This document is under construction. The full documents from which the excerpts in this page have been taken may be found in Section 1, Volume IV, The World War Two Experiences; The Internment of German-Americans. German Americans in the World Wars, K.G. Saur, Munich, 1995.
An excerpt of a TWX to all FBI Special Agents in Charge (SAC) from J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
"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. The information now available relative to these individuals is, however, incomplete in most instances and it will be necessary to obtain additional information relative to the affiliations, business interests, activities, present address, age, and citizenship status of each [emphasis added]."
A TWX from Hoover (J. Edgar) to all SACs, except Juneau, Alaska; Honolulu,
"PERSONAL ATTENTION. FURNISH BUREAU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BY AIR MAIL
SPECIAL DELIVERY LETTER A LIST OF THE NAMES AND PRESENT ADDRESSES OF
THOSE PERSONS IN YOUR DISTRICT, WHO SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR
CUSTODIAL DETENTION PENDING INVESTIGATION IN THE EVENT OF A NATIONAL
EMERGENCY. INDICATE IN FURNISHING INFORMATION WHETHER THE INDIVIDUAL
ACCORDING TO BEST AVAILABLE DATA IS OR IS NOT A CITIZEN
OF THE UNITED STATES [emphasis added]..."
Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI to Assistant Attorney General Matthew F. McGuire
"...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 directive [directive of September 6, 1939, designating the Federal
Bureau of Investigation as a clearing house in national defense and general intelligence matters.][emphasis added]..."
Memorandum from J. Edgar Hoover to all SACs on the subject of Internal Security and Custodial Detention List.
"...6. INDUCTION OF SUBJECT INTO ARMED FORCES. Should the subject of a card [custodial detention card] be inducted into the armed forces of the United States, it is desired that the Bureau [Federal Bureau of Investigation] be immediately informed in order that the Office of Naval Intelligence or the Military Intelligence Division may be notified and requested to advise the Bureau immediately upon the discharge of the subject from the Service. (PREPARATION OF CUSTODIAL DETENTION LIST) "The preparation of the custodial detention list is of utmost importance..."
RG 338-2-7 (Army Commands) Unclassified. WDC/4A, WCCA/CAD. Central Correspondence 1942-46. Folder: "014.31-Alien Enemy Control" (Mimeographed copy) WAR DEPARTMENT The Adjutant General's Office Washington July 29, 1941 AG 014.311 (7-3-41)MC-A-M SUBJECT: Agreement regarding enemy aliens. TO: The Commanding Generals, Corps Areas, Departments, and Alaska Defense Command. The inclosed copy of Joint Agreement, July 18, 1941, of the Secretary of War and the Attorney General,with respect to Internment of Alien Enemies, is furnished for your information and guidance. By order of the Secretary of War: /s/ E.S. Adams Major General, The Adjutant General. 1 Inclosure Copy of Agreement, 7-18-41.
SPECIAL DELIVERY PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL District Director of Immigration and Naturalization Ellis Island, N.Y.H. It has been tentatively decided that the temporary detention phase of the alien enemy program to be followed in the event of a declaration of war will be under the jurisdiction of this Service, and that this Service is to be responsible for providing facilities for the maintenance of alien enemies arrested, pending the decision of boards as to whether the alien is to be interned or paroled. It has been estimated that there will be six hundred arrests monthly in the State of New York, and two hundred in the State of New Jersey. Parts of both States, of course, are outside of your district, but it seems reasonable to anticipate that approximately ninety per cent of these arrests will occur within your district [emphasis added]. ...... This matter is extremely urgent... Lemuel B. Schofield Special Assistant to the Attorney General
The following excerpts are taken from a reply to the foregoing October 10, 1941 letter from the Acting District Director, New York District of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Ellis Island, New York Harbor, N.Y.
"... There is transmitted herewith a map of the state of New Jersey, indicating the counties within this district, and the German and Italian alien population of the each county. You will note that about 88% of these arrests will occur within the counties of Bergen, Essex, Union and Hudson, all of which are within a radius of twenty miles from New York City[emphasis added]. Assuming, as you indicate in your letter, that there will be 600 arrests monthly in the state of New York and 200 in New Jersey, and that the average period of detention will be approximately two weeks, it would appear that with the purchase of 250 double beds and the services of 30 additional guards and 7 additional laborers, the situation can be handled here at Ellis Island..."
