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Ok_Kaleidoscope1630 t1_ivbjccl wrote

Ironically, German POWs detained in England lived in pretty good conditions, and only one ever escaped. In some places, they were allowed out daily on the honor system to work in villages and on farms


anon83479953 t1_ivbthp3 wrote

I listened to a whole podcast episode years ago about German POWs in the U.S., where they started being shipped when the U.K. started running out of space and resources for them. By most accounts, the POWs thought they had it pretty good. They were given paid work in factories and farms and often made friends with the locals. It seems like they were mostly just happy to be out of the war and well fed. They had camp bands, sports clubs and the like. I think most of them were just poor kids who had been conscripted; the actual Nazi ideologues were held in much more secure prisons.


Y34rZer0 t1_ivclrb1 wrote

Also some were shipped to Canada where they were model prisoners and were allowed out to help on farms and they even obtained university degrees via correspondence. A lot emigrated to Canada and I remember once saying that being taken POW was the best thing that ever happened to him in his life.

What was funny though was that the Germans created their own stricter camp rules


Cetun t1_ivcveuv wrote

>What was funny though was that the Germans created their own stricter camp rules

Your probably referring to the fact the Nazis in the camps attempted to maintain loyalty amongst the non-nazi members who rather enjoyed not being on the front lines anymore by harsh extrajudicial discipline.

However, rank is still maintained in POW camps, POWs must follow orders of superior officers and nominally they are under the command of their superior officers who are themselves obligated to follow the lawful commands of the camp commanders. So discipline was largely handled by the prisoners rather than the guards. At the same time enlisted guards had to show superior rank prisoner a certain amount of respect and enlisted prisoners had to show superior rank camp staff the same amount of respect they would their own superior rank officers. Being in a camp wasn't like being in a prison, it was like being in the army but instead of doing combat your being kept busy because you aren't allowed to move freely.


bludgersquiz t1_ive866i wrote

And to Australia. There was a TV series made about it called The Dunera Boys.


Y34rZer0 t1_ive8jey wrote

I’m in aus too. Did you know that during the war Japanese reconnaissance planes flew in land as far as Uluru/Ayers Rock, and it was suppressed from the papers to avoid public panic?

The reason I mentioned it is I can’t help but laugh because the pilots must have thought they were going crazy, there’s just miles and miles of absolutely nothing and even today Japanese people who visit are stunned by the scale of distance out there.

I’m in Adelaide and one morning in the city a Japanese couple in a Toyota Camry wagon stopped next to me and asked ‘ excuse me please which way is it to Ayers Rock?’. I swear on my life this is a true story.


arran-reddit t1_ivebal5 wrote

Japanese troops also landed in WA but turned back before encountering anyone


Y34rZer0 t1_ivebi99 wrote

oh yeah… Are you a fan of Mark felton’s channel?


arran-reddit t1_ivedbry wrote

I’ve watched it a little bit, very informative but not a huge fan of his delivery style.


116YearsWar t1_ivehjkc wrote

It's probably not as informative as you think it is. He is a proper historian, but his YouTube channel is just full of 'extraordinary' tales which have been rushed through with little proper research, which is why he can post so many of them. He's also been caught outright plagiarising other people's work and just reading verbatim from a WW2 enthusiast forum.


charlie_do_562 t1_ivehbdw wrote

I’m not familiar with the geography of Australia, how far is Adelaide from Ayers Rock?


Y34rZer0 t1_ivehskx wrote

Nearly 2000 km. They very probably could have got lost and died. Their vehicle was empty.
I told them not to attempted, and to ask about it at the tourism office.
I told my mother about this and she told me about her friend her in Japan whose child didn’t walk on grass until they were about 10.
She said it’s not standard like that but they would have expected a level of population density like Japan, with fuel stations and good roads all the way there. This was before smart phones as well.
I used to drive to roxby downs from Adelaide, which is much closer and it’s still scary to think of being lost out there and running out of fuel


Painting_Agency t1_ivf7jm9 wrote

> I told my mother about this and she told me about her friend her in Japan whose child didn’t walk on grass until they were about 10.

That's very odd because I'm sure even Tokyo has parks. Not to doubt your mom or anything.


