By Jim Miles
The U.S. entered World War II combat by invading North Africa in the fall of 1942. Hard fighting resulted in the collapse of the Afrika Corps and the surrender of half a million German soldiers. Of 700 POW camps constructed in this country, 466 went up in the South due to our mild climate. Georgia received 11,800 prisoners in forty internment camps, some at major facilities like Fort Benning near Columbus, but most were held in small camps in rural areas, where their labor replaced American workers called to service. The hardworking Germans were paid and took badly needed money back to Germany after the war.
The German General of Georgia
Of 860 prisoners who died, the highest ranking German buried in America is Lieutenant General Willibald Borowietz, killed in a vehicle accident on July 1, 1945. His headstone at Fort Benning, among 44 German graves there, notes that he earned the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, the German equivalent of the Medal of Honor. Each November German diplomats from Atlanta and German liaison officers conduct ceremonies on Volksstrauertag, the people’s day of mourning, their veterans day, as musicians play “Ich hatt einen Kameraden,” the good comrade.”
Jim Miles is the author of two Weird Georgia books, seven books about Georgia ghosts and eight books about the Civil War. To see all of his books go to the Jim Miles Author Page on Amazon. Order autographed books or contact Jim directly at email@example.com