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE To: COMMUNICATIONS SECTION Transmit the following message to: CBC:CSH December 8, 1941 TO ALL SACs: MOST URGENT. SUPERSEDING AND CLARIFYING PREVIOUS INSTRUCTIONS RE: GERMAN AND ITALIAN ALIENS. IMMEDIATELY TAKE INTO CUSTODY ALL GERMAN AND ITALIAN ALIENS PREVIOUSLY CLASSIFIED IN GROUPS A,B, AND C, IN MATERIAL PREVIOUSLY TRANSMITTED TO YOU. IN ADDITION, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO IMMEDIATELY ARREST ANY GERMAN OR ITALIAN ALIENS, NOT PREVIOUSLY CLASSIFIED IN THE ABOVE CATEGORIES. IN THE EVENT YOU POSSESS INFORMATION INDICATING THE ARREST OF SUCH INDIVIDUALS NECESSARY FOR THE INTERNAL SECURITY OF THIS COUNTRY. ABOVE PROCEDURE APPLIES ONLY TO GERMAN AND ITALIAN ALIENS, AND NOT TO CITIZENS. ABOVE PROCEDURE DOES NOT IN ANY INSTANCE APPLY TO DIPLOMATIC OR CONSULAR REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GERMAN OR ITALIAN GOVERNMENT. BUREAU MUST BE ADVISED TELEGRAPHICALLY AT EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT CONCERNING INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED PURSUANT TO ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS. THIS TELEGRAPHIC INFORMATION TO BUREAU SHOULD SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATE, WITH REGARD TO EACH INDIVIDUAL MENTIONED, WHETHER THE ALIEN IN QUESTION HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY CLASSIFIED ON THE A, B, OR C LIST, OR WHETHER HE IS BEING ARRESTED AS AN ALIEN CONCERNING WHOM INFORMATION JUSTIFYING HIS ARREST IS POSSESSED, ALTHOUGH NOT PREVIOUSLY CLASSIFIED IN THE ABOVE CATEGORIES. AS TO ALIENS IN LATTER CATEGORY, SPECIFY CONCERNING EACH INDIVIDUAL WHETHER CUSTODIAL DETENTION DOSSIERS PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED BY FIELD OFFICE INVOLVED CONCERNING INDIVIDUAL IN QUESTION. AS TO GERMAN OR ITALIAN ALIENS CONCERNING WHOM INFORMATION IS POSSESSED INDICATING THEIR ARREST NECESSARY FOR INTERNAL SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY, ALTHOUGH NOT PREVIOUSLY CLASSIFIED IN A,B, OR C CATEGORIES, AND ON WHOM PREVIOUS CUSTODIAL DETENTION DOSSIERS NOT SUBMITTED. BUREAU MUST BE FURNISHED IMMEDIATELY COMPLETE SUMMARY OF INFORMATION POSSESSED CONCERNING INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED, JUSTIFYING ARREST. ALL INDIVIDUAL ARRESTED MUST BE TURNED OVER TO NEAREST REPRESENTATIVE OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE. HOOVER
From a Hoover memorandum to Major Lemuel B. Schofield, Immigration and Naturalization Services, dated December 8, 1941.
"The following figures represent the number of individuals in various categories who are being considered for custodial detention:
German Aliens 636 American Citizens Sympathetic to Germany 1,391 Persons of German Descent Whose Citizenship is Unknown 1,694 Italian Aliens 77 American Citizens Sympathetic to Italy 49 Persons of Italian Descent Whose Citizenship is Unknown 211 /s/John Edgar Hoover"
December 9, 1941 MEMORANDUM FOR THE FILE At approximately 11 A.M. Mr. Ladd of the F.B.I. advised that up to that hour the F.B.I. had taken the following number of Axis aliens into custody: Germans .................... . 497 Italians .................... .. 83 Japanese ..................... 1221, in- cluding 376 taken into cus- tody in Honolulu, leaving a balance of 845 in custody in the continental United States. Mr. Ladd was asked whether he could give us any in- formation as to the number of arrests we may expect in the near future. He stated that he could not as to the Germans and Italians, but that he did not believe there would be very many more arrests of Japanese. W. F. Kelly Chief Supervisor of Border Patrol DISTRIBUTION: 1 copy for Major Schofield 1 copy for Mr. Savoretti 1 copy for Mr. Ennis WFK/ejm
JEH/DAJ December 9, 1941 TIME: 11:38 A.M. MEMORANDUM FOR MR. TOLSON MR. TAMM MR. LADD In response to my previous call, Assistant Attorney General Shea called at this time. I advised him that among the lists he had sent to us last night were many American citizens of German and Italian extraction or birth whom we did not desire to arrest because the Presidential proclamation covered only alien enemies. I told him that in preparing these lists care should be taken so that only the names of the persons we should arrest would appear on them; that this would eliminate the necessity of the Buraeu checking its files to verify the lists. I stated in this connection that last night the arrest had to be held up for several hours while we checked our files in order that we might be sure we were not arresting American citizens. Mr. Shea stated that he was not directly in charge of compiling the lists, but that L.M.C. Smith had prepared it. I told him that I was calling him as I had been under the impression the Attorney General expected him to keep things running smoothly. He advised that he had given orders to Smith to split up the list geographically and alphabetically, and also while Mr. Tamm was in his office last night he had issued instructions that the list was to be one of aliens only. He said that at this same time last night he had indicated that if the FBI wanted any persons taken into custory who were American citizens the FBI should give the names of these persons to Berge and Berge would try to determine if there was any basis for arresting them. I told Mr. Shea that I did not think we could do this because Berge has the same material as we have, and it was my opinion Berge should decide who should be arrested rather than the Bureau. I told Mr. Shea that this morning the Attorney General decided not to issue a press statement because we had only taken into custody a little over 400 Germans; that if this figure were given out public opinion would be very unfavorable. I told him that there were over 1200 yet to be classified and that some of these were citizens. I advised Mr. Shea that last night we arrested those persons on the list he sent up who we thought were aliens; that we may have arrested a few citizens along with the rest [emphasis added].
