Tuesday, 19 October 2021
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USA00000IMG 00000 BURST20190107130637518 COVERThe UK interned substantial numbers of enemy aliens in the two World Wars.The internment of people of Japanese descent in the USA is well known (if often exaggerated) Little is known, and is becoming less so, about the internment by the USA of people of European descent - none of whom were subsequently compensated. The USA put pressure Latin American countries to expel similar people, including Jews who were sent to the Third Reich. On the next page Joseph E Fallon, U K Defence Forum Research Associate, explains how this chapter of history is disappearing into a "memory hole".

"A memory hole is any mechanism for the alteration or disappearance of inconvenient or embarrassing documents, photographs, transcripts or other records, such as from a website or other archive, particularly as part of an attempt to give the impression that something never happened" - Wikipedia.
The term comes from George Orwell's novel 1984, where to maintain the political infallibility of "Big Brother" history is continually rewritten. "The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth."
It is an appropriate term to describe how Washington has erased the inconvenient fact that it interned Germans and German Jews in World War II. This has been a remarkable act of self censorship since Germans represented 43 percent of all enemy aliens interned. Furthermore, Germans together with Italians, Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians, people similarly deleted from the U.S. history of World War II internment, comprised the majority of all such internees.
Even more remarkable is that the Germans interned included German Jews. In Jewish Internees in the American South, 1942-1946, Harvey Strum writes Jews from Latin America "including a number of Jewish refugees who had fled Germany and Austria before the outbreak of World War 11" were interned in the United States. In a Kafkaesque nightmare, Jews were interned because they were German and if they were German they must be pro-Nazi. Some from British Honduras were even accused of being "Nazi spies".
"The group from Latin America were not the only Jews interned in the United States during World War 11. One hundred German Jews living on the West Coast, like the Japanese-Americans, were forced to relocate to internment camps in 1942. In addition, Jews constituted 93 percent of the 982 refugees brought to the United States from Italy in 1944 and confined in the Fort Ontario Refugee Shelter at Oswego, New York, until December 1945."

Internment is not relocation. The two words are frequently employed as synonyms. They are not. Internment is detention. Relocation is being excluded from residing in a designated military area. Internment is based on the Alien Enemy Act of 1798. Relocation was based on Executive Order, 9066, of February 19, 1942, authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas.

Internment consists of arrest and subsequent internment. According to Department of Justice Reference Document 100-2-4014, Apprehensions, December 7, 1941 to June 30, 1945, Sixty-four percent of all enemy aliens arrested were European or European Americans, principally ethnic Germans and Italians.
In his letter of August 9, 1948 to Mr. A. Vulliet, World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations, W.F. Kelly, Assistant Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) wrote that the total number of enemy aliens arrested and interned by the U.S. government during World War II was 25,655. Of this number, 14,426 (56 percent) were Europeans or European-Americas; mostly ethnic Germans and Italians.
The INS was the source to provide these numbers because as The Sheridan Report, Congressional Research Service, November 24, 1980, noted "while detention of enemy aliens was originally under the control of the Army...in early 1943, operation of the camps was transferred to the Immigration and Naturalization Service."

These numbers do not include German, German Jewish, and Italian Latin Americans, many of whom held birthright citizenship in those republics, who were arrested by those governments at Washington's request, then deported to and interned in the United States. "Altogether, 81 Jews and 4,707 enemy aliens from Latin America were interned in the United States during World War II...[German Jews were interned] in camps in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas before the military authorities decided to concentrate them at a camp in Seagoville, Texas, and then at Algiers, Louisiana."

