Like hundreds of other communities in the U.S. during WWII, Aliceville, Alabama, was home to a prisoner of war camp. Between June 1943 and September 1945, Camp Aliceville saw hundreds of thousands of German soldiers come and go, a time which left an impression on both the men and the town.
We are lucky enough to have digital versions of 16 audio interviews given in the mid-1990s by people involved with the camp, including staff and townspeople as well as six former prisoners: Gene Dakan Kenneth Eugene, Walter Fetholter, Theo Klein, Henrich Most, Wilhelm Schlegel, and Karl Silberreis. (The recordings of Klein and Most are in German.)
Most range from 10-30 minutes. Here’s one of the shorter ones, at around 2 minutes, as a sneak peek:
Interview with Elma Henders Emerson
Emerson talks about the state of the Germans when they came, how they filled the hospital, their initial eating habits, and their help in the kitchen.
To hear the other 15 recordings, visit the German Prisoners of War in Aliceville Collection in Acumen. To learn more about the camp, check out the website for the Aliceville Museum.