Author To Discuss Little-Known Internment of German Nationals During WWII

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Date: April 27, 2015
Contact: e-mail us, 510-232-5050 Ext. 6622

(Richmond, CA) – On Saturday, May 9th at 11 AM, the National Park Service will welcome author Heidi Gurcke Donald to speak about her new book, We Were Not the Enemy, at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.  

During World War II, the United States used tactics remarkably similar to those in use today against presumed terrorists. By 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt had covertly authorized J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret Intelligence Service to begin surveillance of Axis nationals in Latin America. Believing that “all German nationals without exception [are] dangerous,” the United States surreptitiously pressured Latin-American countries to arrest and deport more than four thousand civilians of German ethnicity to the United States. There, many languished in internment camps, while others were shipped to war-torn Germany. 

Heidi Donald is a native of Costa Rica who was deported to the United States with six family members and interned at Crystal City, Texas during World War II. We Were Not the Enemy, her memoir, is a personal look at the pain this indiscriminate civilian internment program inflicted on her family.

Space is limited and reservations are required for this program. Please call 510-232-5050 x0 and leave a message with your name and phone number, and specify the date of the program you would like to attend. 

The Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM and is located at 1414 Harbour Way South, suite 3000, Richmond, CA 94804. For more information and directions to the Visitor Education Center, please call (510) 232-5050 x0 or visit to Admission to the Visitor Center and all park sites and programs is free. 

If you would like to receive information about upcoming park events, visit and sign up for the email newsletter. The Rosie the Riveter Trust is the nonprofit association that is building a community of support for this national park


Last updated: May 5, 2015

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Richmond, CA 94804


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