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war iii moon moon moon whom this anonymous donor that was belongs to oh somewhere in this machine gun going off in the rain and militarily this is when state without to move them back to
germany that in october of nineteen forty two the british and commonwealth forces claimed a victory and olly mann in egypt which was a crushing defeat for hitler's africa corps in north africa but for the british another problem was still escalating vast numbers of prisoners of war to take care of they'd never never in all my time as a proposal as a soldier i thought i'd be a prisoner of a war and a dead pit thought never entered my mind and outcomes old is the british tanks and i finally got out and one of them will coupled often pay big machine pistols to its us and i could hear him hollow come on boys the real so patient and so marvelous to have to wait for us to make up our mind i mean i would shake everybody's harrington thank him because simon and we were really asking for it and
debbie didn't want i made up their mind and then i was to put my hand and was that was a mistake and i could have it right that i could have been killed right there so finally a gamer really could see how do you build a crime can bound of their guns and tanks and everybody realized that it's high time later time became closer and closer i was was visible and in it i couldn't help myself anymore i don't know i just raised my hands desperately needing assistance with the housing feeding and clothing appealed of years the british utterly attorney united states with an urgent plea us responded by agreeing to accept german prisoners and so on hello my name's tom howe and a man standing and find the remains of the alice phil
internment camp our still alabama the onetime this facility was comprised of four hundred buildings which house some six thousand german prisoners of war and some twelve hundred military and civilian personnel the people partying behind the wall once on opposite sides of the fence some regards some are prisoners today they're together again for the first time since world war two together again as one group without offense are the conversations of this october day and our spill all seem to have their storyline beginning in the early nineteen forties and that's where it begins there in august nineteen forty two us army corps of engineers arrived in our still alabama to supervise where construction company of montgomery in building unknowingly to the townspeople what would be the largest prisoner of war camp in alabama they also camp was completed ahead of schedule and activated in the summer of nineteen forty two from december until
june the camp was made ready to receive the first peeled of years oh we heard all how detailed you know we heard there was going to be the japanese are coming in here and nearby was fearful about then we could certainly did more than but we weren't sure because even though when you you would ask those of those men and that beyond the camp the availability of hours of a long awaited bill and that they really didn't know einstein so we weren't sure who was coming until just a few days before our active armenian that we heard that it was the germans well we're only in georgia for four weeks knew about but at the basic training of bell and i read the first prisoners in alabama think the report and quite an exciting time for all the town
folks now it's known for us to riyadh to transport it by it does little reassurance and a convoy in to the united states they were going to zigzag a focus of three weeks so then we ended up in new york and from new york we took the train rewarded in a train for a score train and the train we didn't although the trend was heading but miki and on the coastal alabama but at that time i had come but i had heard earlier that they train them in that for certain that i have been and so i went back to a little this is now and came into what was then a grove of beautiful pine trees sazerac tea party in the shade of a tree and will all this breathlessly waiting you know for the trade commission join second nineteen forty three and was in the afternoon and it was a hot steamy afternoon i remember that and we got off the train
and i was seeing all these civilians site curious be really fit a kind of fatalism you were right and on the train we talked among cells cells and the effect of that as we would i arrive at all this invasion that would probably be curious us civilians on each side of the highway seventeen of it would just land maintained the weight of the candidates and with that we were not allowed to take pictures because they can get stuff right now the crossings and we always did what and mms rates the multitude of flood parts and miguel loaded guns really didn't bother me i i was more interested in narrating the faces of the
civilian population i wanted to i did they're just the faces alone will tell you a lot and look in their faces i could detect one thing they were disappointed to see are they expected to pass out to be a more arrogant and there and they didn't realize we win florida wrangler i was thinking my amateurish we were at how silly we love that i don't even the armies and so for six months or so and that we were kind of a ragtag bunch and these guys came in and we looked like soldiers but they acted more like sort of the evidence that certain bearing about roman and military law in africa caught the bottom we already knew the africa corps were the elite so just as a beaten us from cancer and pass them distinct battle and that there was also has realized that this thing and offer remember how it felt the first time i saw
them a big step down i was expecting some by real fears you know some bad shape and last album they would they would just yawn this young boys tired weary ragged and harvest winter so i think about here had had the same feeling that the training involves a day in october of nineteen eighty nine some of the remaining members of the three hundred in a few of the former prisoners who rack and callous built up together for the first time in forty six years they met in the very spot that the fiscal train loaded with furs appealed seventy nine that's it
