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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Werewolf Nazi's in America During WWII~ POWs Housed~ "German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass: Housing German Prisoners of War in Kentucky, 1942-1946"

German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass: Housing German Prisoners of War in Kentucky, 1942-1946
Diversion Press, distributed by Ingram
Pages: 228, incl. pictures

"German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass..." presents a case of American humanitarianism, adherence to international law, southern hospitality, and friendship and mutual respect between "enemies" in a brutal and bitter war. This academic work provides the first book length look at the housing of German prisoners of war in Kentucky during World War II. This book tackles the mysterious murals painted by prisoners at Camp Breckinridge, the Afrika Korps symbols left on chimneys at Fort Knox, and the issues of Nazi versus anti-Nazi at Camp Campbell. The impact of the "forced" German POWs on Kentucky's wartime economy cannot be underestimated. This important work tells Kentucky's story of housing, working, and entertaining over 10,000 German prisoners during the Second World War. German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass shows how the U.S. POW program uniquely affected an individual state with end results that had local, national, and international implications.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in World War II, the U.S. home front, Kentucky history, German history, or prisoner of war treatment.


Dr. Antonio Thompson is a native Kentuckian who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in History in 2006.  He began studying German POWs held in the US during WWII in 1998 while working on his Master's Degree at Western Kentucky University. 

From the Author:

Just a quick background that might help.  I am professor of history at Austin
Peay State University, I finished my Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky.  I
work on U.S. and German history, mostly World War II era, but my teaching and
research areas are a bit broader.

I just returned from a one year teaching assignment at the United States
Military Academy at West Point.  My second book, "Men in German Uniform," was
published in the fall.  I have a third book under contract.  I am married, with
three children.  I enjoy teaching and research.


Antonio Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Austin Peay State University


"German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass:..." was a complete revelation to me. I had no idea that the United States brought Nazi POWs to our country, housed them, fed them, taught them and used them for labor during the 2nd World War. In the 1960's, as an Army Brat, I lived and went to high school at Ft. Knox. According to this book, I was at school within a few hundred yards of a POW barracks, and yet, we were never taught, informed or led to the site for studies. I find that an astounding and appalling lack of teaching and a serious gap in American History!

Professor Thompson's comprehensive book of the years that German POWs were brought to the several US States, including KY, is fascinating. Rather than the dry and sometimes boring history books of so many other writers, his book is infinitly readable and draws one in as a novel would. I was captivated from the Preface forward.

With a concentrated and well-documented hand, Dr. Thompson leads us from start to finish through the story of how Nazi priosoners of war were transported on supply ships from Germany to the US, to their release and being shipped home at the end of WWII...apparently better for their having spent the time in the US than they would have been as soldiers for their Homeland. 

It was startling to find that Nazis replaced our men as laborers at farms, industrial plants and other home shops where needed, to continue the economic balance of the US during the war time. I had no idea! Not only were they paid for their labor and "non-labor" according to the Geneva Convention, but they were given a "better" protein (meat) diet than the American population who were rationed, until it was discovered and a hew and cry went up.

American families, ever the welcoming and forgiving Christian nation that we are, made of immigrant stock and stem, were kindly and caring of the Nazi workers. These US families were warned and reprimanded with threats of taking their priviledges of hiring German laborers away, against giving them treats and special favors. I found this a most profound issue, specifically since these very men and their nation were the ones killing our own boys overseas at the same time. Where opportunity presented itself, some even aided the Germans in escape plans and married them.

Dr. Thompson is an author of immense talent. He has the quality of a writer of fiction while producing a work of non-fiction so absorbing that it is nearly impossible to put down. It never feels heavy or like reading the proverbial academic history book. He writes as if one were reading a secret document discovered from the desk of a Commanding Officer "for your eyes only." I loved this book!

I most heartedly recommend "German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass: Housing German Prisoners of War in Kentucky, 1942-1946" to both women and men. And, I especially recommend it to teachers of American History for themselves and their students. It's a national shame that we weren't apprised of this information.

Finally, I want to share with you that Nazi POWs were also housed and labored in other States such as: Oklahoma, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennesse, Mississippi, Arizona, and Louisiana...not just in Kentucky. 

Further and frighteningly enough, a large group of rabid Nazis maintained a sect calling themselves the "Werewolves." This group infiltrated the more compliant anti-Nazi contingency, who were the main laborers, and became life-threatening to them, both murdering and torturing them. The Werewolves were also intrepid laborers in our communities with little supervision from military guards. Horrifying by any standards...

This book is available at Amazon and other book retailers, as well as through Diversion Press at:  http://www.diversionpress.com/

Your Bookish Dame/Deborah


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