The ' Fritz Ritz ' : Camp Hearne Essay examples
02 February 2016
The “Fritz Ritz”: Camp Hearne
Prisoner of War camps are a ghastly thing to think about. When mentioned, the horrors of Soviet and Nazi camps rush to mind, thoughtless massacres done by underlings for the “greater good”. Camp Hearne, however, is different. A Prisoner of War, or POW, camp now located in Hearne, Texas, Camp Hearne kept around 48,000 Nazi soldiers. The first shipment arrived in 1943 with prisoners from Hitler’s Afrika Korps. Camp Hearne is now a museum, and it puts on display how exceptionally gracious the captives’ conditions were. This camp, known for being good to its captives, holding almost exclusively German prisoners, and offering education opportunities to the prisoners, was nicknamed the Fritz Ritz.
The lives of Hearne captives were as luxurious as it got when considering average POW camp conditions. Rations given to the prisoners topped 2,000 calories a day. Most of these captured soldiers worked five days a week on farms, others working in shops. Higher-ranking officials, in accordance with the Geneva Convention, never worked at all. Those that did work received fair compensation for their labor. All the campers received coupons to buy things from the stores on the camp, including cigarettes, and even received a ticket for a beer a day. The campers were also educated. Classes taught at Hearne included English, accounting, and history, and certificates of achievement were given out to those who…