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My grandfather's brother was a German soldier captured in North Africa and ultimately sent to the United States. I found a list of names of POWs held at Camp Upton and my grandfather's brother was in that list. It appears that many of the POWs were previously held at Fort Dupont.

Does anyone know where I can find more records on POWs held at either of these camps? It was great being able to find out where he was located but I would prefer some primary sources to be able to verify what I found.

3 Answers 3

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The Delaware Military History organization may have some useful material, including pictures and camp activity reports and newsletters.

The National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) has basic records of German POW's held in the US. When the soldier was repatriated, their personnel record was given to the country for which they fought. Within that record might be what you're seeking.

As GenTracer notes:

[T]he roster lists remaining [in the United States] only show name and POW number.

I suggest that you write to his local military tribunal office (for his town of birth) to acquire his complete military record (with a gap from his capture to his repatriation). For each of the above, you'll need to send a letter of authorization along with a copy of your ID to show relationship.

To obtain personnel files for former German POWs, please write to: Deutsche Dienstelle (WASt)
Postfach 51 06 57
D-13400 Berlin
Germany

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  • In most cases, WASt can only tell the start and end date of captivity, maybe also the name of the first and last camp. They certainly don't have the full record for soldiers who were American POWs.
    – lejonet
    Sep 2, 2016 at 5:43
  • @lejonet: do you mean Americans who were POWs, or the German soldiers who were in camps in the United States?
    – Giorgio
    Sep 2, 2016 at 17:05
  • The German soldiers.
    – lejonet
    Sep 3, 2016 at 6:38
  • @lejonet; good to know; records here state that 'personnel files' were sent to Germany. Perhaps you could post an answer, describe what is is in the German records, as well as any recommendation on where to look for the file that went with the soldier as he returned home.
    – Giorgio
    Sep 3, 2016 at 13:10
  • unfortunately I have no idea what might have happened to them
    – lejonet
    Sep 3, 2016 at 13:52
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I was a historian at Fort DuPont and still am involved in the research. We've never turned up a list of prisoners but I've corresponded with two. Would love to hear from you-share what I know- and learn about your ancestor.

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    – PolyGeo
    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:03
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    Hello Laura and welcome! Has any of your research about Fort DuPont been published? Links to finding aids and research guides about Fort Dupont are always welcome, even if the records described are not directly relevant to the particular question (that is, the records need not have content that identifies specific individuals) . You can edit your answer at any time by using the edit link directly under your answer. See the link to the help center in the main navigation bar at the top of the page.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 19, 2016 at 20:18
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We published a pictorial history of Fort duPont (Arcadia Publishing) but no detailed prisoner-specific history. I corresponded with an Egon Bethge up until his death. He was a German POW who saw himself in a photo in the book and managed to find me in USA. Our correspondence was a wonderful oral history experience as he answered a lot of my questions, described the camp, even drew a map. He confirmed that the majority of the prisoners were from the AfrikaCorps campaign, but he had been captured with a friend outside of Normandy with a buddy. The guys at the camp doubted his story, didn't trust him or his friend, and looked at them as losers compared to their own war experience. Egon still spent a couple of years imprisoned in England after the war and was very bitter about that. He was the oldest man ever to run the Berlin marathon as well, and was very proud of that! I treasure that correspondence from the man who first wrote me to say "I am the man on page X with the sun spectacles and the scoop turned backwards". He remembered those sunglasses!

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