POW - Suggestions to Find Answer - Terry Helsley
Subject: POW - Suggestions to Find Answer
From: Terry Helsley
Date: February 15, 1999

I have just talked with Dr. Fritz Hamer at the SC State Museum. Dr.
Hamer published a paper on German POWs which was published in The 
Proceedings of The South Carolina Historical Association, 1994.   

Hamer interviewed Wolfgang (Peter) Repp in 1991. Mr. Repp, known as
Wolgang Peter before the war, was held at Fort Gordon (Augusta GA) and
at the Aiken sub-camp. Repp is someone you should call if he is still

Repp told of many drinking guards.  On more than one instance, the guard
would slip into the woods with his bottle while the German detail
worked.  At the end of the workday, Repp and other prisoners had to go
find their guard before returning to camp. This confirms the many
on this forum concerning the POWs lack of a desire to escape.

Hamer believes that prisoners who died in the Aiken sub-camp, at least
earlier in the war, were buried at Fort Gordon GA.  Ft Gordon is/was
just across the South Carolina/Georgia border from Aiken.  

The largest active historical society in the area is probably the one in
Augusta Georgia. If the site - http://scroots.org/archive.html - is
working for you, you may find help from that list in Aiken or nearby.
A call to the North Augusta Mayor's office or town Chamber of Commerce 
may put you on the trail of your genealogist.  Don't forget 
www.usgenweb.com which has a link to almost every county in the
US.  Augusta/Fort Gordon's county in GA is Richmond.  Aiken/North
Augusta are in Aiken County SC.

Dr. Hamer says that the records of the German POWs are among the Provost
General papers at the National Archives.  He says that the records for
SC camps are skimpy but the GA records are better.  Hamer also kindly
offers his e:mail address because of his interest in the topic.  It is
[email protected].

If your Mr. Lewis died over 50 years ago in South Carolina, his death
record could be at the SC Archives.  If not, and you are a close
relative (which I assume) then you could probably obtain the record from
the Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC), part of SC
state government.

Dr. Hamer also cited a Masters Thesis from the University of South
Carolina by Judy Wyatt, "US Policy Toward German Prisoners of War and
its Application in South Carolina," 1985.  This thesis can be found
at the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina.

Good luck

Terry Helsley

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