The Source: Texas' World War II Internment Camp And The Role Of 'Deutsche Ballspiel'

Mar 13, 2017

Many people know that during World War II, the United States created a system of internment camps for resident aliens from Japan as well as American citizens of Japanese descent. 

What’s not generally known is that some Germans and Italians were targeted as well. They, too, were put into camps. Some of them were deported.

Eberhard "Eb" Fuhr came to the United States with his parents when he was 3-years-old and was still a nationalized German. Fuhr describes his childhood as idyllic, but a dark shadow was cast when, in March of 1943, 17-year-old Fuhr was arrested. 

He was just six weeks shy of graduating but instead of donning a cap and gown, Fuhr was charged with being an enemy alien for the German government and put in detention. 

Fuhr would spend the next four and half years in government custody, most of it at an internment camp in Crystal City, Texas - the site of the largest German internment camp in the nation.

A “baseball craze” had evolved in German Texas communities by the 20th century, and was an important part of rural German farming communities. While interned at Crystal City, many internees - including Eb Fuhr - played on a German baseball team within the camp.


*Audio for this show will be available by 3:30 p.m.