The Fort McClellan POW Camp

German Prisoners in Alabama, 1943–1946


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SKU: 9781476662350 Categories: , Tags: ,

About the Book

The POW Camp at Fort McClellan, Alabama, was one of hundreds of American containment centers built to hold the hundreds of thousands of German prisoners captured during World War II. The camp’s well-maintained and humane facilities gained it a reputation as a “model camp.” Military officials praised its elimination of major operational problems. International inspectors commended it, calling it one of the best camps in the country. Prisoners accepted and even enjoyed their time there. Drawing on official documents and recollections of prisoners, soldiers and civilians, this book provides a personal and detailed history of a widely praised and admired place of internment.

About the Author(s)

Jack Shay is a former journalist and retired writer/public speaker for the federal government. He has previously written four historical books and one historical novel. He lives in Vestal, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Jack Shay
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 58 photos & illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6235-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2227-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 7
1. Some World War II Background 9
2. Anniston and Fort McClellan 14
3. First Arrivals in the POW Camp 19
4. Descriptions of the POW Camp 27
5. Life in the POW Camp 42
6. The POWs: Who Were They? 62
7. POW Work Details 67
8. The Artistry of the POWs 82
9. P.o.W. Oase—The Camp Newspaper 96
10. Negative Aspects 112
11. The American Military Camp 121
12. Life in the American Military Camp 130
13. Civilian Lodging for the Americans 146
14. Interaction Between Captives and Captors 152
15. Vendettas Among the Victuals 163
16. Signal Moments at McClellan 168
17. The Closing of the Camp 177
18. Friendships Forged: Postwar Correspondence 189
19. The POW Cemetery 195
20. Remembering the Fort McClellan POW Camp 205
Epilogue 211
Appendix A: The Alfred Arens Reminiscence 217
Appendix B: The Erhard Eifler Reminiscence 220
Appendix C: The Rita Wells Memoir 222
Chapter Notes 227
Bibliography 236
Index 245

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