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By: Raymond Powell

If you are a faithful reader of this column you will know that one of the main objectives is to keep alive the history and culture of DeSoto Parish. Today's article is devoted primarily to a historical fact that will be new to some - World War II German Concentration Camps in Mansfield!

After reading, "Killing the Rising Sun" by Bill O'Riely and Dugard, it is evident why there were so few Japanese War prisoners in the United States. Further evidence of this was experienced by this writer as he, along with 5000 other college kids, were taken from colleges over the Eighth Service Command (La., Tex., Okla., and Ark.) and given basic training in a Japanese Concentration Camp built near Paris, Texas but it was never used for Japanese prisoners. the wooden buildings had electricity, heat by coal stoves, and outdoor privies. The recruits ate from metal mess kits that were washed by dipping into 3 garbage cans, heated with outdoor burning coal. So much for the lack of Japanese prisoners in the U.S.

 

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