Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Robert Dupont

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrea Mosterman

Third Advisor

Dr. Allan Millett


Throughout World War II, the belligerent countries took enemy civilians, as well as soldiers, prisoner. The majority of the camps created to hold these prisoners were located in the European and Asian theaters of battle, but the United States operated prisoner of war camps and civilian internment camps as well. American internment camps, administered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), imprisoned persons from the Axis countries of Japan, Italy, and Germany, deemed a threat to national security and categorized as a group as “enemy aliens.” Generally, these individuals were not threats, and a sizable number were legal U.S. citizens.

Crystal City Internment Camp, located in Crystal City, Texas, interned individuals from all three enemy national backgrounds and allowed entire families to reside with the arrested family member. This research will attempt to highlight the daily experience of the internees in the Crystal City Internment Camp through internees’ oral histories and official camp reports, with a focus specifically on the German prisoners. Although scholars have examined these internment camps, little attention has been given to daily life in these camps.


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