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Video: “Camp of the Innocents”


“Camp of the Innocents” is a short documentary film on the U.S. internment of Latin American “enemy aliens” during World War II in New Orleans and across the US South. Fearful of fifth column activities, the U.S. had 6,600 “enemy aliens” of German, Italian, and Japanese descent arrested in Latin America and transported through the Port of New Orleans to internment camps in the U.S. for the war’s duration. Given often faulty evidence and false accusations, the majority of internees posed no threat to hemispheric security. Beginning in 1943, Camp Algiers, nicknamed “Camp of the Innocents,” became the refuge for Jewish internees arrested in Latin America as Nazi sympathizers. Today while New Orleans is home to the National World War II Museum, little appears in the historical record to shed light on the experiences and plight of the Jewish internees at Camp Algiers. Produced by three Tulane graduate students as part of an “Historical Documentary Filmmaking” course, “Camp of the Innocents” combines archival research and interviews to explore the contested memory of the U.S. Enemy Alien Control Program, as well as its local resonances in New Orleans.


This film was produced by Jack Collins, Joe Hiller, and Mira Kohl as part of the course “Historical Documentary Filmmaking” in the Department of History, Tulane University.



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