Y34rZer0 t1_ivf81to wrote

It does. I imagine it’s a slight exaggeration or maybe that family just didn’t visit them. I do recall hearing most people living in the cities spend almost all their time within a very small area, something like a square kilometre. They live that close to where they work etc


Painting_Agency t1_ivf95f7 wrote

> They live that close to where they work etc

Nice, but I'd get fat - I need the exercise of biking to work 😄


Stegasaurus_Wrecks t1_ivgeffs wrote

Give directions like Brad Pitt in True Romance.

"well you go down that way and you keep driving and you keep driving and you keep driving and then you take a left."


Termsandconditionsch t1_ivtsqtc wrote

Holup.. no they did not go to Uluru. Why would they? It’s out of range for them and nothing useful there anyway. Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Broome, sure. Those flights happened. But there is zero reason for any Japanese plane to go to Uluru..


Y34rZer0 t1_ivuzaml wrote

They weren’t going TO uluṟu, they were flying reconnaissance and got that far inland before turning around, I assume because they needed fuel


Termsandconditionsch t1_ivv2pgx wrote

Umm but why would they waste fuel going that far inland even if they had the range? There’s nothing there. The one thing of military interest there, the Woomera range, wasn’t established until 1947. I can’t find a single source for this.


TinyRandomLady t1_ivcjmfn wrote

Did it cover the murder of Corporal Kunze at Camp Tonkawa in Oklahoma? He had been passing information to the US through the camp doctor, and one day the guy he’s been working with wasn’t there, and he still passed a note to a doctor. That doctor didn’t speak much German and asked another POW what it said, and that gave away the game. Later that night, he was beaten to death by multiple men. Those men were then picked up on based on the fact that they had blood on their uniform no one ever spoke about what happened, and they had a trial and were found guilty and sent to Ft. Leavenworth, and then, as soon as the war was over all of them were hung.


Sun_Devilish t1_ivelwa8 wrote

There was a similar case here in Arizona.


TinyRandomLady t1_iver4kd wrote

Really? I thought there was only one other murder of a POW by POWs and that was in Georgia.


XQJ-37_Agent t1_ivdsdrh wrote

“All of them were hung” hey man, I’m getting a very different mental image than what you intend


phoebsmon t1_ivehcr5 wrote

I know the old saying is that pictures are hung, people are hanged. Suppose really we need a new version. They can be hung or hanged but they're having a drastically different weekend off being publicly hung.


Hookton t1_ivemqm3 wrote

>"Hanged, Ami. Your father was not a tapestry."


Confused_Idol t1_ivd0r2s wrote

My great uncle used to muse how the German pows had better treatment than he did as a black man.


TinKicker t1_ivdvp3a wrote

FWIW, my dad guarded Herman Göring during the Nazi trials in Nuremberg. He had the same complaint.


ooo-ooo-oooyea t1_iveto90 wrote

so who slipped him the suicide pills?


TinKicker t1_iveu9ly wrote

He didn’t know. Wasn’t his watch. All he did was have a three minute egg timer. Every time the sand ran out, he had to open a little window to observe the general eating his catered meals, reading books from his library or writing letters. As long as he’s not dying, close the little door and flip the egg timer over. Such was the life of an E-2 in the Big Red 1…after the war.


ooo-ooo-oooyea t1_ivewmku wrote

That had to be quite an experience. Despite being a huge monster, I bet he was very charismatic and tried to manipulate the guards for stuff.


TestingHydra t1_ivf46vh wrote

From one historical thing I watched a while ago I think one of the guards of Göring said how he requested a container of hair gel that he previously possessed. The guard didn't think much of it, Göring had been pleasant and so the guard got it for him, unaware of the pills hidden inside.


ColtS117 t1_iwrqjyt wrote

He concealed them in something stored in his rectum.


redcrowknifeworks t1_ivfrm3f wrote

Yeah, everyones waxing poetic about treating these "poor kids who had been conscripted" with basically nobody questioning why all of these soldiers, even considering many of them were likely just doing what they had to do, were being welcomed with such open arms by the west and were assimilating so well.

Someone could even question if this went hand in hand with hitler getting some inspiration from the USA's segregation for the holocaust. or with allied powers essentially giving across-the-board pardons to axis scientists.


