Tuesday, June 12, 2007
US civilian internment of citizens and permanent residents of German origin during World War II
During World War II the US rounded up and interned almost 11,000 permanent residents and naturalized American citizens born in Germany. In a number of cases American born minor children accompanied their parents into the internment camps since there was no one else to care for them. This selective internment failed to abide by even the most basic standards of due process. For a long time the myth that the US government only interned civilians of Japanese descent during World War II has been perpetrated by the American media and educational system. Unlike the interned permanent residents from Japan and Japanese-Americans, none of the internees of German descent have ever gotten an apology yet alone compensation. But, things may be changing. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently had an editorial condemning the World War II internment of German permanent residents and German-Americans. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) are trying to get the US government to at least acknowledge this injustice. The continued refusal of the US government to even publicly admit to this mass violation of civil rights decades after compensating internees of Japanese descent is a travesty.