I Couldn’t Make It Up – Unusual Situations of World War Two

Drue Tartiere was an American actress living in Paris during the German Occupation in World War Two. Germany declared war on the United States on 11 December 1941 and the Americans responded by declaring war on Germany. Some months afterwards, Americans still living in Paris, and there were many, were rounded up by the Germans and placed in an internment camp. Under international law at that time, as well as now, countries are allowed to intern enemy aliens on their territory but they all must be treated in a civilized way as mandated by the Geneva Conventions then in effect. (There were two at that time later combined and rewritten into one Geneva Convention in 1949.)

After she and other Americans had reached the internment camp, a Gestapo officer was searching Ms. Tartiere’s suitcase. She recorded the following conversation in her diary.

“There’s nothing in there that would interest you. Why bother?”

He looked up at me and smiled. “Gee, why the hell didn’t you go home?” he asked.

“How do you happen to speak English like that?” I asked.

“I worked in a sugar factory in Yonkers until the war started,” he said. “Do you know Yonkers?”

As cited in Americans In Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation.

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

Leave a Reply