the incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans on the West Coast and the territory of Hawaii. These would be the only records of German Americans returning to Germany to participate in the war. Brief Overview of the World War II Enemy Alien Control Program Immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526, and 2527 to authorize the United States to detain allegedly potentially dangerous enemy aliens. German Americans make a great amount of the American people. However, less is known about the thousands of “ethnic Germans” who were also detained, as well as smaller numbers of Italians and Italian Americans. Bombs were dropped on major cities where the documents regarding the immigration and repatriation of these soldiers were kept. With an estimated size of approximately 44.2 million in 2018, German Americans are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups by the United States Census Bureau in its American Community Survey. Even those who were not detained still faced a difficult situation. Little was said or written about what the German Americans experienced during the war. Their situation was attributable to several factors, some of which were beyond their control: first, their sympathy for relatives back in the old country was turned against them once the United States entered the war; second, in the early years of the European war several prominent German-Americans had voiced their opinion that German culture was superior to American, and this cultural chauvinism was later … The scrutiny led to further leaders being prosecuted, and one ran to Mexico to avoid the authorities. The problem is that this was an organization that was unsuccessful at what it set out to do. Most of these losses happened in the Eastern Theater where the Soviet army was in control. Others  remained in the camp. Only enemy aliens could be interned by law. There are a few rare cases were non-German Americans joined the Nazi cause. During the course of the war, the U.S. government would intern 31,275 enemy aliens: 16,849 Japanese, 10,905 Germans, 3,278 Italians, 52 Hungarians, 5 Bulgarians, 25 Romanians and 161 more people listed as “other.” One of those “enemy aliens” was Ingrid’s father, Mathias Eiserloh. According to The German Order of Battle by George Nafziger, the Waffen SS had five German Americans. Even American soldiers raped. American soldiers during the Second World War: An Army Of Rapists? Utah Camp Guard Opened Fire on German POWs After War was Over. Under Roosevelt’s orders, a total of 4,058 Germans were removed as well as 2,264 Japanese and 288 Italians. Those interned included not only German nationals but also those of recent German descent. By 1940, Germans made up a large percentage of the “non-American” population in the United States. An estimated 4,058 people were thought to have been expelled and sent to the United States to be interned. Anyone who could be described as an ethnic German came under suspicion. In addition, families could be left without income if the main earner was detained so the camp may have been the most practical solution. Read another story from us: 5 Little Known Facts about Easy Company “Band of Brothers”. Those who were released back to their homes were obliged to sign a secrecy agreement regarding the time they spent in the camp. German-Americans, President Woodrow Wilson declared, were to be treated as “alien-enemies.” If they wanted to be accepted in American society, they would have to throw their German identity away. If there were any calls for German Americans to fight for Germany, they were not coming from within the country. There were programs and schemes before and during the war which encouraged ethnic Germans to return to Germany. by MilitaryHistoryNow.com • 25 November, 2018 • 18 Comments. This is a misconception. Not all the Latin American countries deported their German population. Over 4,058 Germans were transported from South America and held in special camps until they were deported to Germany. Charles Burdick, The Frustrated Raider: The Story of the German Cruiser Cormoran in World War I(Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1979) Staff who had worked at the camps also had to agree to secrecy. There was some support within the government, and a commission was set up in 2005 to review it. We will also never know how common this was among the 1.2 million German descendants in the United States at the start of the war. Their movement could be restricted. In the acclaimed show Band of Brothers, Donald Malarkey asks a German POW where he is from. “Any man who carries a hyphen about with him,” the president told the nation, “carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic when he gets ready." He eventually deserted the SS and made his way to the Allies where he was subsequently charged with treason. The primary reason for this was the draft evasion campaign that it ran. However, there are no after-action reports which can corroborate this story. The camps provided many facilities families required including doctors and schools which offered American, Japanese, or German lessons. The German American Bund was an ally to the Nazi party in the US and would have been used to recruit German Americans. It is unlikely that the Soviets would care about the immigration status of any German soldiers they captured or killed. It was not until 1948 that the last “enemy alien” was released – three years after the war had ended. At the same time, the US government surveilled, arrested, and interned at least 10,905 ethnic Germans and 288 Italians alongside the Japanese (Krammer, ix). The majority of these were German nationals, but the number also included US citizens of German descent. They are listed only as a footnote in the book among other data regarding the nationality of Waffen SS personnel. Most were sent to the two main camps which were in Ellis Island or Crystal City in Texas. German-Americans and Italian-Americans had a history of massive numbers of immigrants who came to the U.S. in the (Germans in the mid-19th century) and (Italians in the early 20th century). It was one of several war crimes which were committed during the Battle of the Bulge by members of both Allied and Axis forces. The German-Americans and World War II: An Ethnic Experience is a unique