Asheville Monument to German Prisoners of War

An image of the monument from Riverside Cemetery

On November 20, 1932, more than 5,000 people gathered at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville to dedicate a monument to 18 German prisoners of war who were buried there.

The prisoners of war were sailors captured during World War I. They were transferred from their initial holding location on Ellis Island to a detention center in Hot Springs in Madison County. More than 2,300 German POWs eventually would be housed at Hot Springs. While there the prisoners endured a typhoid epidemic that resulted in the deaths of the 18 men buried at Riverside Cemetery. The Madison County camp has become known for the Bavarian village that the homesick internees built there.

The monument was dedicated by the Kiffin Rockwell Post of the American Legion. The German Ambassador to the United States and several other high-ranking German officials attended.

Riverside Cemetery, located along the French Broad River, dates to 1885 and is open to the public. It is maintained by the City and Asheville and encompasses 87 acres.

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