Lone Star Stalag: German Prisoners of War at Camp Hearne

Lone Star Stalag: German Prisoners of War at Camp Hearne

by Michael R. Waters
     
 

"Between 1943 and 1945 nearly fifty thousand German prisoners of war, mostly from the German Afrika Korps, lived and worked at seventy POW camps across Texas. Camp Hearne, located on the outskirts of rural Hearne, Texas, was one of the first and largest POW camps in the United States. Now Michael R. Waters and his research team tell the story of the five thousand…  See more details below

Overview

"Between 1943 and 1945 nearly fifty thousand German prisoners of war, mostly from the German Afrika Korps, lived and worked at seventy POW camps across Texas. Camp Hearne, located on the outskirts of rural Hearne, Texas, was one of the first and largest POW camps in the United States. Now Michael R. Waters and his research team tell the story of the five thousand German soldiers held as POWs at that camp during World War II." "Drawing on newspaper accounts and official records from the time, an archaeological study of the site, and the recollections of surviving POWs, guards, and local residents, Waters and his team have constructed a detailed description of life in the camp: educational opportunities, recreation, mail call, religious practices, work details, and the food provided. Also revealed are the more serious issues that faced the Americans inside the POW compounds: illegal alcohol distillation, suicides, escapes, hidden secret shortwave radios, and the subversion of postal services. Artifacts recovered from the site and from the collections of local residents add concrete details. Waters also discusses the national policies and motivations for the treatment of prisoners that prescribed the particulars of camp life." "The shadow world of Nazism in the camp is revealed, adding darkness to a story that is otherwise optimistic and in places even humorous. The murder of Cpl. Hugo Krauss, a German-born, New York-raised volunteer in the German army, is the most sinister and brutal example of Nazi activity. Captured in North Africa after service in Russia, Krauss was attacked seven months later by six to ten fellow prisoners who beat him to death with clubs, nail-studded boards, and a lead pipe. The dramatic recounting of the murder and the ensuing investigation illustrate much about the underlying political tensions of camp existence." Lone Star Stalag makes a unique and notable contribution to Texas history. The narrative is enriched by numerous photographs a

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Editorial Reviews

The Journal of Americas Military Past
Michael Waters and his team of researchers accomplish so mush in this book. They provide a detailed account of life in a World War II prisoner of war (POW) camp in Hearne, Texas. We learn of camp site selections, design, and construction, and the daily existence in this large POW facility. Beyond the history, this work presents archaeological data and fosters historic preservation.

Journal of Military History
". . . Lone Star Stalag is an excellent, very informative and beautifully crafted book, richly endowed with photos, graphics, maps and tables."
On Point
Lone Star Stalag makes a major contribution to the field of World War II POW literature at a time when U.S. involvment in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom has brought the subject of the treatment of captured combatants front and center.
Arnold Krammer

“It is well written, engaging, and original . . . will fill an important gap in our knowledge of World War Two on the homefront . . . Waters’ book is the only book to examine the history of a single camp, and that in Texas, complete with interviews with former prisoners, guards, and local townspeople. Even more important, Waters’ book is also an archaeological examination of the campsite, based on the detailed labor of dozens of young archaeological students over a period of some four years. Waters details their findings, to reveal the daily experiences of the more than 4,000 German soldiers who spent the war year in Texas. Prof. Waters and his team have unearthed a treasure trove of information which will be of interest to historians, archaeologists, history buffs, and specialists of Texas history, alike.”--Arnold Krammer, author, Nazi Prisoners of War in America and Hitler’s Last Soldier in America.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585443185
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.71(d)

What People are saying about this

Arnold Krammer

“It is well written, engaging, and original . . . will fill an important gap in our knowledge of World War Two on the homefront . . . Waters’ book is the only book to examine the history of a single camp, and that in Texas, complete with interviews with former prisoners, guards, and local townspeople. Even more important, Waters’ book is also an archaeological examination of the campsite, based on the detailed labor of dozens of young archaeological students over a period of some four years. Waters details their findings, to reveal the daily experiences of the more than 4,000 German soldiers who spent the war year in Texas. Prof. Waters and his team have unearthed a treasure trove of information which will be of interest to historians, archaeologists, history buffs, and specialists of Texas history, alike.”--Arnold Krammer, author, Nazi Prisoners of War in America and Hitler’s Last Soldier in America.

Arnold Krammer, author,

Charles Haecker
. . . an interesting and informative story. . . . The authors have conducted excellent historical records research by their obtaining an abundance of primary documents specific to Camp Hearne. They have obtained sufficient oral histories not only from former POWs but also from former guards and local civilian residents who worked within or lived near the camp. The use of anecdotes acquired from these individuals was an effective technique that re-created life within the camp without being pedantic. (Charles Haecker, Archeologist, Heritage Partnerships Program, National Parks Service)

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Meet the Author


MICHAEL. WATERS is the principal author of this work and served as the head of the research team. He is a professor of anthropology and geography at Texas A&M University and is Associate Director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans

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