Mine Enemy: The Story of German POWs in America
Airs Sunday, July 6 at 6 p.m. When captured German soldiers showed up to work the Camlin family farm in South Carolina, World War II entered the family's life in a direct and intimate way. Suddenly the enemy was there on the farm, planting tobacco, building fences, and even sitting down for meals at the kitchen table. Some 400,000 captured German soldiers were shipped across the ocean to the U.S. during the war. The POWS went to work on farms and in factories. And in small towns across America, two warring cultures came in close contact. This hour-long special tells the story of a remarkable and under-explored episode in history, through archival sound and through the voices of those who lived it. Residents of Florence, South Carolina share vivid recollections of the Germans' time there. We learn about Camp Hearne, Texas, one of the nation's first and largest German POW camps, where culture bloomed until ardent Nazi factions seized control. And we travel to Germany to hear former German POWs, men in their 80s and 90s, describe the repercussions of their unexpected stays in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky and Mississippi.