KahuTheKiwi t1_iw4m580 wrote

I read a collection of Hitler's speaches. He was a huge fan of the US and emulated a number things; Monroe Doctrine was the source of his Sphere of Influence idea, Manifest Destiny and Living Space In the East, slavery and slavery.

Apparently the Nuremburg laws were copied from Alabama state laws. The laws on eugenics were provided by the New York based Eugenics Society.

Meanwhile concentration camps in German were inspired by the British concentration camps used during the Boer Wars


Cetun t1_ivcubf4 wrote

One of my grandma's friends was British and was in Germany when the war broke out. Foreigners from enemy countries were usually rounded up and put into concentration camps (not death camps, that's just the name for them) so they got sent to one for British people. They would write each other through the red cross and there are pictures from the camp. They apparently had plays and carnivals and sports games. Not saying that not having freedom of movement wasnt bad but if I was a civilian prisoner of war it doesn't sound half bad. Near the end it obviously got bad, food and supplies became rationed, but they survived in good health before being repatriated.


Zaphod1620 t1_ivd8f66 wrote

Yup. I remember one story where the town by one of these camps had a dance between the townspeople and Nazi prisoners.

Be aware, at this same time, American citizens of Japanese descent were being put in internment camps, and they sure as hell were not having dances.


mursilissilisrum t1_ivexqld wrote

> I think most of them were just poor kids who had been conscripted; the actual Nazi ideologues were held in much more secure prisons.

Actual nazi idealogues were rare. Those atrocities were committed by Germans for the sake of Germany. Regular Germans were pretty happy with the nazis until they ran out of countries to rob and the people they'd tried to enslave started to come after them for revenge.


LinkesAuge t1_ivf28i6 wrote

Let's also not pretend that the racism of Nazis would have been a problem in most cases in the US of the 40's. (not to mention that Nazi Germany was "inspired" by the US in regards to certain things...)

The same is true for Germans/Germany. While the NSDAP certainly fueled it but core elements of that ideology were common enough within the population, the NSDAP (and Hitler) simply managed to focus all the bad stuff.

The Nazis are sometimes made into these super villains and people are quick to say "x wasn't REALLY a Nazi" but the reality of the time was that it really didn't need much to be in line with Nazi ideology and that didn't require for you to constantly think about industrial scale genocide which is really the thing that sets apart the Nazis/NSDAP from the other reactionary/right wing groups of its time (and even that might have been down to a lack of ability/opportunity and especially scale, not like you can't find at least somewhat similar examples in the time period).


redcrowknifeworks t1_ivfv1i0 wrote

yeah, its basically nazi propaganda that all the bad things were like, somehow happening nation-wide with disturbingly low civilian resistance while also being entirely unsupported by the nation.

The civilians might have been shocked by how brutal the reality of the camps were but im never gonna believe the narrative that somehow a small group was able to hoodwink the entire nation of germany into accidentally carrying out a genocide.


NinjaBlake t1_ivehyks wrote

My wife is from Amarillo and a group of Germans ended up there. There’s a church they built you can still visit. It’s pretty cool. Everything your podcast said her older relatives echoed. These people, mainly men, lived in the Texas panhandle and worked. Pretty wild.


Shadows802 t1_ivenlf1 wrote

My grandfather has stories from the family farm in Idaho where they had German POWs work. It wasn't a terrible system, there wasn't armed guards and barbed wire, just that these farms are the middle of nowhere and the closest decent sized city is over a hundred miles away.


Painting_Agency t1_ivf71pr wrote

In the Wehrmacht: "No food today, only Benzedrine! Also you might die. But hey, Gott Mit Uns!"

In prison camp: "Soup's on. Then a day of farm work, then Fusball. Nobody's died yet."


Sslayer777 t1_ivf4wnd wrote

I believe there was a radiolab episode on this, not sure if that's the one you're referring to or if you heard it elsewhere but it was quite good coverage of all this.


Mister_Lister22 t1_ivf5ota wrote

Do you have the name of that podcast?


anon83479953 t1_ivfesyj wrote

It was one of those NPR-ish podcasts. I was thinking This American Life, but someone else said there was a Radiolab episode about it, which I have also been listening to for a long time. Definitely not one of the conversational ones that are more popular now, something produced in a storytelling way.


corporatemumbojumbo t1_ivbyyvd wrote

German POWs were treated better by the Americans than the African American soldiers.


