Seeks information in German POWs in Georgia during World War II
“Grateful for it for the rest of my life,” said Radbert Kohlhaas, with a smile. He was a former German Army prisoner of war (POW) at Camp Gordon, Georgia.
POWs in Georgia? How could a POW be grateful for being captured and brought to Georgia? During World War II, many Georgians witnessed the enemy in their backyards. German and Italian prisoners captured in far off battlefields were sent to POW camps in the United States.
With the end of the war in 1945, Georgia had five base (larger) camps and about 40 branch (smaller satellites) camps. The base camps were located at: Camp Gordon (Augusta); Camp Wheeler (Macon); Camp Stewart (Savannah); Camp Benning (Columbus); and Camp Oglethorpe (Oglethorpe). Georgia’s branch camps extended to many areas of Georgia and to South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida.There was even a POW work detail of 40 German soldiers at Augusta National Golf Course (home of the Masters) who changed the golf course from a temporary cow pasture to the splendid golf course we know today.
The over 12,000 German and Italian POWs in our state during World War II is an unfamiliar story to many Georgians and, in fact, to most Americans. No book has been written about this Georgia story … until now. Two retired Department of the Army historians are working to save and publish Georgia’s World War II story. If you have any photographs, letters, newspaper articles, notes, interviews, and memos on World War II POWs in Georgia. please contact Dr. Kathryn Coker at firstname.lastname@example.org
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