study of America's largest ethnic group during one of its most difficult periods. The 1940 census introduced a new question. The Japanese American WWII experience well known. So, just how many German Americans left the USA to fight for Germany in the war? The Americans have got off lightly as compared to the Russians when the discourse turns to mass rape of German women during WW2. They were under threat of being returned to Germany if they breached the terms of the agreement. However, their families could come along voluntarily. In theory, people were only to be detained if they there was some evidence to suggest that they posed a threat. “Holy Grail” Was Discovered in 2015 with $17 Billion Cargo, Concentration Camp Guard Who Hid in US for 75 Years Will Be Deported, Seven Fishermen Blown Out of Water by a UXB, U-Boat Wreckage Found – Crew Claimed They Were Attacked by Sea Monster, WWII deserters the US Army tried to hide: the 2013 book revealed how gangs of AWOL GIs terrorized Paris with a reign of mob-style violence, Have You Heard of The Special Forces Ghost Car That Operated in Bosnia (with video), Graf Spee Eagle Worth $26 MILLION, Could be Displayed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Newly restored Messerschmitt Bf109G flies again: Test pilot shares his experience, Vietnam Green Beret Had 37 Separate Bullet, Bayonet, & Shrapnel Wounds & Still He Carried On Fighting. The records from the organization do not show any propaganda material calling for German Americans to return to the Fatherland. Black American soldiers, including the 1 million who served during World War II, were often relegated to less desirable roles and excluded from promises of patriotic camaraderie. In 1882 the Chinese were excluded from America and in the 20th century (before WW 1) Japanese were limited in how many could emigrate to the U.S. The most famous is that of Martin James Monti because he was the only one tried for treason. The German half-track has ben criticized as being underpowered with only a 100 horsepower engine compared to the 147 horsepower engine in the American halftrack, resulting in a top speed of only 33 miles per hour in the German vehicle compared to 45 miles per hour for the American half-track. Approximately 60 million Americans claim German ancestry. "[American] officers are not well dressed….All officers in the German army even when in active field … The 1940 census introduced a new question. The problem with this question is that there are no hard numbers which can be used to make a determination. Donald Malarkey, upon whom the scene was based, later recollected that the incident did occur. This controversy led to confusion within the organization, with later leaders proving to be less effective than Kuhn had been. German Americans are Americans who have full or partial German ancestry. It is unknown how many people returned before the program ended and how many fought for Germany. They are listed only as a footnote in the book among other data regarding the nationality of Waffen SS personnel. Monti was a Second Lieutenant in the US Army who went AWOL and joined the Waffen SS. It is also highly possible that these documents did not survive the war because they were not thought to be of great importance at the time. In other cases where both parents were ethnic Germans, children could end up in orphanages while their parents were in detention. In 2005, the German American Internee Coalition was formed to campaign on behalf of those who had been interned. Also in 1940, a new law was passed so that all aliens over the age of 14 had to be registered. The German-American population is huge and the War Department had good reasons for ignoring … Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, but before America had declared war on Germany, Roosevelt announced that Germans, Italians, and Japanese were now considered to be enemy aliens under the DOJ Alien Enemy Control Unit Program. Few, however, kn… This would make them easier to identify after America entered the war. There were approximately 1.2 million German nationals as well as another 11 million US citizens who had at least one German-born parent. This program encouraged people to go to their German consulate and swear allegiance to Germany. The main ones were located in Hot Springs, CA and at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia. The shortcomings of American infantry in World War II were repeated in Korea, and in Vietnam. Among the programs to encourage ethnic Germans was the Rueckwanderer. The Red Army treated captured German soldiers in the worst possible manner when WW2 ended If the German Army acted with absolute disregard for the Geneva Conventions of 1929 pertaining to prisoner of war (POW), the Allies, Soviet Russia, America and British acted little better. German women were brutally mass raped by Russian soldiers after Germany lost WW2 in 1945. Operation Cowboy – How American GIs & German Soldiers Joined Forces to Save the Legendary Lipizzaner Horses in the Final Hours of WW2. None of these internees was ever found guilty of a crime or proven to be a threat to national security. However, early in the 21st Century, there was a growing movement to recognize the hardships endured during this period. The Government set up four camps. Cases were looked at on an individual basis. As they were now considered to be enemy aliens, many had their homes and property seized by the Government. It now required that all respondents included their ethnicity. The only other instances where documentation would be created is if these people returned to the United States or were being sought by the Allied Powers. Until this century, the contributions of African-American soldiers in World War … Most people have heard the story of the front-line, Christmas-time, truce in France during World War One, partially due to its retelling in the 2005 movie, Joyeux Noël, but not many have heard of the small Christmas Eve truce forced upon a handful of American and German Soldiers by a godly German woman during the Battle of the Bulge in World War Two. As a result of this policy, American spouses and their American-born children ended up spending a substantial part of the war years in these camps. Read another story from us: War Crime? 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