MortimerGraves t1_ivcb978 wrote

I can't remember which of Ambrose's books it's in, but an African American Soldier recounts how he was being shipped somewhere (to/from training probably) and stopped to get food. There were German POWs eating in the store but he and his fellow black soldiers were taken around the back and fed out the back door because of the color bar.


arran-reddit t1_ivcipb9 wrote

You might dis/like this - though it's worth noting there was segregation on the USA bases in the UK and they requested that business impose segregation, though that request was generally met with negative response both from government and locals.


MortimerGraves t1_ivco1qf wrote

> it's worth noting there was segregation on the USA bases in the UK and they requested that business impose segregation

Yeah, that didn't go well in other countries where US forces were either. :)

"American servicemen... objected to Māori soldiers also using the Club, and on 3 April 1943 began stopping Māori soldiers from entering." Battle of Manners Street (Wellington, NZ).

(Edited: typo)


DaddyCatALSO t1_ivd50i3 wrote

The tendency of Americans to interpret issues in other countries in American terms.


MortimerGraves t1_ivdbwrd wrote

Partially, and partially simply expecting that things worked (or should work) the same in those other countries, I should think.

While not wanting to downplay or ignore racial issues outside of the US, by the time the Americans arrived on British shores the UK army was desegregated, and volunteers of all colours from all over the Empire had already been involved in fighting.

The New Zealand army was also desegregated, (and the Māori Battalion had an excellent reputation from service in Crete and North Africa) and while I've little doubt there were a fair number of racists and bigots among the white Kiwis, a colour bar in Wellington was a step too far. And while there were a number of scuffles and brawls, the NZ Government also put considerable effort into reducing tensions, arranging for US servicement to visit Marae and Māori cultural events.


NopeNotTrue t1_ivexzb9 wrote

The Army was desegregated but they had a Maori battalion?


MortimerGraves t1_ivgi4ky wrote

Yeah... it's complicated. :)

(As far as I know) there were no restrictions on anyone who was Māori or part-Māori (which would have been a fair few people) from serving in the NZ Army by 1939 (and there were certainly Māori veterans of WWI). Some Māori politicians and community leaders however wanted to raise the profile of Māori as subjects of the British Empire and pushed the NZ Government to create a dedicated Māori Battalion. (The 28th.) Initially many of the officers were European, (though the first 2ic of the 28th was a part-Māori WWI veteran), but these were replaced over time as Māori officers gained experience.

The 28th initially shipped out with the 2nd Echelon of the 2NZEF (the 5th Brigade) and was involved in anti-invasion duties in the UK, but once the brigade was reunited with the rest of the Division in Egypt the 28th became an additional battalion that could be moved between the Division's three brigades to provide extra infantry oomph where it was needed, and ended up fighting in Greece, Crete, North Africa, and Italy - receiving more individual bravery decorations than any of the other NZ battalions. (One private even won a US Silver Star.) :)

The difference (I guess) is that the unit wasn't there to keep "them" separate (and "in their place"), but rather at the insistence of Māori leaders to provide a opportunity to "prove the worth of Maoridom...and even secure the long-term goal of Maori autonomy". (NZ Historian Claudia Orange).


mursilissilisrum t1_ivezq2l wrote

I think that had more to do with not wanting foreigners to tell them what to do. It wasn't a matter of domestic policy (in Britain anyway), but the Brits definitely imposed segregation for no other reason than they felt like it.


DaddyCatALSO t1_ivd4ttl wrote

I mean, Britain had its own "colour bar" but that was nothing compared to Jim Crow. (I really only know of it because sports writer Reg Gutteridge mentioned d it in the Randolph Turpin chapter of his book *Masters Of Boxing.*)


arran-reddit t1_ivda4ft wrote

There was definitely racism, though at that point in time, there wasn't any racism enshrined in law (though some laws did come about over a decade later regarding immigration from non-white parts of the commonwealth) however there was no protections from racism. Racism in Britain was very much on a case by case basis and while I don't want to diminish how it was in the early 40s, it was considerably worse come the 50s as a reaction to several large waves off immigration (which were also spread across more cities than previous waves) which also turned racism into a domestic political issue.


Sun_Devilish t1_ivemkqj wrote

America is always and forever bad. The virtues of our forebears must never be highlighted. Only their sins and shortcomings should be pointed out.


