Regarding all POWs in the Fort Reno Cemetery:
A newspaper article by Heide Brandes for Reuters Service published on June 15, 2014 in the "Orlando Sentinel" describes the circumstances of POWs who were kept at Fort Reno during World War II. Hans Seifert is mentioned.
"Hans Siefert (sic) who suffered fatal wounds from a boiler explosion."
A second POW is named:
"Johannes Kunze who was murdered by fellow POWs."
Following is the article in its entirety, if you would like to include it with other German or Italian POW headstones.
"El Reno, Oklahoma - Along America's most fabled road, Route 66, lie the graves of German and Italian prisoners of war brought to Oklahoma some 70 years ago and who now rest in the red soil of a former Wild West pioneer outpost.
"All but ignored by the thousands who travel Route 66 each year on nostalgic tours in search of bygone America, there are few signs and little fanfare surrounding the cemetery housing the remains of 62 German and eight Italian soldiers.
"As many as 20,000 German POWs were brought to Oklahoma during World War II and held at eight main camps and about two dozen branch camps chosen for their remoteness for security reasons.
"Germans made up the bulk of the POWs, who were put to work at tasks such as picking cotton and clearing fields. Most had been captured in fighting in North Africa but some never made it home when the war was over after dying of pneumonia, appendicitis, accidents and, in one case, murder.
"In the Fort Reno Cemetery, separated by a low wall from the graves of those who died in the Wild West days, lies Hans Siefert, who suffered fatal wounds from a boiler explosion.
"The most controversial among the dead is Johannes Kunze, who was murdered by fellow POWs who thought he passed Nazi information to U.S. doctors at a camp in Tonkawa, OK, said Karen Nix, director of Fort Reno Visitor Center and Museum.
" 'The die-hard Nazi prisoners killed him - beat him to death. Those four Nazis were hung, and Kunze was buried here,' Nix said. A few years ago, someone wrote 'Traitor' on Kunze's tombstone in spray paint.
"A few relatives, however, know of the cemetery and come for annual visits.
" 'It's a touching thing to see. We have one German fellow in particular who comes every year with his son to see his father,' Nix said."
Above From Mary (#47006109)on 06/24/2014
Died at the Fort Reno POW Camp in Oklahoma of blood poisoning after a gas explosion on Oct 1. He sustained horrible burns from the waist up and died 8 days later. He was scheduled to go home on Oct 10th. He had been transferred from Camp Gordon, Georgia. He was an Unteroffizier (German Sergeant). Excerpt from “The German and Italian Prisoners of War of the Fort Reno Post Cemetery”, compiled and written by Frank Megow, 2004.
"Sgt. - German"
In WWII P.O. W. section of cemetery.
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