Authors’ Reply to Jeffrey Sammons’ review essay:
"Were German-Americans Interned during World War II?
A Question concerning Scholarly Standards and Integrity"

For a copy of the Jeffrey Sammons' review the author's of this rebuttal suggest the reader contact  The American Association of Teachers of German.
 Jeffrey Sammons’ review, "Were German-Americans Interned during World War II? A Question concerning Scholarly Standards and Integrity", unfortunately, consisted of an unending stream of misrepresentations, inaccuracies, contradictions, statements without supporting documentation, and allegations, bordering on the libelous, implying a conspiratorial "campaign" involving the authors in, among other things, "planting" stories in newspapers (see his footnotes 4 and 5). It is regrettable your journal which professes a commitment to academic integrity published such an unscholarly article.

Sammons objects to the phrase "German-Americans" to identify those who were interned. He writes on page 74, 1st paragraph, left column, line 14, "Resident aliens are not Americans and, a fortori, not German-Americans." Sammons then contradicts this definition on page 75, 1st paragraph, right column, line 15, by identifying U.S. citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who were interned as "Japanese-Americans". Later in that paragraph, line 19, he refers to U.S. citizens and resident aliens of Italian ancestry who were interned as "Italian-Americans".

It should be noted that both U.S. citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry awarded financial compensation for relocation, evacuation, or internment are identified as "Japanese-Americans" by Public Law 80-886, "Japanese-American Evacuation Claims Act" of 1948, and under Section 1989, Title 50, page 1381, of the U.S. Code. The latter identifies Public Law 100-383, also known as "The Civil Liberties Act of 1988", as "Restitution For World War II Internment of Japanese-Americans and Aleuts".

Sammons’ opposition, however, is not over terminology -- i.e., confusing U.S. citizens with resident aliens, which we do not do, but he does. As his opening paragraph on page 73 explains, Sammons objects to any public discussion of the internment of German-Americans (i.e., U.S. citizens of German ancestry). Justifying such censorship, he writes on page 76, 2nd paragraph, right column, line 9, that "no evidence has as yet been brought forward" to show U.S. citizens of German ancestry were interned. To "prove" this point, Sammons contradicts his earlier declaration that German-Americans are U.S. citizens of German ancestry and redefines German-Americans to exclude U.S. citizens of German ancestry who were women and children. He admits on page 74, 2nd paragraph, right column, American-born children of German aliens were U.S. citizens but dismisses them as only "technically, German-Americans" (line 4) branding all mention of their internment an "obfuscating device" (line 1). This unique interpretation of U.S. citizenship, that only adults count, is repudiated by Public Law 100-383 which recognizes American-born children of Japanese aliens inhabiting internment camps as U.S. citizens and includes them in the figure for Japanese-American internees.

Sammons concedes German-American spouses may have been interned, but states on page 74, 2nd paragraph, right column, line 7, "no German-American spouses appear to have been identified". If he had read our volumes as he claims, Sammons would know Document 48(i) includes lists of German-American spouses interned in Seagoville, Texas who are identified by name and U.S. citizenship. Instead, in that paragraph, Sammons accepts the official term for interned German-American spouses as "voluntary" internees (line 10) and opposes recognizing them as "German-American internees" dismissing their internment with the statement "they were provided with care and schooling at taxpayers expense" (line 12). First, he objects to recognizing the internment of U.S. citizens of German ancestry because of their age, now because of their sex. As with American-born children of Japanese aliens, Public Law 100-383 includes Japanese-American spouses (U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry) of Japanese resident aliens who became "voluntary" internees in the figure for Japanese-American internees.

Despite acknowledging on page 75, 3rd paragraph, left column, line 11, the August 9, 1948 letter from W.F. Kelly, Assistant Commissioner, Immigration & Naturalization Service to A. Vulliet, World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations, New York City, which breaks down the total number of enemy aliens interned by ethnicity, "is the first of Tolzmann’s documents", Sammons writes in that paragraph, line 8, "there is no indication whether the letter is official or private". The letter clearly identifies itself as an official document for the government files. If he had read the table of contents, which identifies the source of all documents cited in our volumes, Sammons would have read that this letter was obtained from the files of the U.S. Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.