TheDJ955 t1_ivcmjme wrote

Yep, one of the POW’s was a guy named Bert Trautmann, detained in Belgium then transported to Essex, he was the equivalent of a sergeant in the Luftwaffe with the 35th infantry and received an Iron Cross, he later became a professional footballer for Manchester City, he even has a statue in the general area of the stadium.


Mein_Bergkamp t1_ivdtz3i wrote

The reason he's got a statue is that he played during the era of no substitutions and so played through a broken neck while winning the FA Cup for City.


VapoursAndSpleen t1_ivdhxrm wrote

My dad lived in Orange county during WWII and the family would be driving along through the orchards, following a pickup truck full of German POWs singing German folk songs en route to working in the orchards.


BenMottram2016 t1_ivdu103 wrote

Different Axis PoWs were kept in different camps and whilst they all were scheduled to work on farms, they were kept separate and not allowed to mix...

Except, of course, when they did by mistake... Sauce - my dad got a bollocking for simultaneously accepting both German and Italian PoWs for work detail on his farm.


SovereignNation t1_ivfgssu wrote

This kind of treatment was quite widespread probably. Atleast in Finland on the farm my grandfather lived on there was a Soviet POW of the Winter War who worked there. He mostly worked physical labour on the farm and also slept and lived there but it turned out he was a very skilled shoemaker. He carved lasts by hand from wood and made boots for pretty much everyone on the farm. When the war was over and he was sent back to Soviet Union my grandfather remembers that he cried and tried to beg the officials to let him stay on the farm and I think everyone on the farm wouldn't have had an issue with that. Alas, he was sent back and that's where his story ends from our point of view.


wileyrielly t1_ivecxkm wrote

My dads family used to run a hotel and he told me a story of a long time resident thats pretty sad.

He was a pole who was pressed into the russian army after they hung his family, then captured and pressed into the german army. He was then captured by the english and sent to a Scottish POW camp who tortured him.


FerryHarmer t1_ivfg2uq wrote

The Isle of Man mostly. Nice spot, still barbed wire patrolled by soldiers though.


PsySam89 t1_ivfo29v wrote

I looked after a couple of German guys who were POW's in Perth shire and liked it so much here they didn't leave! They were conscripts and were just glad to survive


L1A1 t1_ivfz795 wrote

My old street was cobbled, and they were laid by Italian POWs. One of the old dears on the street grew up there and remembered them .


stevemillions t1_ivg1om1 wrote

One of them ended up playing in goal for Manchester City. He won the FA cup. With a broken neck. Bert Trautmann. Quite a story.


[deleted] t1_ivbmkc7 wrote



arran-reddit t1_ivbs222 wrote

What camp are you talking about? I don’t know of any that mixed POWs with non military internment


TheBoyFromNorfolk t1_ivbmjbb wrote

My grandfather was interned and then got out of the camps into 'the kings most loyal enemy aliens' which was the pioneer corp.


Malinut t1_ivcfmve wrote

These events helped model the modern UNHCR, much of it with British encouragement and input.
Those were febrile times, paranoia was high. It's a times like that we need guidance from more level-headed legislation.


lanzkron OP t1_ivbadfq wrote

My grandparents and father were interned in one of these camps (not sure if in this specific one). I don't know how well known it is, I never saw any discussion about it and only heard about it in family stories.

On the one hand it's understandable that the British were suspicious of German nationals, but I'm not sure how big a threat my toddler father was to The War Effort™.


GMN123 t1_ivc6ngd wrote

Presumably it was his parent/s that were, not unreasonably, considered a security concern, and keeping him with them was preferable to taking an infant away from their parents.


Reddit-runner t1_ivbyznq wrote

>but I'm not sure how big a threat my toddler father was to The War Effort™.

Have you ever seen what an unsupervised toddler can do?

There is a reason why we put them behind bars to this day.

We just got wiser on the barbed wire.


BackwardPalindrome t1_iveb9xz wrote

Yeah I don't think your toddler father was the one they were concerned about. Did you never consider the idea that the German government might ask one or two of its citizens to... Oh, I don't know, lie for espionage purposes?


SeleucusNikator1 t1_ivjx7qt wrote

> Did you never consider the idea that the German government might ask one or two of its citizens to... Oh, I don't know, lie for espionage purposes?

