You have probably heard of Manzanar and how the Japanese and the Japanese-Americans were rounded up following the attack on Pearl Harbor, but you have probably never heard of the internment camp at Crystal City, Texas. At Crystal City, Texas, Japanese and German “enemy aliens” where were sent with their families to be traded for Americans in Germany and Japan.
What makes this unusual piece of history even more unusual is
that the German and Japanese families were composed almost exclusively of
American-born children. Yes, the United
States of America, under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, traded American-born German-Americans and Japanese-Americans for Americans who were trapped in
Germany and Japan when World War II began.
In her fascinating book, The Train to Crystal City, Jan Jarboe
Russell has done an amazing job of researching and presenting this amazing and
obscure piece of American history.
After I began reading this book, I put down everything else I was
reading in my spare time and read this book cover to cover. It was just that good!
The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Internment Camp During World War II is published by Scribner, A Division of Simon & Schuster. The Train to Crystal City is available everywhere including Amazon.