Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Learning from Facebook: Camp Crossville

A former professor at the university where I worked is now employed by a larger state university. He recently shared the following Q & A as his status:

Q: Why are there so many German and Italian surnames in Crossville, TN?

A: Because during WWII, captured German and Italian officers were held at the POW camp there. Some "trusties" were released to work on local farms. Locals came to the fence and bartered with them. The folks of Crossville were so kind that when the war was over, many of the prisoners went back to Europe, got their families, and moved to Crossville.

I found this interesting from a genealogical standpoint.

I learned through comments on the blog post that the camp is now a 4-H camp.

The professor also linked to an interesting and well-documented article entitled "'To Win Our War with Butter and Beefsteaks': Camp Crossville and the Treatment of Axis Prisoners of War" written by Gregory Kupsky.

The most interesting comment of all was by the daughter of one of the Germans held there who returned to Germany and moved to the United States after taking five years to convince his wife about how kind Americans were.

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