Tbh the Nazis were so abysmally incompetent at espionage that they genuinely might not have thought of that trick harhar.


metropitan t1_ivevim2 wrote

I'd imagine another concern was less what the prisoners would do and more what the public would do, its not much of a secret that there was a lot of misguided animosity


metropitan t1_ivdzvhk wrote

my great grandfather surrendered to British forces and was taken to britan as a POW, in Scotland specifically, and he was allowed to go to a local village, and after the war he worked on the railways, I don't really know that much about him, but he apparently never returned to Germany,


IllegitimateScholar t1_ivbo94n wrote

Something similar happened to many Romani people after the Nazis were defeated


Finnick-420 t1_ivc3l9n wrote

gay people too


PoopLogg t1_ivfuqlk wrote

This is actually the origin of the Alphabet Mafia. The first Alphabet Mafia meetings took place in these very prison yards.



toms-w t1_ivcfh4z wrote

It happened to Hungarians like my grandfather too.

Edit: not that anyone ever talked about it (or anything else from this period, for that matter). I learned it from my father shortly before his death, although the phrase he used was "undesirable alien" rather than "enemy alien". He also told me that the only time his parents spoke Hungarian in his presence was when they argued. But he dismissed the idea that there was a link between how they were treated and his parents' determination to bring up their sons to be so thoroughly English; assimilation was just the norm at that time.


Neurocor t1_ivbmahm wrote

Then America gave Nazi's a safe haven lbs


TheBootyHolePatrol t1_ivc7fdv wrote

So did the Soviets. Operation Paperclip had competition on the Soviet side of the wall.

Of course we probably won't ever see documents about it since they were either destroyed or Russia would implode due to their current reasoning for the Ukraine conflict.


dwn19 t1_ivcfq4e wrote

I mean lets be fair, the Soviets pursuit of Denazification was way more stringent and effective than the Wests, lets not try and pretend otherwise. The East German state was basically build from scratch because of their denazification processes.


[deleted] t1_ivci2uh wrote



dwn19 t1_ivck5tz wrote

I literally have no clue how people like you ever had any kind of discussion. I notice you didn't bring up my omission of the water quality of the Congo in the years 1974-1975 either, silly me for keeping a post about a specific subject and topic and not embracing every part of history in my post.

We are simply talking about Denazification here, not the quality, sustainability or legitimacy of the German States.


[deleted] t1_ivcmroe wrote



dwn19 t1_ivcq790 wrote

I mean if you wanted to make that point just make it man, no reason to beat around it so much. Either way I would simply say the Stasi learning from the Gestapo is no different from the Gestapo learning from the Cheka, who probably learned things from Russian Empire police, who probably learned things from European colonial policing. Secret polices are just a tool of authoritarianism I wouldn't suggest one learning from another is a continuation of persistence of a specific ideology, you could probably trace a lot of the stuff the Gestapo were doing back to revolutionary France.


TheBootyHolePatrol t1_ivclo1m wrote

Can't really say the Soviets at that time were much better than the Nazis. Definitely worse for the Germans than the French were.


Constant_Count_9497 t1_ivbv246 wrote

The Allies were quick to snatch up as many Nazis as they could after the war.


TinKicker t1_ivdwhkf wrote

No. It wasn’t a numbers game. It was a knowledge game.

They were “snatching” up as much technical knowledge as possible. But then again, the German scientists and engineers didn’t need to be snatched…they were actively trying to be “captured” by American and British forces before the Soviets could (literally) snatch them.


[deleted] t1_ivcmgl1 wrote



[deleted] t1_ivcqiar wrote



Shorzey t1_ivf1mqn wrote

The UK forcibly limited Jewish immigration (fleeing refugees) to the middle east through immigration policies made with locals in exchange for war resources


[deleted] t1_ivc9s3w wrote



ChrisTinnef t1_ivcc628 wrote

In the case of the UK, they rounded up every German and Austrian citizen. No matter if you were just arriving or had been living in the UK for years/decades. People who were organizing opposition to the Nazis from the UK for five years already were interned. Didnt last long for most of them, but still pretty stupid.


zerotakashi t1_ivd2jfe wrote

Somewhat unrelated but still related so thought I'd point out that roughly half of Holocaust victims were Slavic people


BednaR1 t1_ivctrvx wrote

Still nothing on that ship full of Jews running away from Germany... that USA turn back from their port, back to Germany


NiceButOdd t1_ivcv5s2 wrote

I alluded to it but got downvoted by morons who, for some reason, dislike historical facts in a history sub, go figure.

