German POWs in America
Camp Culture
There were plentiful cultural events at the camps. There were camp newspapers published by the POWs. bands and even full orchestras. The local YMCAs, churches and even the International Red Cross provided instruments, printing presses, and other cultural items. Bands performed concerts for the camp staff members and commanders, as well as their families on a regular basis. The POWs build a 200-seat theater complete with an orchestra pit in one of the barracks buildings at the camp at Aliceville, but this was not the only instance of the POWs constructing either a playhouse or a bandstand. The POWs rehearsed and performed plays from memory, making costumes from donations from the local community. Men also played the female parts in these plays. There are many paintings, carvings, fountains, outdoor amphiteaters and other works of art that adorned barracks and common area walls or the grounds. Many POWs gifted their paintings or carvings to the families of the staff working at the camp. During the course of their little over two year stay, some POW theatrical groups performed as many as two dozen plays or puppet shows.
These are examples of some of the paintings, drawings and grounds beautification projects that were created by the POWS:
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These images are all screencaps from the History Channel DVD: Nazi POWs in America. This DVD is a tie-in to Arnold Krammer’s book of the same title. This DVD is is available from the History Channel and features interviews with Arnold Krammer, some of the former POWs, and residents of Aliceville, Alabama which was one of the very first towns to house German POWs.  The various other sources for this information are listed here.