Sammons disingenuously writes on page 75, 1st paragraph, right column, line 7, "It remains unclear how Kelly arrived at his figure". Kelly’s letter clearly states how he "arrived at his figure" -- from INS records. Kelly wrote: "Our records indicate the following totals of persons received by the Immigration and Naturalization Service under the alien enemy program, including those received from outside continental United States and those who were voluntarily interned in order to join the internee-head of the family."

Sammons, who claims to have read our work, attributes to one of the authors, Joseph E. Fallon, a quote which does not appear in any of our four volumes. On page 75, 1st paragraph, right column, line 9, Sammons quotes Fallon asserting, "(f)ifty-six percent of all internees were Europeans and European-Americans, indicating that Japanese-Americans did not make up the majority of those interned." The exact quote by Fallon which appears in Document 140 of our volumes, "Hostages of Hate: German-Americans and the Home Front in the Two World Wars", page 2641, 2nd paragraph, reads: "The number of German-Americans interned reached 10,905, or 43 percent [42.51%] of the total non-renunciant internee population of 25,655. All other European-American internees -- Italians, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, etc. -- numbered an additional 3,521 and represented another 13 percent. European-Americans, therefore, were 56 percent [56.23%] of all non-renunciant internees. Japanese-Americans numbering 11,229 constituted only 43 [43.77%] percent of this population [brackets added] ."

In the same paragraph on page 75, line 16, Sammons falsely implied that Fallon believes the total number of Japanese internees was 120,000, despite, as previously cited, in "Hostages of Hate: German-Americans and the Home Front in the Two World Wars", Document 140 of our volumes, Fallon writes non-renunciant Japanese internees numbered 11,229 while the total non-renunicant internee population numbered 25,655.

Sammons then uses the figure 120,000 "interned Japanese-Americans" (line 15) which he falsely imputed to Fallon, to claim on line 22 "the computation" by Fallon that 56 percent of all internees were European-Americans (Fallon’s actual statement was 56 percent of all non-renunciant internees were European-Americans) "does not make sense".

According to the W.F. Kelly letter of 1948, the total number of people interned was 31,275. This number included 5,620 renunciants. Renunciants were U.S. citizens who legally renounced their U.S. citizenship. All 5,620 renunciants were U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry. That 5,620 Japanese-Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship but no European-Americans did was cited by W.F. Kelly in an official letter dated 1948 obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act. The figure of over 5,000 Japanese-American renunciants is also cited on page 244 in Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps (Morrow Quill, New York, 1976) by Michi Weglyn. Subtracting the 5,620 renunciants from the total internee population of 31,275 leaves a non-renunciant internee population of 25,655. Subtracting the 5,620 renunciants of Japanese ancestry from the total Japanese internee population of 16,849 leaves a non-renunciant Japanese internee population of 11,229. Therefore, Japanese internees represented over 43 percent of the non-renunciant internee population while those of European ancestry represented over 56 percent.

In addition to not knowing the difference between renunciant and non-renunciant internees, Sammons does not know the difference between internment and relocation. His number of "120,000" is the frequently cited figure for how many Japanese-Americans were relocated, not interned. This number is, itself, inaccurate. The correct number of Japanese-Americans relocated was 112,000.

Internment began on December 7, 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and consisted of the arrest and incarceration of specific individuals pending deportation. "Voluntary" internees, women and children who joined their interned husbands and fathers, were free to enter the internment camps but were not free to leave them.