The ship was the SS Drotnighelm iirc, or something like that, and the refugees on it were not the last to be refused entry into the US. The times were very highly charged, and everyone was paranoid, and I guess the decisions seemed sensible at the time, but now looking back with the advantage of the passage of time, we might think that better options should have been found, like the Brits did with the camps.


Sentenced2Burn t1_ivftoh5 wrote

Anyone else getting real tired of these lazy, formulaic clickbaity headlines with two sentences structured this way?


Royal_Bumblebee_ t1_ivukib0 wrote

it is a little known aspect of ww2 in britain that many people of italian/german...etc heritage were arrested and detained during the war.

it was called defense regulation 18B

I incidentally found out that Darby Sabini was detained under this law. For anyone who is a fan of the TV show Peaky Blinders, he was the Italian mobster character from the first season.


[deleted] t1_ivcgurf wrote



Wazzok1 t1_ivcimyu wrote

>It wasn't 2022.

This not only implies that it wasn't an injustice in 1940 and that nobody was against it at the time, but that in the same context today, the British government wouldn't intern refugees from enemy combatant states.

Think about what you're saying.


RavenReel t1_ivckrff wrote

It implies that in the early 1900s there wasn't close to as much immigration as there is now and big brutal wars were kinda common. Having 20,000 immigrants or refugees coming from the country attacking you might be a little overwhelming and dangerous. The only thing they could do was to isolate people. There likely wasn't a decision to punish the Germans because they were Jews. It was likely to protect the Allies. Everyone was on board because they might have lost the war otherwise. You or I don't know the complete context of camps, we weren't there. And 'you' have no idea how '1940 you' would react to the camps.


Wazzok1 t1_ivcm8kk wrote

I didn't dispute the reasons for internment, so I'll say it again: you also implied that in the same context today, the British government wouldn't intern refugees from enemy combatant states.

To answer your second point, there was absolutely opposition to the camps at the time, from mainstream British newspapers, members of the public, and from the internees. It doesn't matter that I wasn't there; there's more than enough evidence that a number of people were against it at the time.


RavenReel t1_ivcyau0 wrote

Sorry.i misunderstood.

Internment camps wouldn't happen today. Not the slightest chance.

And I shouldn't say everyone. There is always a certain portion of the population that are fighting for rights. Tens of thousands of Germans just showed up so let's say the vast majority didn't want Germans wandering around possibly spying.


Wazzok1 t1_ivei86z wrote

During the 2015 refugee crisis, hundreds of thousands of people were placed in internment camps across Europe, one of the most notable being the 'Calais Jungle' in France. So, one, this establishes that internment camps are still to this day legitimised policy responses to an influx of refugees.

Secondly, Russia has been interning Ukrainian refugees in camps since it invaded the country last February, where they are tortured before being 'filtrated' into Russia. Bosnian refugees were systematically tortured in Serbian refugee camps in the 1990s. In 1974, Paramali Forest camp was set up in Cyprus to take in Greek Cypriot refugees after Turkey invaded the island. So, two, the three most recent examples of European nations interning refugees during times of war show that there's no reason why an internment camp 'wouldn't happen today'.


RavenReel t1_ivglohr wrote

This is just all a big baiting game I see.

Second point first... Russia doesn't really matter as I said 'West' and Putin isn't listening to anyone anyway.

And Calais wasnt built by France to contain 'the enemy'. To the best of my knowledge Calais was an organic migrant camp started by migrants as they waited to legally enter France or return to England.

I'm talking about government run camps built in order to control an 'enemy' county's people is a prison-like compound.


Wazzok1 t1_ivgw2u1 wrote

Honestly, it's not a baiting game. It's a discussion. We're fine.

  1. You'll notice that I gave two examples other than Russia. Conveniently you ignored them.
  2. The reason I separated my two points was because I'm fully aware Calais isn't an example of internment during war time. I clearly explained myself in italics.