After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt, pursuant to the Alien Enemy Act of 1798, issued Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526, and 2527 on December 7 and 8, 1941 "branding German, Italian, and Japanese nationals as enemy aliens, authorizing internment and travel and property ownership restrictions."
Within 48 hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor, FBI documents show 1,212 Japanese, 620 Germans, and 98 Italians had been taken into custody. "The ordeal of the Jewish internees began two days after the Japanese bombed Pearl harbor; when Panama rounded up enemy aliens, including at least 250 Jewish refugees, and sent them to the Balboa Internment Camp in the Panama Canal Zone...In the spring of 1942, approximately sixty Jews and a much larger number of alleged German, Italian, and Japanese enemy aliens were transported to the United States for internment."
One problem is that Germans and Italians were interned while the United States was at peace with Germany and Italy. Another problem is that German seamen in U.S. ports had already been interned two years before issuance of Presidential Proclamations 2526. In December 1939, Washington interned 411 German Seamen from the German luxury liner, the SS Columbus, one of the largest and fastest liners of the Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company. As reported by St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Missouri, March 14, 1941, the crew was interned at Fort Stanton, New Mexico. "Their new home, presumably for the duration of the war, consists of twenty odd frame buildings on the grounds of the Fort Stanton Marine Veterans' Hospital in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca Mountains."
This was followed in early 1941 by the internment of German seamen of U.S. Flagships, such as S.S. Clio, a Standard Oil Company Tanker, and Italian seamen in U.S. ports. "On April 11, 1941, the [Bismarck] Tribune [North Dakota] announced that Italian sailors taken from 28 ships in American ports would soon be interned at the camp [Fort Lincoln, North Dakota]. More than a month later, the paper announced 200 German seamen also were expected to be placed there."
A U.S. State Department memorandum for period ending Fiscal Year June 30, 1941 states German and Italian seamen "were placed under the supervision of the Border Patrol and camps were established [for them] at Fort Stanton, New Mexico, Fort Missoula, Montana, and Fort Lincoln, North Dakota".
In fact, the U.S. had been preparing for the arrest of presumed "enemy aliens", foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, since Roosevelt's Presidential Directive of September 6, 1939. In that directive, President Roosevelt stated: "The attorney general has been requested by me to instruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice to take charge of investigative work in matters relating to espionage, sabotage, and violations of neutrality regulations... To this end I request all police officers, sheriffs, and all other law enforcement officers in the United States promptly to turn over to the nearest representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation any information obtained by them relating to espionage, counterespionage, sabotage, subversive activities and violations of the neutrality law."
Three months later, on December 6, 1939, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a TWX to all FBI Special Agents in Charge: "The Bureau is, at the present time, preparing a list of individuals, both aliens and citizens of the United States, on whom there is information available to indicate that their presence at liberty in this country in time of war or national emergency would be dangerous to the public peace and the safety of the United States Government."
In a memorandum dated August 21, 1940 to Assistant Attorney General, Matthew F. McGuire, FBI Director Hoover elaborated: "There are, as you know, a number of citizens, native-born and naturalized, who are engaged in activities which the President no doubt had in mind when he used the words 'subversive activities' in his [September 6, 1939] directive."
The FBI Custodial Detention webpage, October 7, 2005, identified "enemy aliens" apprehended during World War II as being "of German, Japanese, Italian, Rumanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian nationality".
An internal FBI Memorandum dated May 4, 1943 to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover states 13,603 U.S. citizens had been arrested: 5,593-Germans, 5,680-Japanese, 2,307-Italians, 11-Rumanians, 11-Hungarians, and 1-Bulgarian.
In New York City, alone, the government list of enemy aliens exceeded a quarter of a million. On April 1, 1942, The New York Times reported "City policemen, FBI officials admitted yesterday, are engaged in a check-up of 256,000 aliens of enemy nations in this city...Patrolmen and detectives have received lists of aliens [permanent residents] who have registered with the government. On orders from Commissioner Valentine commanders of detective divisions will get complete histories of these aliens to go into precinct dossiers. Detective and other city operatives will visit every person who registered. In each case they will check home and business address, daily activity and routines...Dossiers will be made of aliens of enemy nations, natives of Germany, Italy, Japan, and their lesser allies...Similar action is to be started by police departments in other cities, towns and villages throughout the United States...Washington disclosed local police forces would check 1,100,000 registered aliens."
The Alien Enemy Act of 1798, however, could not be applied to Latin America. In that case, Washington, citing the need for hemispheric security against Nazi infiltration, utilized its considerable diplomatic and financial resources to have eighteen Latin American governments arrest German, Italian, and Japanese nationals residing in those countries. To expedite the process, Washington subsidized the costs of imprisonment and deportation to the United States, while The Special War Problems Division of the U.S. State Department coordinated the overall operation.