ms bianco has been violence dave likes it was really great fun after all these years now in these german prisoners are extremely coming from a different turn a beautiful war or her and you know as he said well we were chasing regarding the prisoners we were chasing you know that you wanna know what details and
that's he said we found that they were human beings they were just that's when you found out what kind of people they were in business that human beings soldiers drafted and doing their duty as we were going and i think it's on the viacom think it's just about the same as i wrote the soul charts american soldiers stand behind socialist who was one of the sort of the citizens of the city plus the big eyes and the van to be back talking about a lot of lot of evidence he
said that you mentioned that it's and i was captured in normandy on the sixteenth of june nineteen forty four years unlike the first field of news about still who had been captured in north africa peter tell came by way of the allied invasion of normandy the nineteenth forty four but also i have thought about a letter with my mother my wife and sent me when i was sent to friends in atlanta recklessly really can see the forest for a way to go on and i'd just give yourself what i had to have this they don't know my wife doesn't know why she assumed that the american people but i broke the letter but remember what she had said
i can or you think that maybe in the sub conscience i went the wrong direction right outlook knowingly with my gun not even an readiness joint a note on russia will brighten were sitting ducks into one of their weapons out and they hit with a plane if they had chosen for sure so i was the first one of the fourteen of sixteen german b and b and then this particular the persians as i saw the guns that mean no look pass on sticking out of the fourth marathon wouldn't say americans that adds up do you think
my wife will be a lot of the first one and he said that there is something that was with the best dressed as perry has not ever got the greatest president ever was when i knew you unintelligible and he said now i know i have not lost my husband on that hot july afternoon in nineteen forty three as those first peeled abuse began there last forced march for the two miles from our filled train station to camp our spill none knew exactly what lay ahead of them soul and then they will march tett was about it's about two miles form the deep hole in alice world to dallas will compel us alone and as we all arrived at camp alice know there was nobody that there was so first what we did was the necessary jobs i
mean i like god i've iphone in some reading material is safe alice woldt was a model was surrounded by swamps solo the head to actually i am i do a lot of work to make it live over there the barracks where they'll sew it when you walked in and in arranged it was muddy so in order not to drive although the mahdi into the barracks we are the first thing we did his son of a poor the sidewalks and then i laid on f all these necessary things were abandoned picture of it that was enough ingenuity to stop and bluetooth occasion to think of macon near the camp beautiful on all of our good record player a calendar
that would live that long gotten rid of the negative robo and then very early on i'll be a more active in creating the soccer teams the head have to soccer teams so they played soccer they had his team and they said that was all they may get our uniforms update official white house think are so solve that problem some biking of the idea putting it in forbes and with him jeans and a waterbed that in the canal i believe in the need another color so the gap of areas where they are at work in the farm's nets and up and they put that in the war and they came out like a soda had campaigned here with teams of the gas that they you know it baby blue a baby pig what was great about these german votes with that we found out that they were human beings just like we were very he and then raising any cigarettes from
last week you and believe that they can gain make a beautiful irish korea of course a few cigarettes the young were really crappy people but they were really aren't they owned that they don't cost over thing i know they did that maybe amero nets and have their fall shows they are the old world that i could do nothing had come up with something of the ticket prices that they are the bulk of those big up sides it be that they serve them down there and they would let them dry and they wind up a car bomb and they would've just like every time winner and another two quotations to do it's a you know they did it there is great there became active
in music they gave me a violin to that i tried it and i had i played the violin when i was eleven years older than the afternoon i stopped and barton boxes popular what i like the most of fight allison well f the all these makeshift clinic and sam nunn northern africa at least you could find some stuff what we will long and for some stability and to stability i mean they'll you had these and lodging where you had to write a law meals where you had facilities to shower and i'm an hour ago allies that we found in hell as well
he's very well endowed i mean when i was kept chilled i made up my mind and i assess my situation and i realize and i wasn't wrong but i will be in for a long haul and i am saved my priorities and not my top priority for us was milling english i want to know on the language of my capital being a prisoner of war didn't always meet the threat of death was altogether over you know color is it been asked her germany would say
that one of my records show the math for office are very rich thirty nine years old and in that virtuous circle and plan will live up to and by a lot of voters in our world and the earth where blunt about that was about that long that works you know to read and somehow amish oval played by your the records where the hero level one of the play did
you also whereabouts oh no and then some data run their own cows no we don't know officially what the data from the more ill when they when they came here because from what i understand for most will impart they had been on the desert and all that for five days and then you know no water no food than they would have rated they were terrible shape when they arrived at this camp so they really don't have any resistance but one arm was in a hospital about only live in for a guy who goes on gardening and he delivered three notes the finest the thorn rainy night and i could never understand why because they could've escaped and work details the chills detritus of the camp at night
