Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

"The Enemy within Never Did Without": German and Japanese Prisoners of War at Camp Huntsville, 1942-1945

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

"The Enemy within Never Did Without": German and Japanese Prisoners of War at Camp Huntsville, 1942-1945

Article excerpt

"The Enemy Within Never Did Without": German and Japanese Prisoners of War at Camp Huntsville, 1942-1945. Edited by Jeffrey L. Littlejohn and Charles H. Ford. (Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2015. Pp. viii, 162. Paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-68003-028-0.)

This study of the World War II prisoner of war (POW) camp at Huntsville, Texas, combines academic and public history nicely. It emerged from a 2012 seminar about the POW camp taught by Jeffrey L. Littlejohn at Sam Houston State University and incorporates work from his students, but it also came about from the desire of the community to remember the camp as well as the (unstated) desire of the university community to document its Country Campus that occupied the site of the camp into the 1960s. Editors Littlejohn and his writing partner, Charles H. Ford of Norfolk State University in Virginia, organize the short narrative into six chapters that track the camp's existence from its origins through its postwar existence, followed by a full transcript of the Geneva Convention of 1929 and endnotes. The work contains neither a bibliography, largely because it relies heavily on primary sources from the National Archives, nor an index.

Each chapter is well illustrated and divided by subheadings, which make the first chapter about the camp's origins seem syncopated. The study becomes more sustained in the next three chapters concerning European internees; this section is the book's real strength as well as its greatest appeal to readers outside the local community. Chapter 2 discusses the arrival of Afrika Korps prisoners in 1943 and their daily lives, camp conditions, diet, and the use of prisoners as labor for the local cotton and timber industries. Chapter 3 deals with the domination of the camp population by hard-core Nazi prisoners, a prison riot, and the baffling response of camp commanders to transfer anti-Nazi German prisoners even though Camp Alva, Oklahoma, was designated to receive the Nazis. …

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