In a November 15, 1943 memorandum, the U.S. State Department confirmed: "Our embassy in Costa Rica has sent a formal note to the Costa Rican Foreign Officer referring to the resolution of the CPD [Committee for Political Defense whose resolution was discussed and presented at a conference in Washington, D.C. from July 28 to August 10, 1943] and transmitting a list of enemy nationals which 'has been approved by the Enemy Alien Control Unit of the United States Department of Justice for internment in the United States.'"
In a memorandum dated November 24, 1943, the U.S. State Department explained "how" deportation to and internment in the U.S. should be pursued: "I think it would be highly desirable if the written record in each deportation case should show that the deporting Government had requested our collaboration. I think it is undesirable for the written record to show that the initiative came from us....."
According to Max Paul Friedmann, in Nazis and Good Neighbors: The United States Campaign against the Germans of Latin America in World War II, "...the percent of German citizens believed expelled from Costa Rica was around 25%, in Guatemala 30%, in Colombia 20%, and more than half the Germans in Honduras."
Germans, German-Americans and German Latin Americans remained interned until 1948; German Jews until 1946. Except for at least 2,000 whom Stephen Fox in The Deportation of Latin American Germans, 1941-47: Fresh Legs for Mr. Monroe's Doctrine, writes were deported to Nazi Germany in exchange for allied citizens held by Berlin. "Prior to the exchange, lists of internees in the U.S., including the names of German-Jews, were provided to the authorities of the Third Reich."
DATELINE – NBC television newsmagazine aired a report November 30, 1994 and September 4, 1998 entitled "Roundup" - In this Dateline program it is noted that German-Jews were aboard an exchange vessel and among a group of civilian internees who were to be exchanged with the Third Reich."
In many ways, U.S. internment policy in World War II was a continuation of U.S. internment policy in World War I. The same internment camps Washington operated in 1917-1918 were utilized again 1942-1948 -- Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, Fort McPherson, Georgia, Hot Springs, North Carolina, Fort Douglas, Utah, and Ellis Island, New York. Except in World War I, the U.S. government had five internment camps while in World War II it had over 50. But what was the exact number?
USAF Major (ret.), and Professor of Business Administration at Arizona State University, Arthur D. Jacobs is a German-American, U.S. born citizen, who was interned when he was 12 years old, along with his 13 year old brother and mother and father at Crystal City, Texas and Ellis Island, New York. They were "repatriated" to Germany, even though he and his brother had been born in the U.S. On arrival in Germany, the family was separated. Art was confined to Hohenasperg, a prison for many of the Nazi high command. He was eventually released after American soldiers guarding the prisoners demanded to know why a kid from Brooklyn was there. In October 1990, Art requested, under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, "an exhaustive list of the internment facilities and detention centers used by the U.S. Government during World War II. Almost two years later, on August 23, 1993, the Immigration and Naturalization Service responded with a partial list and said, 'no guarantee can be made that the list provided is exhaustive. No definitive list now exists.'"
Such an important historical record had been officially cast down the memory hole. In the words of George Orwell, "Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word."
Enemy aliens interned in World War I were the same enemy aliens interned in World War II – Germans/Austrians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians. Except in World War II, interned enemy aliens now included German Jews, Italians, Japanese, and Romanians.
Following World War II, the constitutionality of internment was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court twice.
In "Ludecke v. Watkins" (1948), the Court ruled "...some statutes 'preclude judicial review...the Alien Enemy Act of 1798 is such a statute. Its terms, purpose, and construction leave no doubt. The language employed by the Fifth Congress could hardly be made clearer...That such was the scope of the Act is established by controlling contemporaneous construction. 'The act concerning alien enemies, which confers on the president very great discretionary powers respecting their persons,' Marshall, C.J., in Brown v. United States...'appears to me to be as unlimited as the legislature could make it.' Washington, J., in Lockington v. Smith... The very nature of the President's power to order the removal of all enemy aliens rejects the notion that courts may pass judgment upon the exercise of his discretion. This view was expressed by Mr. Justice Iredell shortly after the Act was passed...and every judge before whom the question has since come has held that the statute barred judicial review. We would so read the Act if it came before us without the impressive gloss of history....The Act is almost as old as the Constitution, and it would savor of doctrinaire audacity now to find the statute offensive to some emanation of the Bill of Rights."
Two years later in "Johnson v. Eisentrager" (1950), the Court reaffirmed: "Executive power over enemy aliens, undelayed and unhampered by litigation, has been deemed, throughout our history, essential to wartime security...A resident enemy alien is constitutionally subject to summary arrest, internment, and deportation whenever a "declared war" exists."
