Discussion Forum


When the war ended, all the Nazi soldiers imprisoned here in the USA were freed and many stayed here and settled all over this country. Just FYI, people don’t really know that this happened.

I’m sure the vast majority were just rank and file German soldiers. Not like they were SS- we would not have set any war criminals free

What’s crazy is that those German soldiers were being set free at the same time (or before) Japanese American citizens were being released from internment camps- put there because of their race- no German Americans or Italian Americans were being imprisoned. We’ll see if Japanese Americans demand that all of FDR’s statues are brought down. We have a lot of baggage to deal with and we haven’t scratched the surface as most heroes have flaws.

Actually, German-American citizens were placed in internment camps during both WWI & WWII. Italian-Americans were also placed in internment camps during WWII. Not in the same numbers as Japanese-Americans, but they were still locked up.

Many people of German descent also adjusted the spelling of their names to make them look less German.

Our treatment of Germany and Japan following WWII was unique in history, and that kindness toward the vanquished enemy has paid dividends in the last 80 years.

Just as was mentioned, most, if not all, the German prisoners in the US were not SS agents, and played a different role in the atrocities. Not unlike most Confederate soldiers who were not slaveholders and were often very different than the aristocracy of the south. Like most things in history, it’s complicated.

Another curious tidbit, a good number of British soldiers stayed after the revolution (first civil war), especially Hessians. My ancestor on my maternal grandfather’s line was a Hessian soldier (Dietz) that stayed. He was captured at Trenton, imprisoned, turned back as part of a prisoner exchange, captured and jailed again. After the war, he eventually settled along with some other Hessians in the area where Northumberland, Dauphin, and Schuylkill counties meet.

Given the large German stock in Pennsylvania, Hessian prisoners were sometimes put out on work release during the war and Pennsylvania was a relatively soft landing spot after the war.

The more I research, the more German roots I find. For example, I had originally thought I might have some Scottish roots as there are Campbells on my mothers side. Turns out it was originally Kembel of German roots, but they started going by Campbell sometime around WWI. They owned a store, so perhaps it was good for business.

The flip side of that are the Furmans, originally Fuhrmann, on my father’s side. They were farmers that started a cannery in the 1920s. In the 1960s, they started relabeling some of their tomato products Furmano’s for market in the Italian rich NJ/NY area. At some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s, they changed the name of the company to Furmano’s because their Furmano’s labeled product routinely outsold their Furman’s labeled product tomater where it was sold, even in the stores near their cannery.


VA responding to recent criticism:

VA will also install signs at all VA national cemeteries where foreign enemy prisoners of war are buried “in order to provide historical context about how non-U.S. service members from World War I and World War II were interred and buried on American soil.”

Then we have a National Park Service cemetery in Hampton Roads that includes not only Union and Confederate soldiers but also WWII POWs:

Also buried in the Phoebus Section are the remains of 55 Germans and 5 Italians captured as prisoners of war during World War II. Additionally, 28 German sailors who perished when the USS Roper sunk their U-boat off Cape Hatteras on April 14, 1942, lie in the national cemetery. In 2001, a German Enigma coding machine was recovered from the site of the wreck, and is currently held on loan from the German government at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, North Carolina.

I don’t care what they do or don’t do to the statues. But when I walk around or drive around Gettysburg I want the story to be told. If being more sensitive means removing any statues of Lee and Longstreet and replacing them with giant plaques, then so be it. Honestly, those are the only two statues of confederates depicting the actual person I recall seeing. There might be more that are just a plaque or marker, but I don’t recall them. Most I recall depict specific skirmishes within the battle. So I’m not sure what we’d lose by changing the presentation – as long as we don’t lose the story.

These are the only statues of Confederates that I am aware of with the year they were dedicated.

Confederate Soldiers & Sailors 1965
Alabama 1933
Louisiana 1971
Mississippi 1973
Maryland 1994 Union and Confederate soldier
North Carolina 1929
Virginia 1917 Lee with 7 other soldiers at base
11th Mississippi 2000
James Longstreet 1998

I’m pretty sure there are more “State” statues (or markers) than that. Maybe I’m wrong.

Okay, so I can’t read this but I’m sure the vast majority of German POW’s in the US were not war criminals. I can’t speak for the racial intolerance of some though. I’m sure there were some bad ones.

Wow, this was quite a list!

Okay, had never heard the story of interned German Americans but I was able to find that approximately 11,000 (“overwhelmingly, German nationals”) were held by the federal government. This is out of 1.2 million German-born immigrants in the US at that point, in addition to about another 30-35 million Americans of German descent. 114,000 Germans immigrated to the US in the 1930’s to escape Nazi Germany. No doubt there may have been a few spies in that group. I’m sure the vast majority of the 11,000 held were innocent.

As for Italian Americans, about 1,900 recent immigrants with no US citizenship were interned by the US government during the war. Another 600,000 Italian immigrants were not detained. And millions of Italian-American citizens were left alone.

As for the Japanese Americans, 120,000 of the 127,000 living in the continental US were sent to “concentration camps”. 62% of the Japanese who were interned were US citizens. Anyone with at least 1/16th Japanese blood was considered eligible for detention. It is considered a racist action and not a security action. A different standard for them versus those of German or Italian descent.

These are just the statues of people. There are several more state and regiment statues which are just blocks or obelisks. And a ton of markers.

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Something to brighten your day, maybe.

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

Looks like Lee and Longstreet are the only actual people represented with a statue of their likeness. The other confederate statues appear to depict unidentified soldiers. (One Mississippi statue says it “portrays Color-Sergeant William O’Brien”, but I don’t know who he is, so he’s probably just random to most people. But I could be wrong.). The Longstreet statue is more of a depiction of him in battle. Only the Lee statue seems extreme. But again, I don’t care what they remove. If it’s offensive to the general population of African Americans, then remove them. Just don’t remove the story they tell along with the statue. At least replace them with some marker that keeps the story alive for future generations.

OK… This HAS to be staged:

  1. Why was this dude filming to begin with?
  2. No female that hot wearing a crop top is driving around in a minivan
  3. When have you been to a gas station with that many open pumps in the middle of the day?