Let me spell it out for you. The Calais Jungle shows that interning refugees is still a legitimate policy of 'Western' countries like France during peacetime. The examples of Russia, Serbia and Cyprus show that there is no reason to believe that during a state of war, Western nations would not intern 'enemy aliens' today.


NiceButOdd t1_ivcw3t3 wrote

59000 initially, then 80000 more and 10000 orphans. I deeply wish more were saved.


GollyWow t1_ivdiq3j wrote

I find it ironic that there was a POW camp in the US near Hutchinson Naval Air Base. I was told it held German pilots and air crew. My Dad was stationed there in '39 or '40 before being shipped to Pearl Harbor. Many of the locals were of German ancestry but had nothing to do with the POWs.


FerryHarmer t1_ivfgmgn wrote

To be honest I'm more concerned with the Lebensraum being created in Gaza for Israeli settlers right now and considering this happened only 70 yrs ago you'd think these suffering victims would be turning over in their graves at what their grand children are doing.


rufusadams t1_ivfguwv wrote

There are no Israeli settlements in Gaza, you’re thinking of the West Bank. You have no clue what you’re babbling about.


Sea-Ad726 t1_ivgf4c5 wrote

Maybe they just a poor boy.They are forced to join the army.


EuphoricLeague22 t1_iw2fv40 wrote

That’s so sad. The Axis powers were monsters, but the allies weren’t perfect either (Japanese interment by Roosevelt, Soviet gulags, the atomic bombings of Japan).


[deleted] t1_ivehog6 wrote



lanzkron OP t1_iveql1e wrote

>As incredible as America's own internment of Japanese-Americans. George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, was actually born in one of those camps.

I would argue it's more incredible since the German Jews had a better reason to not be on their motherland's side in this war.


Pornthrowaway78 t1_ivfkdvy wrote

Wait til they hear about the homosexuals in camps that the British just let them take out of the camps and put in prison.


[deleted] t1_ivp9l50 wrote

And now Israel is doing the same things to Palestinians


cannondave t1_ivclhof wrote

And many of the high profile nazis were not only spared, but smuggled out, saved and given wealth and great jobs by the US. Google Operation Paperclip

Edit: Shame on you downvoting just because you don't like the history. It's people like you, willfully ignorant, who suppress and ignores history, enabling it to happen again and again. Shame on you, defenders of nazis.


ZDTreefur t1_ivdlue4 wrote

Yes, we all know about it. It was the obvious and rational choice that had to be made.


theducks t1_ivdgm4h wrote

“Once zee rockets go up, who cares vhere zhey come down? Zat’s not my department” says Wehner von Braun


BitschWack t1_ivfa914 wrote

Wait until you find out what they did in South Africa in 1899.


DrSanwich t1_ivfbkrs wrote

Can someone follow this post until the upvotes matches the year this happened and grab a screenshot. Someone. Not me


BorderKeeper t1_ivdj0cy wrote

Its nicely said in the book Modernism and the Holocaust. Hitler wanted Jews out of Germany so the first thing they tried was to ask surrounding countries and of course nobody wanted them, then they planned sending them all to Madagascar (not joking) and once that failed there was only one option left to satisfy Hitlers goal and the rest is history.


tvosss t1_ivc8nda wrote

Same thing happened with LGBTQ people who were in the camps: No liberation.


God_Damnit_Nappa t1_ivd9cud wrote

Unrelated. You're talking about the Nazi death camps, this article is about concentration camps in Britain.


[deleted] t1_iveds9m wrote



NoCSForYou t1_ivelawx wrote

Internment and concentration camps are the same thing.

> "for political prisoners and members of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order."

There is a difference between death camps and internment/concentration.


God_Damnit_Nappa t1_ivfcyd4 wrote

That guy and the people that upvoted him clearly want our past in the west to be whitewashed. Concentration camp carries a negative connotation due to the Nazis but the internment camps we had are the literal definition of them. Internment is just a euphemism so people don't associate them with the death camps.


Specialist_Citron_84 t1_ivdch70 wrote

Despicable, just like the Japanese in the US.


mmdoublem t1_ivdw178 wrote

With the difference that the US government recognizes the treatment of the Japanese in the US, has apologized and is paying reparations. (Well all is not golden, they still rejected Jewish refugees before and during the war).

The same cannot be said about the UK.

I wonder how Canada was on that front.