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Nazi group held camp in Windham in 1937

Aug 23, 2014 12:05 am

Slate Magazine first reported, and The Watershed Post followed up, that in July the National Archives released video of a Nazi summer camp in Windham in 1937. Audrey Amidon writes on the National Archives website, "In 'Volks-Deutsche Jungen' in U.S.A. ('German Youth in the U.S.A.') you’ll see what first appears to be an unremarkable story of a boys’ summer camp. The film starts with the camp under construction and excited children piling onto chartered buses to make the journey from New York City to Windham, New York in the summer of 1937. The boys pitch tents, unload crates of baked beans, and perform physical fitness drills. If you pay close attention, you might notice that some of the boys are wearing shorts bearing the single lightning bolt insignia that marked the younger contingent of the Hitler Youth, but it’s not until the “Flaggenappell” (flag roll call) at 13:47 that the affiliation becomes clear." Patricia Morrow, Windham's town historian, guessed in The Watershed Post that maybe someone in Windham rented land without asking too many questions. "Many resorts and boarding houses in this area openly stated 'No Hebrews Taken' in their ads," Morrow wrote to The Watershed Post. "When forced to remove that phrase they switched to 'Churches Nearby' in an attempt to convey the same message in a less offensive manner." Morrow though that the elevation shown in the video suggests the camp could have been held between North Settlement and Mitchell Hollow, off County Route 10. The Windham Historical Society's Facebook page suggests, "The wagon path at 0:52 reminds me of this postcard of the road to Mt. Pisgah. At 6:42 it looks like the buses are coming up Palenville Mountain (Route 23A). Die Sportwiese (the sport meadow) at 7:57 appears to be a view of the Durham valley," and the Windham Historical Society's Facebook page is accepting comments from anyone who recognizes other scenes.

[caption id="" align="alignncenter" width="484"] From the National Archives.[/caption]
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