Relocation, on the other hand, was not legally established until February 19, 1942 when President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. Relocation was limited to excluding people from residing in areas designated as military security zones. The relocation centers opened by the U.S. government provided free housing, food, medical care, and education to U.S. citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry excluded from the West Coast zone. However, U.S. citizens and resident aliens of German and Italian ancestry similarly excluded from the West Coast zone were denied access to such facilities and services. Unlike internment camps, residency in relocation centers was voluntary. As the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in "Korematsu v. the United States" in 1944, no U.S. citizen or resident alien of Japanese ancestry was being compelled "either in fact or by law" to go to any relocation center.

Because the W.F. Kelly letter of 1948 breaking down the total number of enemy aliens interned by ethnicity does not support his view on how many "Japanese-Americans" were interned, Sammons rejects its validity. On page 75, 1st paragraph, right column, line 23, Sammons writes "The Kelly letter cited above gives for Japanese internees a figure of 16,849 that cannot be right for the whole internment program and casts doubt on the utility of the document." In violation of the standards of scholarly research, Sammons offers no evidence to support his accusation that the number of Japanese internees was higher than 16,849.

W.F. Kelly’s 1948 letter, however, is corroborated by other sources. The 1940 Census enumerated 158,000 Japanese, U.S. citizens and resident aliens, residing in the territory of Hawaii. Of this number, less than 1,000 were interned. See Tenbroek, Jacobus, Edward N. Darnhart and Floyd W. Matson, Prejudice, War and the Constitution; Causes and Consequences of the Evacuation of the Japanese-Americans in World War II, (University of California Press, Fifth Printing, 1975) pages 135-136.

There were also 2,200 Japanese Latin Americans interned in the United States. See Harvey C. Gardiner, Pawns in a Triangle of Hate: The Peruvian Japanese and the United States, (University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1981) page viii. While some German and Italian seamen were interned, the official report shows no Japanese seamen were. See Arthur D. Jacobs and Joseph E. Fallon, German-Americans in the World Wars, Vol. 4, The World War Two Experience: The Internment of German-Americans, (Sauer, Munich, 1995) Document 44, "Apprehensions by Field Officers, December 7, 1941 to June 30, 1945", page 1749.

According to the 1940 Census, 127,000 Japanese, U.S. citizens and resident aliens, were residing in the 48 States. Of this number, 112,000 were relocated. See May 1987 letter to Dr. S.I. Hayakawa, former Senator from California and Special Advisor to the United States Secretary of State from Edgar C. Doleman, LtG. U.S. Army (ret), former Chief of Army Intelligence and David D. Lowman, former NSA Official Consultant in Lillian Baker, Dishonoring America: The Falsification of World War II History, (Webb Research Group Publishers,USA,1994), pages 40-42. Her 1983 book, The Concentration Camp Conspiracy: A Second Pearl Harbor (AfHA Publications) received top award (scholastic category) from The Conference of California Historical Societies for "distinguished contributions to California history". And her 1990 book, American and Japanese Relocation in World War II; Fact, Fiction & Fallacy (Webb Research Group) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize "for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States". In 1985, The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University acquired Baker’s extensive compilation of letters, manuscripts, and documents on the exclusion of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast during World War II, and placed them in its permanent archives for future historical research, later establishing "The Lillian Baker Collection" under a Deed of Ownership.

If the number of Japanese relocated was 112,000, then only 15,000 were available for possible internment. If all 15,000 had been interned, and the existing evidence shows they were not, then the maximum number of Japanese (Hawaiians, Latin Americans, and Americans) interned would have been less than 18,200. That is a difference of less than 1,351 from W.F. Kelly’s figure of 16,849. Since that difference includes "possible" not actual internees, it lends credibility to W.F. Kelly’s official 1948 document stating that the number of Japanese actually interned was 16,849.

