VANISHED: German-American Civilian Internees, 1941-48

Bibliography of Resources at the Dodgeville Public Library

misplaced_american.jpg920 Pot       THE MISPLACED AMERICAN: Based on the Memoirs of Elsie, Karl, Marta, Mina, Lisbeth, Armin, and Ursula Vogt

THE MISPLACED AMERICAN is a story about one family's struggle to survive the turmoil of having loved ones separated by the Atlantic Ocean during one of the most horrific wars of our time, World War II. In the center of this struggle was the internment of the author's father, Karl Vogt, from December 1941 until his release in 1943. It tells how his family came to be here and why most of them returned to Germany before the beginning of the war. Now more American than German and homesick for the language which they had adopted, they were forced to become part of Hitler's war effort. The author's father and his brother, Bill, had friends and relatives in America also who were serving in the U.S. armed services, both in Europe and in the Pacific. It also is a story of how patriotic fervor during the crisis of a war can create a nightmare for a family with "enemy" ethnic roots even though they were and remained patriotic and pro-American.

States represented in the above book: MT ND OK WA WI

Edited and compiled by Ursula Vogt Potter 225 PAGES / 63 photos, 3 maps, 84 other illustrations, mostly letters.


940.53 Cry       CRYSTAL CITY: An Internment Camp in Texas during WWII [DVD]

This color DVD shows daily life at Camp Crystal City (Texas), where some of the 15,000 German-American internees imprisoned by the U.S. Government were kept, including 4,048 Latin-American Germans--some of whom were Jews who recently had fled the Third Reich. Included are scenes of and commentary about Japanese-American internees.

States represented in the above book: TX

Filmed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States Government, circa 1945. Compiled by Art Jacobs at, 1st edition, 2005 Arizona.


940.5308 Jac       THE PRISON CALLED HOHENASPERG: An American Boy Betrayed by His Government during World War II

THE PRISON CALLED HOHENASBERG documents the "long story" of the Lambert Jacobs family--of the devastating effects of the internment and deportation of German-American civilian internees during WWII.

States represented in the above book: AZ IL NY KS TX

By Arthur D. Jacobs. 161 pages

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940.5316 Chr       ENEMIES: World War II Alien Internment

ENEMIES consists of stories of ordinary people who were interned by the by the United States government as enemy aliens during World War II. The Enemy Alien Internment Program was born with the U.S.'s declaration of war on Japan, Germany and Italy, and it lasted until 1948. In all some 15,000 enemy aliens were imprisoned in camps like the one described in this book--Fort Lincoln, just outside of Bismarck/North Dakota.

States represented in the above book: ND

By John Christgau. 181 PAGES / 36 photos


940.547 Thr       VANISHED: German-American Civilian Internment, 1941-48

The U.S. Government interned some 15,000 German American civilians immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, using lists made months in advance. Some of those interned were Nazi sympathizers, but many more (some 4,058) were Latin-American German Americans forcibly brought to this country to exchange for German-held U.S. nationals, and even Jews who had fled the Holocaust. Not one of the internees was ever charged with, tried for or convicted of a war-related crime against the United States; the internees-including U.S. citizens-were allowed no legal defense. This 105-page book contains extensive auto/biographies of former internees, as well as hundreds of photos.



Based on research in seven countries, this international history uncovers an American security program in which Washington reached into fifteen Latin American countries to seize more than 4,000 German expatriates and intern them in the Texas desert. The crowd of Nazi Party members, antifascist exiles, and even Jewish refugees were lumped together in camps riven by strife.

By Max Paul Friedman. 359 pages / illustrations

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TRACES is a non-profit educational organization created to gather, preserve and present stories of people from the Midwest and Germany or Austria who encountered each other during World War II. Many of these stories have lain beneath the dust left in the wake of a World War most never thought touched the American Heartland. TRACES brushes away that dust, unearthing an amazing legacy. As we learn about these stories, may we rise above-and eventually defeat-the prejudices, fears and conflicts that otherwise demean and destroy us.

Updated 07 March 2013

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