The Horry County Museum and the AVX Foundation present a program by Fritz Hamer on Saturday, August 17th on World War II and the German POWs interned in South Carolina from 1943-1946.
By 1943 the Allies had begun to push the German Armies out of North Africa and Italy. In doing so they captured large numbers of German Prisoners of War. Great Britain could not handle them all so many were shipped to the United States starting in the summer of 1943. South Carolina became the home to nearly 10,000 German POWs by 1945 (in all more than 375,000 Germans were interned in the United States by 1945). Enlisted personnel were required to work for the nation that interned them so many were employed on farms, pulp wood operations and military bases in non-military related occupations. Their work was crucial to SC farmers and pulp wood producers because so much of their normal labor had left to join the armed forces or work in war industries. Florence and Myrtle Beach had satellite camps for prisoners that numbered between 250 and 500 each. This presentation will discuss what these camps were like and how the prisoners adapted to their life in America.
Fritz Hamer is the Curator of History/Archivist of the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia, SC. He received his education at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and the University of South Carolina. He has worked in the Museum field since the 1980s. He spent 25 years at the South Carolina State Museum as the Curator of History followed by a short time working at the South Caroliniana Library at USC before his present position. Over the years he has researched and helped develop many exhibitions and programs related to South Carolina and military history. Among several, he curated an exhibition on SC and the Home Front in World War II and another on the same topic for World War I. Not only is his interest in military subjects but he also did an exhibition on College football history in the Palmetto State. Among some of his publications he has co-edited a series of articles on SC in the Civil War and Reconstruction, published on the impact of the Charleston Navy Yard in World War II and published articles on South Carolina in the Great War. One of his favorite topics is the German prisoner of war experience in South Carolina during the Second World War for which he has published two articles.
The program will begin at 1 pm in the McCown Auditorium located at 805 Main Street, Conway SC. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 843-915-5320 or email email@example.com. To view a full list of programs, visit our website at www.horrycountymuseum.org.