ABA Journal


U.S. Supreme Court

Scalia: Korematsu was wrong, but ‘you are kidding yourself’ if you think it won’t happen again

Feb 4, 2014, 01:05 pm CST


The nerve of this man to diss FDR's administration this way!

By SlipKid on 2014 02 04, 3:35 pm CST

Overruling Korematsu would legitimize brainless panic over the Constitution's equal protection and due process guarantees. That, of course, is no guarantee that this Supreme Court won't overrule it.

By AndytheLawyer on 2014 02 04, 4:27 pm CST

@2: Could you elaborate on how overruling Korematsu be wrong?

By EsqinAustin on 2014 02 04, 4:29 pm CST

Scalia is spot on. Let's consider how quickly we chose to ignore various 4th amendment protections after a relatively minor (compared to the war in the Pacific) 9/11. Part of me wonders if we would not go even further now than we did during WWII if we were faced with a similarly serious war at this time. Certainly our advances in technology would make all sorts of government overreach much easier than back in the day.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 04, 5:19 pm CST

@1: I really hope you're kidding. The internment policy deserves all the criticism in the world.

By Presidentjlh on 2014 02 04, 5:39 pm CST

I don't know why Scalia is saying that it could happen again since it already did when Conservatives did everything they could to throw the Constitution out the window in the wake of 9/11.

By faddking on 2014 02 04, 6:08 pm CST

@6 Justice Owen Roberts, the lone Republican nominee on the Supreme Court at the time the the decision in Korematsu v. United States was issued, DISSENTED from the decision.

Notably, Japanese Americans were interred not as a result of any Act of Congress, but rather as a result of Executive Order 9066 signed by Franklin Roosevelt, citing no authority except his authority as ". . . President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy . . ." This Executive Order was formally rescinded by Gerald Ford on February 19, 1976.

By Yankee on 2014 02 04, 7:27 pm CST

Well if we are using the viewpoints of individuals to paint entire political parties with one stroke, we should look to more recent politicians such as Republican Rep. Coble of NC who as recently as 2003 said that internment was a good idea.

In 2007, it was the GOP that was opposing a bill to research internment camps of WWII.

Or, we could also stick to facts and recognize that there was little or no partisan opposition to the internment plan in WWII, just like neither party has championed civil liberties following 9/11.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 04, 7:35 pm CST

Could have also inserted before my last sentence @8 that today, it is from the fringe wings of the GOP where we hear the loudest cries for an implementation of the massive system of concentration camps that would be necessary to house the tens of millions of illegal immigrants if we were to round them all up and deport them.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 04, 7:38 pm CST

@9 Wow!! What a smear.

No Republican has ever called for building a "massive system of concentration camps" nor can you extrapolate that from the opposition of many Republicans to Obama's call for comprehensive immigration reform.

By Yankee on 2014 02 04, 7:47 pm CST

@10 - So Republican Tea Partyers advocate deportation via death marches? That is not any better.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 04, 8:08 pm CST

The cumbersome, lengthy, paperwork intensive removal process for illegal aliens does not involve anything that would approximate a "death march."

By Yankee on 2014 02 04, 8:30 pm CST

@12 I will clarify that the removal process might seem like a "death march" for the government attorneys functioning in this area, but surely not for the illegal alien himself.

By Yankee on 2014 02 04, 9:27 pm CST

So you would deny those folks due process as well? Good thing your views are so far on the fringe; I shudder to think what this country would look like if you had your druthers. Despicable.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 04, 9:50 pm CST

@14 What is "Despicable" is comparing Fred Korematsu - - an American citizen born in the great state of California - - with some foreigner who enters our country illegally.

You insult Mr. Korematsu and other Americans who were detained in these interment camps on orders of Franklin Roosevelt.

By Yankee on 2014 02 04, 10:12 pm CST

Now that we agree that Americans shouldn't be imprisoned without trial during wartime based on their ethnicity, maybe we should go the next step and agree that Americans shouldn't be denied the right to fly without due process.

By AndytheLawyer on 2014 02 04, 10:18 pm CST

Scalia is dead on. The Patriot Act (horribly named) and the ongoing release of information by Snowden has demonstrated that this country has little courage and little commitment to personal liberty.

By Island Attorney on 2014 02 04, 10:31 pm CST

I didn't even know I had a right to fly without due process.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 05, 2:33 am CST

Scalia was right, but not because of Korematsu. In Ludecke v. Watkins, the only Supreme Court case brought be a German refugee dealing with internment, was ruled "Whenever there is a declared war between the United States and any foreign nation or government, or any invasion or predatory incursion is perpetrated, attempted, or threatened against the territory of the United States by any foreign nation or government, and the President makes public proclamation of the event, all natives, citizens, denizens, or subjects of the hostile nation or government, being of the age of fourteen years and upward, who shall be within the United States and not actually naturalized, shall be liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured, and removed as alien enemies. The President is authorized, in any such event, by his proclamation thereof, or other public act, to direct the conduct to be observed, on the part of the United States, toward the aliens who become so liable; the manner and degree of the restraint to which they shall be subject " Further, "This Alien Enemy Act has remained the law of the land, virtually unchanged since 1798." IN OTHER WORDS IT HAS ALMOST ALWAYS BEEN LEGAL TO INTERN IMMIGRANTS IN WARTIME. 60,000 German Americans and 3,000 Italian Americans were interned. