German War Brides Bibliography


Query From Theresa Kaminski tkaminsk@uwsp.edu 09 Feb 1998

One of my undergraduate students wants to write a paper on German war brides from World War II. I have done some preliminary checking on secondary sources because I couldn't think of anything off-hand. I know Jenel Virden's book on British war brides and there has been some work on Japanese war brides. Does anyone know anything about American soldiers returning to the United States with German wives? Thanks.

Responses:

Shukert, Elfrieda Berthiaume and Barbara Smith Scibetta _War Brides of World War II_(, Novato, CA: Presidio Press; 1988 and Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1989).

From Kriste Lindenmeyer klindenmeyer@tntech.edu 11 Feb 1998

This is a very neglected area of American history. I've had two students who did interviews with German war brides to fulfill an oral history assignment in my U.S. Women's History class. I'm sure that each would be happy to share this information.

Both brides moved to rural Tennessee. The following is an excerpt from Tim Daughtery's paper. "Trudy" said that she fell in love with a handsome American soldier--in uniform. She could hardly believe that the man who came to pick her up at the train station in Knoxville, Tennessee was the same guy she had married.

           "Trudy was shocked to see how his appearance
            had changed. He was wearing clothes that were
            more suited for a person in poverty, not the
            neat soldier she had remembered four months
            before. His pants were brown, faded and too short.
            His shirt was faded, green, and his sport coat was
            a worm mustard color that had seen better days
            years ago... . They departed for Sweetwater [TN]
            in Jim's cousin's old cramped pick-up truck. It
            was hot, and the Tennessee heat bothered her. She
            asked Jim if they could stop at a Hostel to get a
            cold beer. To her surprise he jabbed at her in the
            ribs and stated that women do not drink beer in
            Tennessee. Trudy was completely taken aback by his
            change in attitude. What else could go wrong? Her
            worst fears were realized when they pulled up to
            the home Jim had prepared for them. Trudy said...
            'I stood there appalled at what I was seeing. It
            was an unpainted wooden shack that sat on stones
            which supported the structure's four corners. There
            was not any running water or a bathroom. The water
            had to be drawn from an open well, and the bathroom
            was an outhouse. Our kitchen was a lean-to built
            onto the side of the house. The floors were rough
            wood slabs with cracks large enough to see the
            ground underneath the house. Cardboard lined the
            walls to keep out the wind. I thought in all of
            war-torn Germany we may have lived in bombed
            out buildings out of necessity, but never would
            we have chosen to live in such a pig sty. To make
            matters worse, Jim was paying half of his $97.60
            G.I. Bill money for some dairy cows he had
            purchased. We were living in complete poverty.'

Tim Daughtery, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville,TN. >From his paper completed for History 437, April 15, 1997, >"Gender Roles - They Are Always Shifting."

From Carole Adams cadams@mail.ucf.edu 11 Feb 1998

A graduate student of mine wrote an excellent article on the process of becoming a war bride (i.e. soldiers and german women while still in Germany), in the context of "Zero Hour." Sorry for the incomplete citation:

Hsu-Ming Teo, title uncertain, _Women's History Review_(From UK) 1996 or 1997 issue

Other Responses:

Owings, Alison _Frauen_

Suggest...find statistics on war brides and fiancees in the Annual Report of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1950, Tables 9A and 9B.