Freedom of Information Times


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Proclamations    NY Times April 1942   History    Internment - Relocation Defined    Facts

The following table of links to Proclamations and Executive Orders is provided as a convenience to the reader.  There are references and hyperlinks to these documents elsewhere within this web site.
Alien Enemies Act - the basis for arrest, internment, deportation Proclamation 2526 - Alien Enemies - Germans, December 8, 1941
Proclamation 2525 - Alien Enemies - Japanese, December 7, 1941
Proclamation 2527 - Alien Enemies - Italians, December 8, 1941 Executive Order 9066, February 19, 1942  Proclamation 2526, The Honorable Matt Salmon, November 19, 1999

A POLICE STATE? Excerpts from the April 1, 1942, New York Times:
"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.
Will Visit Alien Homes
Detective and other city operatives will visit every person who registered...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. The records will check also on the number of persons in each family and on the whereabouts of each member of the family..." Editors note: This practice was planned throughout the country for the 1,100,000 permanent resident aliens, Germans, Italians, and Japanese, residing in the United States. It began with the 256,000 permanent resident aliens in New York City. For more of the cited article click on the The History of Internment link below, then proceed to the April 1, 1942 entry.

To read this article in its entirety, click here >>>  New York Times, April 1, 1942

--The little-known facts of INTERNMENT

More than fifty years have passed since the beginnings of the arrest and internment of European Americans in the United States during World War II. For the most part, the history of internment has been either quieted or distorted. For example, the majority of the best-selling collegiate and secondary school history texts in the United States claim that, unlike Japanese Americans, the German and Italian Americans were not arrested and interned; and both the print and electronic news media have propagated this myth. Despite the fact that there were more than 50 internment sites that held European American internees, the often cited source, Personal Justice Denied, Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1982, lists only four (4) internment camps, Santa Fe, NM, Bismarck, ND [Ft. Lincoln], Crystal City, TX, and Missoula, MT [Ft. Missoula]. The facts that follow are provided to help set the record straight.
  • 56% of all internees (14,426 of 25,655) were Europeans and European Americans--Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, even several Czechs and Poles. For more details see Persons Received by the INS.[Source: Letter from Assistant Commissioner, W.F. Kelly, Immigration and Naturalization Service, to Mr. A. Vulliet, World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations, dated August 9, 1948] The cited Kelly letter notes that the number of internees include those from outside the continental United States. We have interpreted this to mean that the numbers include those from Hawaii and Alaska but not the interned Europeans citizens and legal residents from the Latin American republics who were relocated to the U.S. at the request of Washington. [Source: Memorandum from J.M. Cabot to Special Division, Department of State, Division of the American Republics, Expressing concern with U.S. Embassy meddling in the internal affairs of other republics, November 24, 1943, declassified June 21, 1990]

  • 64% of all those arrested by the FBI between December 7, 1941 and June 30, 1945 (10,755 of 16, 811) were European And European Americans. The arrested Europeans included seaman of foreign ships in U.S. ports. These seamen were arrested as early as April 1941. [Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice, Reference Document 100-2-4014, entitled Apprehensions, December 7, 1941 to June 30, 1945, unclassified on 8/17/90. Freedom of Information and Privacy Act request number 319,228]

  • The arrest of Germans, German Americans, Italians and Italian Americans began on December 7, 1941--four days before the U.S. was at war with Germany and Italy. [Source: ibid.]European and European Americans were kept interned until July 1948--more than three years after the war in Europe had ended.

  • Congress has enacted laws in: 1948: P.L. 80-886; 1951: P.L. 82-116; 1952: P.L. 82-545; 1956: P.L. 84-673; 1960: P.L. 86-782; 1972: P.L. 92-603; 1978: P.L. 95-382; 1988: P.L. 100-383; and 1992: P.L. 102-371; providing financial compensation only to former Japanese American internees.

  • Personal Justice Denied [GPO, Washington, D.C. 1982] the official government position on the subject issued by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians: (a) did not include the testimony from German American, Italian American and other European American former internees; (b) omitted the testimony of Edward J. Ennis and James Rowe, former officials of the Department of Justice who were responsible for the internment process, who confirmed that Japanese were not arrested in mass, or because of race, and were given hearings; and (c) omitted the documents in its own collected Papers of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilian which referred to the denial of civil liberties to German and other European Americans.

  • Former internment camps, which became historic landmarks under P.L. 102-248, are to be officially identified as having only interned Japanese Americans.

  • Information on internment available from the National Archives and Records Administration in World War II Home Front addresses only the internment of Japanese Americans.

  • The exhibition on internment by the Smithsonian Institution, A More Perfect Union: Japanese-Americans and the U.S. Constitution, focuses only on the internment of Japanese Americans.
In conclusion, European American internment camp survivors should receive a thorough hearing, and a new Congressional commission is needed. Such a commission is required because Americans should know that the arrest and internment of European Americans, like that of the Japanese Americans, were based upon prejudices engendered by the war. Revised: April 26, 1997

Joseph E. Fallon, Freelance writer, Rye, New York