In so doing, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed Washington's commitment to uphold international law, which recognizes internment as lawful. Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution declares "all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land". During World War II, internment was governed by the 1929 Geneva Convention, which amended and expanded the previous conventions of 1864 and 1906.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Internment in armed conflict: Basic rules and challenges, November 25, 2014, "Deprivation of liberty - detention - is a common and lawful occurrence in armed conflict that is governed by a large number of provisions of international humanitarian law (IHL)."
Despite the US Supreme Court having upheld the constitutionality of internment, in 1988 Congress passed Public Law 100-383. Known as the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, it reads: "The purposes of this Act are to— (1) acknowledge the fundamental injustice of the evacuation, relocation, and internment of United States citizens and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry during World War II; (2) apologize on behalf of the people of the United States for the evacuation, relocation, and internment of such citizens and permanent resident aliens; (3) provide for a public education fund to finance efforts to inform the public about the internment of such individuals so as to prevent the recurrence of any similar event; (4) make restitution to those individuals of Japanese ancestry who were interned."
But no apologies, memorials, or financial restitutions ($20,000 per person) were made for for interning Germans, Germans Jews, Italians, Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians.
The law was based on the findings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians as presented in its official report, Personal Justice Denied (1982). The Commission's report lists only four internment camps, while there were over 50. It did not include the testimony of former internees who were of German and Italian ancestry. No mention of German Jews being interned. And it omitted the testimony of Edward J. Ennis and James Rowe, former officials of the Department of Justice who were responsible for the internment process. Ennis and Rowe testified Japanese were not arrested in mass, or because of race, and were given hearings.
As to mass arrests of Japanese, the FBI generated maps on FBI Custodial Detention website, October 7, 2005, show 48 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 1,212 Japanese had been taken into custody from across the country. That is 0.9 percent of a Japanese population numbering 126,947. That is not mass arrests. By 1945, the total number of Japanese interned was 11,226. That represents 8.8 percent of the total Japanese population. That is not mass internment.
As to Japanese being arrested because of their race, the Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For The United States, Regions, Divisions, and States, Population Division, United States Census Bureau, lists the three largest Asian ethnic groups in the U.S. in 1940 as Japanese-126,947; Chinese-77,504, and Filipino-45,563. The Chinese and Filipino communities together numbered 123,067, approximately the same size as the Japanese community. If the Japanese were interned because of their race, how many Chinese and Filipinos were interned since they are all of the same race? None. Japanese were interned, as official documents show, because of ethnicity.
As to Japanese being denied hearings, a Department of Justice press release of October 30, 1943 states "In all instances, aliens are taken before Hearings Board who make recommendations to the Attorney General in each case. He then determines whether the alien enemy is to be interned, paroled or released."
An internal FBI Memorandum to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover dated September 1, 1943 lists the number of Germans, Japanese, and Italians who the Attorney General order interned, paroled, or released from July 1, 1942 to August 15, 1943.
The figures for Apprehended/ Interned/ Paroled /Released were
Germans 4,138/ 1,997 /1,661 /480
Japanese 4,102/ 2,211 /1,456/ 435
Italians 834/267/ 368 /199
In his Congressional testimony, June 20, 1984, Dr. David Trask, chief historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History rejected the findings of Personal Justice Denied: "the purpose of the report does not seem to have been to present an historical account that meets professional standards but rather to argue the best possible case for the victims of government action in 1942... I am simply unable to certify this brief as a credible piece of history. It simply doesn't measure up to professional standards."

Public Law 100-383 defined an eligible individual "as any individual of Japanese ancestry who is living on the date of the enactment of the cited Act and who during the internment period December 7, 1941 and June 30, 1946 was confined, held in custody...or otherwise deprived of liberty or property as a result of any Executive Order, Presidential proclamation or law of the United States." Executive Orders, Presidential Proclamations, and U.S. laws on internment had been upheld as constitutional by the US Supreme Court. And were and remain lawful under international law.
This despite the fact most internees were Europeans, European Americans, or European Latin Americans.
The law would later be amended by the Department of Justice to include an apology and financial restitution for Japanese Latin American internees.
But not to Latin American internees who were Germans, German Jews, or Italians. This is despite the fact some of the interned German Jews from Latin America were deported to Nazi Germany and their certain deaths.

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