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During WWII nearly half a million German POWs were sent to prison camps across America. Help save their incredible stories! Read more

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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on March 7, 2014.

During WWII nearly half a million German POWs were sent to prison camps across America. Help save their incredible stories!

About this project

Thousands of German POWs are transported on an American ship to prison camps in the United States.
Thousands of German POWs are transported on an American ship to prison camps in the United States.

The Story

With each passing day the lessons of World War II are slowly forgotten. In fact, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 850 WWII veterans die every day. The Greatest Generation is disappearing fast and important life lessons with them.

We’ve all heard about the heroics and horrors of the Battle of the Bulge, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, and the Holocaust, but there’s one monumental story you probably haven’t heard—a story nearly forgotten that took place right here on the American home front.

Splinters of a Nation is the first feature documentary to explore the captivity of nearly half a million German prisoners of war in America during WWII. For more than three years they worked side-by-side with millions of Americans on farms and factories across the country.

This powerful collision of two cultures on the home front created some extraordinary tales. There were heroes, villains, murders, escapes, as well as amazing acts of humanity and inspiring friendships, cast against the bitter backdrop of the war.

Pictures of Kurt and Paul. At only 17 years old they were captured at Normandy and imprisoned together in northern Utah, they have remained friends for almost 70 years.
Pictures of Kurt and Paul. At only 17 years old they were captured at Normandy and imprisoned together in northern Utah, they have remained friends for almost 70 years.

We need your help!

Recently we completed interviews with several living German POWs while filming in locations across Germany. Their description of POW life in America is incredible, but it’s only half the story.

Now we need to interview those they interacted with—the American farmers, guards and others from the Greatest Generation. We’ve located many of these individuals, and continue to find more every day, and they’re excited to tell their story. But these men and women are well into their late 80s and 90s, and time is running out.

Documentary filmmaking is expensive, but through the kindness of several generous donors over the past two years we’ve been able to raise some of the needed funds. But it has been a slow process and it’s not enough.

Please, donate to Splinters of a Nation and help bring to light an inspiring and almost forgotten chapter in one of the world’s most dramatic conflicts. 

German POWs play soccer at an American prison camp.
German POWs play soccer at an American prison camp.

We’ve already made a lot of progress!

As mentioned previously we’ve completed interviews with several living Germany POWs. In addition, we’ve organized a team of international scholars to provide historical guidance, several of whom have already been interviewed:

  • Allan Kent Powell - Author of the book by the same title
  • Arnold Krammer – Author, Nazi Prisoners of War in America
  • Ruediger Overmans – Historian, Freiburg, Germany
  • Ephraim D. Dickson, III – Consultant, National Museum of the U.S. Army
  • Thomas G. Alexander – Professor Emeritus, Brigham Young University
  • Richard W. Sadler – Professor, Weber State University

Also we’re partnering with a public television affiliate to bring this story to mass audiences next year, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII.

A map of the more than 500 German POW base camps in the United States during WWII.
A map of the more than 500 German POW base camps in the United States during WWII.

How you can help!

Please consider sharing the Splinters of a Nation Kickstarter project link below with your friends and family!

kck.st/1eyYpoQ

After filming documents for the film, Scott Porter (Producer) and Stephan Kuehmayer (Researcher, WASt) talk as they walk through the isles of more than 2.1 million WWII German POW records in Berlin.
After filming documents for the film, Scott Porter (Producer) and Stephan Kuehmayer (Researcher, WASt) talk as they walk through the isles of more than 2.1 million WWII German POW records in Berlin.

Risks and challenges

GETTING TO OUR SOURCES: Perhaps the biggest challenge we face is getting to our subjects before they pass away. However, we feel confident that if we can receive the needed funds we'll be able to reach these individuals in the next few months before it's too late.

FINISHING THE FILM: Will we finish the film? Absolutely! We've already filmed some incredible interviews, with your help, we will finish them up. Through our partnership with a public television affiliate most of the post-production costs have been donated already and several other charitable organizations have expressed interest in donating in the near future. We're well on our way!

REACHING AN AUDIENCE: Many Kickstarter films never reach large audiences. We're working with a public television affiliate to bring the film to mass audiences! Your support will help many people beyond Kickstarter see the film!

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FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $5 reward

    24 backers

    THANKS - We'll give you a digital thank you on our website!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    18 backers

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD - You'll be the first to get your own downloadable copy of the film when it's released! + Plus the above benefit!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    18 backers

    DVD COPY OF THE FILM - Your very own autographed DVD copy of the film! + Your name in the film's credit roll! + A huge thank you on our Facebook page! + All of the benefits above!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $75 reward

    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    EARLY BIRD REWARD: Snatch up the $100 reward level for only $75! ---- A beautiful 8x10 archival print of German POWs in America! + A handwritten note on the back just for you! + All of the benefits above!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    7 backers

    PERSONALIZED FILM PRINT - A beautiful 8x10 archival photograph of German POWs in America! + A handwritten note on the back just for you! + All of the benefits above!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    3 backers

    FILM PHOTO BOOK - Your very own custom photo book, including 20 pages of archival images with descriptions, and a look behind the scenes! The ultimate keepsake for your incredible commitment to the film! + All of the benefits above!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    2 backers

    SIGNED BOOK - An autographed copy of "Nazi Prisoners of War in America" by Arnold Krammer--leading scholar on the subject and member of the film's Advisory Council! + All of the benefits above!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $750 reward

    1 backer

    PREMIERE TICKETS - 2 VIP tickets to the Salt Lake City premiere of the film! + All of the benefits above! (Travel and accommodations not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $1,500 reward

    1 backer

    PREMIERE TICKETS & BE AN EXTRA! - 2 additional VIP tickets to the Salt Lake City premiere of the film! + You and a friend can be an extra in one of our cinematic recreations! + All of the benefits above! (Travel and accommodations not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $5,000 reward

    0 backers

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER! - In addition to the digital download, autographed DVD, personalized film print, photo book, Arnold Krammer autographed book, premiere tickets, and the opportunity for you and a friend to be an extra in one of our recreations, you'll get a prominent credit in the film as an Associate Producer! (Travel and accommodations not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (35 days)