November 16, 2002 

Zavala County Sentinel
Dear Editor,

With 150 German and Japanese Peruvian internee families, we attended Crystal City's first multiethnic National Reunion of World War II Internment Camp Families, aptly entitled "...And Justice for All."  Words cannot begin to describe the experience. 

For many German American and Latin American "children of the camps," this was the first return to their childhood internment camp home. They returned with mixed feelings because many recalled happy times in the camp with family and friends.  As children, some thought the barbed wire fenced others out, when, in fact, they were imprisoned.  Over time, however, these children fully comprehended the destructive effect of internment on their parents. Many internees, feeling stigmatized and traumatized, never spoke of their internment.  For all, the return to the camp was cathartic and healing.   

This was only possible because of the tremendous regional warmth, hospitality and support, which all felt constantly.  All internee families were so touched by their honorary Grand Marshall status and by the fabulous community welcome they received in the Spinach Festival Parade.   

On behalf of the approximately 80 German internee families with whom it was our privilege to attend this pilgrimage, we wish to thank--profusely--Richard G. Santos and the Zavala County Historical Commission and all those that made the event possible from Uvalde to La Pryor, Crystal City to Eagle Pass.  Looking ahead, may the spirit of this reunion weekend encourage the creation of a national park at the Crystal City Internment Camp and acknowledgment of the internment of 11,000 persons of German ancestry during World War II through federal legislation.  Most importantly, may this spirit strengthen our nation's determination to uphold our Constitutional freedoms in this time of turmoil.   

Muchos gracias to you all!
Karen Ebel, New London, NH and Eberhard Fuhr, Palatine, Illinois