U.S. Selective Service Card


This story is part of a year-long exhibit on German American internment at the Texas State History Museum, in partnership with St. Mary's University.

This draft card may seem like a simple slip of paper, but it is a powerful testimony to one young man’s sense of honor and duty. It is a registration card for military service to the United States of America.  Eberhard Ernst Fuhr registered for military service exactly on his 18th birthday, as did thousands of young Americans during World War II. However, unlike his peers, Mr. Fuhr had been arrested and labeled a dangerous “enemy alien” only a few weeks prior. He had been removed from his high school class by the FBI, held in local jail, then taken to Chicago where he was detained for months at 4800 S. Ellis Ave, just a few blocks north of the University of Chicago. Mr. Fuhr was later detained in Crystal City, Texas, and finally on Ellis Island, New York. His release was not granted until years after the war ended. Throughout his 5 year-long internment, Eberhard Fuhr faithfully clutched his registration card wherever he went, as was required of all patriotic American young men. People carry the weight of their experiences in their physical belongings, making this tattered military registration card all the more poignant. Today, his children have loaned it to the Texas State History Museum for their year-long exhibit on German American Internment in the United States, ensuring that the countless visitors who happen upon this card remember this brave young man who recently passed away at the age of 92. 

Place(s): Chicago, Illinois, Crystal City, Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio, Ellis Island, New York
Year: 1928

– Gerardo Nino Pozos

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child