Between 1943 and 1945, captured German soldiers were often sent to POW camps in the U.S. because, well, Britain and most of Europe was pretty torn up and not equipped to feed or house them. Many ended up in Texas, where they were offered the chance to work outside the camps and generally lived better than they would have elsewhere.
Camp Huntsville was the first to be set up in Texas. Construction across 837 acres took place for nearly a year, and its 400 buildings were ready for occupancy by the spring of 1943. Texas would eventually see twice as many camps (with a total of 78,000 occupants) as any other state, and for a simple reason: the Geneva Convention of 1929 specified that POWs must be placed in a similar climate as the one they were captured in. Because so many Germans surrendered in North Africa and lacked clothing or supplies for colder weather, many were sent to Texas.
The curiosity of locals quickly gave way to resentment. Even though these men had orders to kill brothers, fathers, and friends, accommodations in Huntsville and other camps were surprisingly comfortable. Prisoners were allowed to sunbathe, play soccer, and stretch out in 40 square feet of personal space with sheets and blankets. (Officers got 120 square feet.) Food was fresh and showers were warm. College credits earned would count at universities back in Germany. They even got bottles of beer.
It certainly beat getting killed in battle or being captured by the Soviets. Some of those prisoners worked hard to become American citizens after the war. Read about the World War II POW camps in Texas at mental_floss.
(Image credit: Arkansas History Commission)