Excerpts from a Department of Justice Press Release
"Attorney General Francis Biddle today announced that, under proclamation issued by the President, the Department of Justice and the War Department have apprehended a total of 2541 Axis nationals in continental United States and Hawaii who were regarded as dangerous to the peace and safety of the nation.
Mr. Biddle said that a report from Director J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that, from December 7 through December 11, FBI agents have taken into custody 1002 German aliens, 169 Italian aliens 1370 Japanese aliens...
In addition to the enemy aliens, Director Hoover reported that FBI agents in Hawaii,...have taken into custody 19 American citizens of German extraction, 2 American citizens of Italian descent, and 22 American citizens, most of whom are of Japanese extraction..."
MEMORANDUM FOR THE FILE Yesterday Dr. Prendergast furnished the undersigned the following data of the number of alien enemies for whom warrants of arrest had been issued in the United States, the number of warrants executed by the FBI, and the number of aliens arrested without warrant by the FBI: GERMANS: Warrants Issued - 1757 Warrants Executed - 374 Arrested Without Warrant - 500 ITALIANS: Warrants Issued - 223 Warrants Executed - 41 Arrested Without Warrant - 85 JAPANESE: Warrants Issued - 700 Warrants Executed - 437 Arrested Without Warrant - 628 W. F. Kelly Chief Supervisor of Border Patrol
The following is an excerpt is taken from page 23 of the Wednesday, April 1, 1942 issue of the New York Times.
"FBI TIGHTENS CURB ON 256,000 ALIENS
Police Engaged in Check-Up of Nationals of Enemy Countries Living in the City
INTENSIVE WATCH IS SET
Families to Be Visited and All Activities Noted in Anti-Fifth Column Move
City policeman, FBI officials admitted yesterday, are engaged in a check-up of 256,000 aliens of enemy nationality in this city. This fresh move to check off possible fifth-column activity in the city was started on Saturday, according to P.E. Foxworth, local head of the FBI. 'The check-up,' he said, 'represents a continuation of the whole-hearted assistance we have had from the New York Police Department for many months.' Patrolmen and detectives have received lists of aliens 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.
Will Visit Alien Homes
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. They will note which aliens live in war industry areas or work in war plants...
Dossiers will be made of aliens of enemy nations, natives of Germany, Italy, Japan, and their lesser allies. The records will check also on the number of persons in each family and on the whereabouts of each member of the family...
Actions in Other Cities
Similar action is to be started by police departments in other cities, towns and villages throughout the United States so that government operatives may be able to put their fingers on any alien in any community at almost anytime..
Washington disclosed that local police forces throughout the United States would check 1,100,000 registered aliens...
The detectives findings will be kept secret and dossiers will be available only to certain key men in the department."
From page 23 of The New York Times, April 2, 1942.
"TENT TOWN BUILT FOR ALIENS AT FORT DEVENS
Persons rounded up in New England will be housed in these shelters [referring to tent-type shelters depicted in accompanying photograph]. Wooden building, rimming the site will be used as kitchens and hospitals."
"Fort Devens, Mass., April 1 (AP)--Surrounded by barbed wire, New England's only concentration camp for enemy aliens is expected to go into active service late this month. Army authorities said today that the first 800 prisoners probably would arrive about that time, and added that the office to have charge of an 'internment guard company' of about 100 men was due here next week. All the enemy aliens to be brought here will be adult males."
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