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Hitler's soldiers in the Sunshine State : German POWs in Florida / Robert D. Billinger Jr.

By: Billinger, Robert D, 1944-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Florida history and culture series: Publisher: Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2000Description: xix, 262 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.ISBN: 0813017408 (alk. paper); 9780813017402 (alk. paper).Subject(s): World War, 1939-1945 -- Prisoners and prisons, American | Prisoners of war -- Germany | Prisoners of war -- Florida | Florida -- History, MilitaryDDC classification: 940.54/7273/09759
Contents:
National Context -- Uncle Sam's Smiling Workers -- U-boat Men and Other Naval Prisoners: Special Breed, Special Problems -- When the Afrika Korps Came to Blanding: Riots and Repatriations -- The "Worst Camp in America": Clewiston Escapes and a Suicide -- Escapees: The Individualists, the Threatened, and the Alienated -- MacDill Menus and Belle Glade Beans: The Press and Coddling Charges -- On the Threshold: Reeducation Efforts in the Blanding and Gordon Johnston Camps -- The Long Way Home: Repatriation -- Epilogue: Graves, Alumni, and Memories -- 1,250 Miles through Florida.
Review: "In the first book-length treatment of the German prisoner-of-war experience in Florida during World War II, Robert D. Billinger, Jr., tells the story of the 10,000 men who were "guests" of Uncle Sam in a tropical paradise that for some became a tropical hell.".Summary: "Except for the servicemen who guarded them, the civilian pulp-cutters, citrus growers, and sugarcane foremen who worked them, and the FBI and local police who tracked the escapees among them, most people were - and still are - unaware of the German POWs who inhabited the 27 camps that dotted the Sunshine State. Billinger describes the experiences of the Germans and their captors as both sides came to the realization that, while the Germans' worst enemies were often their own comrades-in-arms, wartime enemies might also become life-long friends.".Summary: "This book will be of great value to scholars and historians, as well as all readers with an interest in World War II. Those with an interest in Florida history will also find much to admire in this account of a barely known wartime episode."--BOOK JACKET.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
D805.U5 B55 2000 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001481274
Browsing University of Texas At Tyler Shelves , Shelving location: Stacks - 3rd Floor Close shelf browser
D805.P7 L4413 1996 Survival in Auschwitz : D805.R9 R3 1956A The long walk. D805 .S78 T36 2000 Refuge from the Reich : D805.U5 B55 2000 Hitler's soldiers in the Sunshine State : D806 .F5 1972 Doctors at war. D807.F7 F7 The road to Bordeaux, D807.U62 T48 1982 Prisoners of war in Texas during World War II /

Includes bibliographical references (p. [251]-256) and index.

National Context -- Uncle Sam's Smiling Workers -- U-boat Men and Other Naval Prisoners: Special Breed, Special Problems -- When the Afrika Korps Came to Blanding: Riots and Repatriations -- The "Worst Camp in America": Clewiston Escapes and a Suicide -- Escapees: The Individualists, the Threatened, and the Alienated -- MacDill Menus and Belle Glade Beans: The Press and Coddling Charges -- On the Threshold: Reeducation Efforts in the Blanding and Gordon Johnston Camps -- The Long Way Home: Repatriation -- Epilogue: Graves, Alumni, and Memories -- 1,250 Miles through Florida.

"In the first book-length treatment of the German prisoner-of-war experience in Florida during World War II, Robert D. Billinger, Jr., tells the story of the 10,000 men who were "guests" of Uncle Sam in a tropical paradise that for some became a tropical hell.".

"Except for the servicemen who guarded them, the civilian pulp-cutters, citrus growers, and sugarcane foremen who worked them, and the FBI and local police who tracked the escapees among them, most people were - and still are - unaware of the German POWs who inhabited the 27 camps that dotted the Sunshine State. Billinger describes the experiences of the Germans and their captors as both sides came to the realization that, while the Germans' worst enemies were often their own comrades-in-arms, wartime enemies might also become life-long friends.".

"This book will be of great value to scholars and historians, as well as all readers with an interest in World War II. Those with an interest in Florida history will also find much to admire in this account of a barely known wartime episode."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Captives held by Americans attracted scholarly notice in the 1970s with an outburst of editorial stress on internment of Japanese Americans. German captives received less attention. Judith Gansberg and Arnold Krammer set high standards for general treatment of German POWs in the US; Allen V. Koop, John Hammond Moore, and Allen Kent Powell produced intriguing analyses of experience in specific localities. So has Billinger, who applies professional archival, oral-history, and regional-history methodology and compelling narration to the situation of 10,000 POWs in Florida. First came crewmen of destroyed U-boats, then thousands of Afrika Korps veterans who swamped the system in 1943. Pro-Nazi, arrogant, and tough, they defied US authorities, terrorized anti-Nazi inmates, and rioted, even in the special compound for anti-Nazis at Camp Blanding. There were escape attempts but none succeeded; one ended in a suicide that still excites suspicion. Inmates worked on farms and met local, mostly friendly people. Later recollections made this seem a positive contribution to international understanding. But at the time, alleged "coddling" of Nazis at McDill Field and a program of "re-education" considered too mild by a Florida congressman brought unwanted publicity. After the war's end, thousands of POWs were turned over to France for reconstruction labor before repatriation. All levels. G. H. Davis; Georgia State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Robert D. Billinger, Jr. is Ruth Davis Horton Professor of History at Wingate University in North Carolina.

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