Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Internments and relocations of Americans and aliens during WWII

The round up was ordered by President Roosevelt within hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor. . .

During World War II when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, more than 158,000 U.S. residents were either relocated and/or interned under restrictive governmental actions, and another 836,000 individuals had their freedom restricted by the government. About 130,000 were Japanese aliens and Japanese Americans living on the west coast who were put in internment camps, of which about 58% were citizens. Other Japanese ancestry citizens who lived away from the coast and not near military bases were not disturbed.

Less well known is the fact that German and Italian aliens living in the U.S. were arrested by the FBI and interned in 55 camps created just for Europeans, as well as many German-Americans and Italian-Americans. 236,000 Americans of German ancestry and 600,000 Americans of Italian ancestry were subject to restrictions.

This M.S. thesis by Larry DeWitt says 31,275 Europeans were arrested, and 25,655 were sent to the camps. Some were put on parole, or released. Also arrested were foreign merchant seamen and other non-Americans unfortunate enough to be in the U.S. at the time.

Larry DeWitt's Master's Thesis: The U.S. Social Security Board and its Program of Assistance and Services to Enemy Aliens and Others During the Relocations and Internments of World War II- Chapter 1 (I removed the hot link to this document because it had been hacked for a not very pleasant web sit.)

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