Sunday, October 3, 2010
You will now find us at http://www.genevapow.com/. There are a number of new posts I think you will find interesting. Just click from right here and see the latest posts.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thanks to all who have been loyal readers. I hope to continue to provide useful information about his topic beginning in mid-August.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Horst Freyhofer has been retracing some of his father's footsteps during WWII, and that project led him to the Aliceville Museum on March 11. Christian Freyhofer was a German POW at Camp Aliceville. He had been drafted to fight for Germany in Russia in 1940. Later he was taken prisoner by the British in North Africa. After recovering from serious injuries, he was shipped to the US and spent time in POW camps in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
Freyhofer's children remember him telling stories of how hot is was and how he worked hard "in the swamps." He said he was treated well and even respected by American soldiers and some civilians he encountered, at least until after the German surrender in 1945.
During Christian Freyhofer's time in Camp Aliceville, he was able to pursue his love of acting, and he performed in plays the POWs put on, including Heinrich von Kleist's Der Zerbrochene Krug (shown in photo at upper right). Later, Freyhofer was sent to Camp Gordon Johnston in Lanark, Florida, which was a training camp for American amphibian soldeirs as well as a POW camp location. (NOTE: Hermann Blumhardt also spent time in this camp.)
"It is astounding how much freedom and opportunities POWs had expressing themselves...," said Christian's son Horst in an April 9 thank you letter to the Aliceville Museum. Horst and his brother Udo left Germany for the US to pursue opportunities in "the new world." They were both inspired by their father who told them about the decent treatment and material comfort he experienced at Camp Aliceville. "Descriptions of the food he ate made our mouths water," wrote Horst. "Emaciated kids, that we were, we could only marvel at his descriptions of things we had never heard about, such as pineapples, avocados or shrimp. No wonder we eventually came over here to see for ourselves."
NOTE: The above information is based on an article in the May 2010 issue of Museum News.
The Aliceville Museum, like many other wonderful historical locations, is experiencing difficult times during the current economic challenges. If you are interested in helping preserve WWII history, which the Aliceville Museum is doing so effectively, please consider becoming a museum member. An individual membership is only $25. You can also become a sponsor for a contribution of $100 or more. Contact the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to monetary support, the Aliceville Museum always welcomes donations of artifacts. Here are some of the things currently on their wish list:
A LASER PRINTER
KOREAN CONFLICT UNIFORMS AND ARTIFACTS
HISTORIC PHOTOS OF ALICEVILLE
A PHOTO OF 1946 ALICEVILLE COTTOM MILL EMPLOYEES
Saturday, April 24, 2010
For additional information about Arthur J. Klippen, please see the blog entry for December 15, 2009.
The museum has received another painting recently--a portrait of Elsie Milhelic Ruzic who worked as a civilian employee of the US Corps of Engineers while her husband served in the US Navy in the Pacific. This portrait was donated by the subject's daughter, Susan Ruzic Newshelier.
Both of these paintings were created by German POWs held in Camp Aliceville during WWII. They are on display at the Aliceville Museum in Aliceville, AL http://www.cityofaliceville.com/
Friday, April 23, 2010
The name was familiar, but I didn't remember anything else. The woman who called explained that she had gone to Judson College with Miss Day and wondered what had become of her.
When I checked my notes, I knew why I remembered the name. Those of you who have read Guests will remember Mary Lu Keef, the little girl whose father brought the family from New York state when he took a job at Camp Aliceville during the war. Pickens County, Alabama was a strange new world for Mary Lu, who attended Aliceville Elementary School while both of her parents worked at the POW camp. In interviews, she often referred to her third grade teacher as an encouragement and inspiration to her when she came to Aliceville. Turns out that teacher was none other than Miss Day. Mary Lu thought so much of Miss Day that she sought her out for a visit when she returned to Aliceville for one of the POW camp reunions after she grew up.
I sent an e-mail to Mary Bess Paluzzi, director of the Aliceville Museum, to see if she knew the whereabouts of Miss Day, who would also be 98 years old now. Mary Bess remembered her well and noted that she had been the organist for the Aliceville First Baptist Church for fifty years. Her nephew had moved her to a nursing home in Brewton in 2003, and she passed away there in 2008.
I called the woman back and told her what I had been able to find out. Although she was sad to hear that her college friend had passed away, she was pleased to know of the many memories others had of her.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
If you have not yet explored the Aliceville Museum http://cityofaliceville.com/MuseumMain.htm, it is well worth the trip to Pickens County, Alabama. Many artifacts from Camp Aliceville are there, along with correspondence from former POWs and former MPEG guards, and items pertaining to other aspects of World War II.
I'd also like to notify my readers today that my first book, North Across the River, is officially sold out. I am extremely grateful to all those who took an interest in this little known tale of the Civil War. This blog will continue to post new information about Roswell and Sweetwater Creek when it becomes available, so please continue to share.