I had no idea this had gone on.



By Jan Jarboe Russell

Published in 2015 by Scribner.

Train to Crystal City

Reviewed by Ron Hunka.

The regrettable history of the WWII Crystal City Internment Camp in South Texas has been addressed before in commendable books such as Nazis and Good Neighbors by Max Paul Friedman, but not to the degree of compassionate, richly- researched detail that Ms. Jarboe Russell has produced here. At times, this book is so intriguing that it reads more like a novel than a history.

The book largely follows the real-life stories of two young girls in different families, one Japanese, Sumi Utsushigawa, and the other German, Ingrid Eiserloh. After Pearl Harbor, the fathers of both families were arrested on shallow pretexts and jailed for indeterminate sentences. (In the case of the Eiserloh family, their American next door neighbors sold them out by providing false and misleading information to the FBI.)


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