Sammons dismisses the fact that the Roosevelt Administration’s policy of arresting Germans as "enemy aliens" starting December 8, 1941 -- before the declaration of war between the U.S. and Germany on December 11, 1941 -- violated both U.S. and international law. On page 74, 1st paragraph, left column, line 27, he writes: "This action was justified by President Roosevelt’s proclamation of December 8, 1941, finding that Germany represented a threat of ‘invasion or predatory incursion…upon the territory of the United States’". The "territory" to which Roosevelt referred was the continental United States and U.S. insular possessions, not U.S. embassies and consular offices. But what Roosevelt did not do in Proclamation 2526 and what Sammons did not do in his "review" is offer any evidence to substantiate this allegation. How was Germany going to invade, or threaten to invade, the territory of the United States from across the Atlantic Ocean? Despite occupying the Channel Islands, Germany had been unable to invade the United Kingdom from across the narrow English Channel, and by June 1941 had redirect its war efforts in the opposite direction -- to the invasion of the Soviet Union. Before the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. military had already invaded and occupied Greenland and Iceland. From where, therefore, was this threat of an "invasion or predatory incursion…upon the territory of the United States" to take place? And from where was Germany to find the additional sailors and soldiers, ships and arms, necessary to expand its two-front war into a three-front war?

In Proclamation 2527, also dated December 8, 1941, President Roosevelt used the same alleged "threat" of "invasion or predatory incursion…upon the territory of the United States by Italy" to justify the illegal arrest of Italians as "enemy aliens" prior to a state of war existing between the U.S. and Italy. At the time Roosevelt declared this "threat", Italy separated from the United States by the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, had already invaded her neighbors, Greece and British Somaliland, and been defeated. As a result, Italy lost her East African colonies, a portion of her army, and required extensive military assistance from Germany to retain control of her colonies of Albania and Libya. Italy was militarily incapable either by herself or in alliance with Germany of invading or threatening to invade the territory of the United States.

In addition to its mass attack on Hawaii and sporadic assaults on the West Coast, the Japanese government did invade and occupy the territory of the United States -- the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, and Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. Yet, Public Law 100-383, declared the internment of "Japanese-Americans" the result of war hysteria and offered an official apology along with financial compensation of $20,000 to each surviving internee. If, as Public Law 100-383 contends, the Roosevelt Administration was unjustified in interning people of Japanese ancestry despite invasion and occupation of the "territory of the United States" by Japan, then the Roosevelt Administration was even more unjustified in interning people of German ancestry since Germany did not invade or occupy any "territory of the United States".

Sammons dismisses "The Internment of Germans and German-Americans During World War II: The Untold Story" by Dianna Hatfield -- which he identifies only as an article that appeared in the SGAS Newsletter 14.2 (1993):12-14, although it is included in our volumes, which he supposedly read, as Document 139 on pages 2635-2637 -- with the comment on page 73, 1st paragraph, left column, line 18, that "I attempted to check the references; some were non-existent, and those I was able to find did not support the claimed argument or were not of scholarly standing."

Eighteen references are cited by Hatfield. Which ones were non-existent? Sammons does not say. The rest of his accusation is deliberate misrepresentation. In her article, Hatfield cited seven sources which deny German-Americans were interned and demonstrated why they are wrong. Sammons falsely implies Hatfield was actually citing those sources in defense of her position and declares he found they "did not support the claimed argument". The references which Hatfield did cite in support of her position Sammons summarily dismisses as lacking "scholarly standing".

Which ones "were not of scholarly standing"? While implying in his sentence there were several, Sammons identifies just one, and only in footnote 14 on page 77 -- Thurston Clarke, Pearl Harbor Ghosts: A Journey to Hawaii Then and Now, (New York; William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1991). To Sammons this book is "not of scholarly standing" because it refers "to a personal interview with a naval intelligence officer nearly fifty years after the fact." He then contradicts himself in the next sentence of footnote 14 by citing as his authority Personal Justice Denied: Report of The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, December 1982) a report based in large part on the personal testimonies given, but not under oath, by Japanese-Americans and U.S. government officials forty years after the fact.