and then we found out the next day that no one no one of them had been shot up to a mature and that was when you believed it was set we were crying on the once tried to escape in the one to us he'll try and there you are and not to but you know war is war you know no i mean you really didn't feel very easy and and can balance well sometimes you did no longer trust and who not to trust and there i certainly had that feeling sick at our member of fifty days in his barracks before the americans couldn't begin to help you remain one remark which woodward drop the wrong rubber not the wrong way it could kill you but the real danger of that politics that politics and religion that during the problem can tell us about so i avoided lease
options we all florida realize it was i one of allegiance to catch over the allocation who had interrupted laughter and so i was just really repetitive was not so i'm just learning and then talked almost no one but the political things were just but even though the war was over in the minds of many of the po debbie is the american guards were just starting their duty and we had one week our duty one week interior garden and one week wreck was supposed to be a recreation but you know co host order drone clean up those guns in polish the shows and get everything ready before you go back to their towers when you had that we have towers i think they will wet sitting in six months with our anger with three on three our three on a trio would two hours
and that's a twenty four hour deal for an entire week they give me two shotgun shells and shot and water out there i would take a shotgun shells out of the gun coat pocket poets and in the gun stocks and intrigue honestly and decided on the germs would be a second mom to go when i've thought it drove us the road all loved a loud crowd withdrawal of the day jake remembers that after one guard accidentally shot herself audio w picked up the guard's gun to raise it above his head to indicate not hostility and the other p o douglas helped of art so that for the world that all have no care about to our economy so that you know
they were the big table the three hundred and fifty did not really ministry of presence and i never can complain of any mistreatment and and i never expected too much and this helped me along and because of these guys who expected too much they were disappointed i mean we've just broke whistle war and you might have to accept that and so this is that those i mean those systems right unions i did and this is the best buy for coming hours three summers is more like you know come back home are so white artist describe that
we it seems like the state of alabama appreciate what we did was that we didn't do nothing and are really i think the thing we have been thankful for and which is really the meaning of this really is that all of the war and hatred and and and all these things are behind a third week for looking at each other as human beings and appreciated us human beings just peace between us and friendship between us and i think that's still the meaning of that for these people that has been a week for laughing reminiscing storytelling and for some years for the men of the three hundred and fifty the x p o dubie is and the people of hours till they share a common bond they were the alice phil internment camp says tom holladay thank you for joining us and a step back returning the hour fill internment camp and the people who lived it
if you have a comment or question about this program please write to german po debbie is po box eight seven zero one five zero tuscaloosa alabama three five four eight seven or you may call one eight hundred two three nine five two three three i i i don't i don't cry i know that campbell i'll know i'm not that i can stay and then beirut i'll being made and so i to me cry to blank don't cry aye aye there's the mail as long
waste wells will that's new you can't know sands mine that alarmed
German Prisoners of War: The Aliceville Camp
Producing Organization
University of Alabama Television Services
Contributing Organization
University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
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Episode Description
The Aliceville internment camp was started in december of 1942 as a place to house 6,000 German prisoners of war during World War 2. This piece is about the reunion between the guards at Aliceville, American soliders who were members of the 305th, and the German prisoners of war who lived at the camp. This reunion was meant to highlight that all the war and haterd was behind them, and that they could now look at each other as human beings with peace and friendship between them. The piece also covers the history of the camp, what life was like at the Aliceville camp, the dangers for the prisoners of war, as well as the relationships made there.
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: Connell, Bill
: Cruce, Sharon
: Cook, Davy
: Terry, Joe
: Blumhardt, Mrs. Herman
Editor: Clay, Kevin
Editor: Holt, Tony
Host: Halladay, Tom
Interviewee: Blumhardt, Herman
Interviewee: Warnick, Harry
Interviewee: Eisenhauer, Chet
Interviewee: Ertel, Guenther Peter
Interviewee: Samper, Joseph
Interviewee: Jones, Earline
Interviewee: McBride, Jake
Interviewee: Stabler, Sue
Interviewee: Futchko, Joe
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Television Services
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Alabama Center for Public Television
Identifier: cpb-aacip-0805154b235 (Filename)
Format: BetacamSP
Duration: 0:29:41
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Chicago: “German Prisoners of War: The Aliceville Camp,” 1990-01-18, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “German Prisoners of War: The Aliceville Camp.” 1990-01-18. University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: German Prisoners of War: The Aliceville Camp. Boston, MA: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from