The History of Camp Tophat, the story of an American city that grew on the banks of the Schelde, and of the personalities that made it grow.

Antwerp, Belgium: 1946. Hardcover. A fascinating mimeographed look at life and conditions in the World War II troop processing camp in Antwerp, Belgium, named Tophat after the popular cigarette brand. The American run camp was considered to be quite comfortable; by May of 1945 it boasted English speaking Belgian service personnel, a large barber shop, a PX, officers' and enlisted mens' clubs, movie theaters, an ice cream bar and basketball and softball teams. There were approximately 2,600 German POWs who provided camp labor, and who were fed and housed at the camp according to the Geneva convention. The camp was closed in 1946; and the author conclude, "among the dozens of other letters we received we detect, amidst the natural joy at getting home, a nostalgia for Tophat and its citizens that we'll bet will linger down the years. ... the gang at Tophat was the best bunch of people I've ever known. You realize that even more after you get home. As a civilian you lose that feeling of camaraderie and good-fellowship that was evident over there". Includes sketches of M. Ernest Hubertus. Folio, 86pp, b&w illustrations on almost every page, plan of the camp. Black gilt buckram, gilt illustration of tophat at front cover. One inch crack at the top of the spine, otherwise very good condition. OCLC: 21503125. Item #18154

Price: $475.00

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