German House on FM 485, Hearne, TX.

The following are some theories about a house we investigated on FM 485 in Hearne in 10-12-13. The family was having all manner of unrest there and were contemplating moving from there. It was thought that they were being bothered by the spirit of a man with some Nazi leanings. We were never able to figure out exactly what transpired there but the family did end up moving……..Address of the place is on fm 485 Hearne and it was built in 1950 and .4 miles away from the Camp Hearne POW camp, 7 minutes walking distance.

Guesses about the history-Courtesy of John Causey. Can’t find any evidence as to what is behind the story of “German man who kept Jewish Prisoners”.

BUT, the German POW’s worked throughout the area for Farmers and Ranchers making about a dime an hour in “Canteen Coupons”. They did farm labor work and construction. After the war they stayed to complete the harvest and most had become good friends with the farmer/ranchers and the community. According to history many returned at the end of the 40’s/beginning of the 50’s to America if they could and went to work for people that they had worked for as POW’s. There was Nazis in the camp (they murdered one of the POWs), they did work for locals as prisoners of war, some of the people they worked for were Jewish farmers. My guess is that a Jewish farmers had Nazis working for him. Then later a prior POW returned in 1949 or 1950 and built the house. It may have been something other than a house prior like a prison camp office being it was so close to the camp, which would have been built by German POWs, then purchased by a free German who returned to the States and made it into a house. This would explain the odd layout and surrounding yards walls. I did find that a previous owner was named Joyce J Ivie and is listed as 82 years old. Listed with her is David L Ivie (cant find his age). Ivie is Anglo-Saxon name. he may be a returning german and is the right age range. I figure he may have returned to people who told him they would put him to work and an old camp office building would be cheap to buy since the camp was closed down and no longer in use. In summary, I think a Jewish American Officer supervised two Nazis who built one of the camp offices. Then it was purchased by a free ex-POW who transformed it to a home.

Next, The why of why have it in Hearne was the wanted it in a small town and to be over a 150 miles from the coast. Why away from the coast? According to war docs the German Nazi Naval command dispatched 22 u-boats into the gulf of mexico, we only sank one of them. There were escapes, three floated down the Brazos until caught, one walked off to Franklin and was caught because he was marching along singing German songs, and others escaped to New Braunfels cause it sounded German and when he got there they beat him up and sent him back.

A link to my theory of the house being a shell bought and brought over from a half mile away, then converted to a home is the following part of a article and the picture comparison I sent with this, 2010 kiiitv channel 3 reported- When the war ended, the U.S. government sent the prisoners back to Germany, stripped down the compound and sold everything but the concrete slabs on which the barracks used to sit. Plus the command building of the camp was sold to the American Legion of Hearne. It had to have to been that the over 1,000 soldiers and their officers had to live in surrounding buildings and houses, and maybe even had an office for meeting with the public away from the camp for safety reasons. Hearne citizens asked the government to build the camp there so that they could have cheap labor to harvest their crops, being that their old low income labor went to war, but they found afterwards that POW’s can’t be made to work and only 20% did voluntary work for “Canteen Coupons”. I believe those many sets of doors in their living room was originally small clerk type of offices for processing prisoners and/or paperwork.

It was only around 2009 that anyone started fixing up the camp site which had gone completely back to nature, and this past week they had Live History event at the camp with a guard and a living ex-pow from the camp there to speak.

Was there a risk and need for separation of the command and the prisoners? Well, In 2005 PBS ran a story about Camp Hearne. According to declassified papers that Mr Waters (Prof Texas A&M) read the Nazis took over Camp and had control of the postal system throughout the US for the pow camps. They even had a secret underground Room that they had a shortwave transmitter in and held nazi trials of other prisoners. They(Nazi POW) killed over 150 other prisoners thru out the pow camps in the US (it says in another article), and some Think that the Nazi underground court in Hearne (Hearne was one of the biggest camps) was sending out the others To kill or force suicide of non-nazi Germans . the guy that was murdered at Camp Hearne told the amercians about a Hidden shortwave radio and that was why he was killed. The hearne Nazis controlled the US POW camp nationwide Postal system for a while and sent letters out instruction out to other camps.

Chapter V entitled “The Segregation Of Nazis From Anti-Nazis,” Krammer writes the following on pages 177 and 178: ” . . . Despite the War Department’s painstaking precautions to protect its anti-Nazi prisoners, it was not impossible for groups of determined Nazis to penetrate the screen. For example, the PMGO purposely created anti-Nazi camps near enough to regular camps so that their mailing address would not attract undue attention and, perhaps, reprisals against their families in Germany. In this case, however, a group of Nazi NCOs simply infiltrated the central prisoner of war postal service, headquartered at Camp Hearne, Texas, which was responsible for the distribution of all mail to POWs in the United States. Working under the supervision of American personnel, the German postal workers secretly studied camp censorship and postal markings, gained access to restricted camp rosters, and even steamed open letters.V-82 That this ring was ultimately discovered and the entire postal operation transferred to the relatively safe hands of Italian prisoners at Fort Meade was of little comfort to the small segment of German anti-Nazis who felt that the risks resulting from their decision were not worth the benefits.”

Investigation Results: TFC was there in 10 and 12-13 and we got 2 interesting EVP’s posted on our EVP page that appear to say things in German. Due to time and schedule constraints, however, TFC was never fully able to give the attention we wanted to provide to this location and the owners ended up moving due to their discomfort with the level of activity there.