In footnote 14, Sammons also misrepresents Hatfield, Clarke, and Personal Justice Denied. Footnote 14 refers to page 76, 1st paragraph, right column, line 16, where Sammons writes: "A more troubling item is a claim that in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor ‘the entire German-American community was placed under arrest’ (135). Although Holian does not so indicate, this, too, is lifted from Hatfield and is one of her more dubious references." Hatfield’s exact words appear in Document 139, page 2636, 1st paragraph, middle column, of our volumes that Sammons supposedly read: "In Hawaii there were 112 Germans and Italians interned (internment sites not given) representing 100 percent of the German and Italian population in Hawaii." As her source, she cites Clarke, page 289, Pearl Harbor Ghosts who gives these figures for Germans and Italians interned as of December 8, 1941. Sammons attempts to discredit Hatfield and Clarke by improperly editing a sentence from page 264 of Personal Justice Denied. He deliberately omits the preceding words "by December 10" from his citation which includes Japanese to read: "449 Japanese, German, and Italian nationals were interned, along with 43 Americans citizens." Sammons endeavors to mislead readers into believing Hatfield’s and Clarke’s number of "112" and Personal Justice Denied’s number of "449" both refer to the same time period, the same internee population, and, therefore, that Hatfield and Clarke are contradicted by Personal Justice Denied. In reality, the unedited sentence from Personal Justice Denied does not refute Hatfield’s and Clarke’s statement.

Sammons further misrepresents Hatfield on page 76, 2nd paragraph, left column, line 32 where he writes: "Holian cites Hatfield to the effect that an executive order in 1942 authorized the exclusion of ‘American citizens of enemy ancestry’ from military areas (135; the document is not in Tolzmann), but it is not clear to how many this was applied." Hatfield’s exact words appear in Document 139, page 2636, 2nd paragraph, left column, in our volumes and read: "Executive Order 9066 (E.9066), initiated on February 19, 1942, authorized the U.S. War Department to exclude people from military areas. These included enemy aliens and American citizens of enemy ancestry." Hatfield was rebutting the falsehood commonly found in print that the wording of Executive Order 9066 specifically singled out Japanese, and only Japanese, for exclusion from the West Coast military zone.

Sammons’ parenthetical remark that "the document (i.e., Executive Order 9066 authorizing relocation from the West Coast) is not in Tolzmann" is disingenuous. If he had read our volumes as he claims, Sammons would have read in our "Introduction" on page 1498 that our volumes contain only documents dealing with internment.

In challenging the historical data concerning the internment of German-Americans, Sammons relies on Personal Justice Denied which he offers as a scholarly and reliable source. Personal Justice Denied, however, was discredited shortly after its publication as unprofessional, deeply flawed, and racially biased.

Among its numerous faults, Personal Justice Denied acknowledges the existence of only four internment camps (page xii) whereas the actual number was over fifty (see Document 4, pages 1518-1519 of our volumes); did not know what agencies constituted the U.S. Intelligence community during World War II, information essential to any scholarly examination of all data relevant to the adoption of specific wartime policies; and was completely unaware of MAGIC. MAGIC, the name given to the deciphering of Japan’s diplomatic codes by U.S. cryptoanalysts, revealed acts of espionage committed against the United States by Japanese and Japanese-Americans. These decoded cables had been available to the public since 1977 when the U.S. Department of Defense published them in a eight volume history entitled The "Magic" Background of Pearl Harbor.

In testimony before Congress on June 20, 1984, Dr. David Trask, chief historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History rejected the findings of Personal Justice Denied stating: "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."

We agree with one statement by Sammons. His admission, page 76, 2nd paragraph, right column, line 1, that "I am not expert on these matters". While Sammons’ utilization of dissimulation, misinformation, misrepresentation, statements without supporting documentation, and a discredited source to "review" our volumes cannot suppress the fact that German-Americans were interned, publishing such an unprofessional article does question the scholarly standards and integrity of The German Quarterly and the American Association of Teachers of German. This can only lead other disciplines to question the academic credentials of both.



Arthur D. Jacobs and Joseph E. Fallon

Posted on the web 10-7-98