Between the high school football stadium and an industrial park rests a stone chimney surrounded by weeds. 59 years ago, during World War II, the chimney belonged to an enlisted men’s club in a camp for German prisoners of war.
At the height of America’s involvement in the war, the camp held more than 6,000 prisoners. It employed more than 1,000 guards and civilians.
The story of the Aliceville Prisoner of War Camp goes back to when Allied forces defeated the German AfricaKorps in 1943. There were too many prisoners to be confined in Great Britain. As a result, German prisoners were shipped to the United States and dispersed to camps. Twenty-five such camps were built in Alabama, with the largest being the one in Aliceville. Civilians, some of which were Aliceville residents worked in the quartermaster’s shop, the camp hospital and the mess halls.