Degree Level


First Advisor

Sullivan, Michael

Second Advisor

Langston, Camille



LCSH subject

World War, 1939-1945; Internment camps -- United States; World War, 1939-1945 -- International relations; Peru


The United States established internment camps during World War II, detaining families from Latin American Countries for national security, with a focus on German, Italian, and Japanese ethnicities (Roosevelt 1941). However, German ethnicity families living in Latin America who were taken to internment camps in Crystal City, Texas, are less visible in history, Jane Jarboe Russell’s book “The Train to Crystal City” made some of the internees’ stories more visible. I will contend that the principal reason for Peru’s collaboration in the U.S-Latin American Internment Program was to obtain economic, political and social benefits from the United States which would enhance the country’s stability rather than for a national threat to the continent. To demonstrate these, I will employ an approach of quantitative and qualitative data including historical analysis, oral interviews, and document reviews. The result of this paper is that Peru needed the U.S. influence and money for the country to obtain their stability. Furthermore, uncovers that a total of 16 individuals of German-Peruvian ethnicity families who lived in Crystal City Internment Camp during World War II, creating a more inclusive historical story which is now being ignored. Their stories reveal the internment reality and uncover the U.S.-Peruvians discriminatory removal with national security reasons. Finally, this study contributes valuable insights into the complexities of the International Interment Program during World War II. By uncovering this part of Peru’s silent history from the experiences of German-Peruvian interns, I will fill a gap in World War II history inclusivity and neglect for so many years.

Publication Date

Spring 2024

Document Type