Nazi POWs in the Tar Heel State, 1942-1946

            More than 10,000 German prisoners of war were interned in eighteen camps in North Carolina during World War II. Yet apart from the guards, civilian workers, and FBI and local police who tracked escapees, most people were--and remain--unaware of their presence.

 “Nazi POWs in the Tar Heel State, 1942-1946” is a lively lecture and PowerPoint presentation of photos, maps, and documents revealing the POW program in North Carolina during World War II.   Surveyed are the arrival of the first prisoners, the work program, escapes, reeducation, and repatriation. The story told reveals the diversity of the men captured in German uniform: U-Boat men captured off the Carolina coast, infantry men and paratroopers captured in Italy, North Africa, and France. It also reveals the presence of Nazis and anti-Nazis, former concentration camp inmates, and a multitude of men captured in German uniforms who before the war had been Austrians, Belgians, Frenchmen, and Soviet citizens.

Billinger argues that the wartime experiences of the POWs and citizens of North Carolina revealed to both sides that enemies are human, uniforms conceal diversity, and wartime enemies can become life-long friends.

 

 

 

Requirements: 
Special requirements for presentation: Lectern Microphone, if large auditorium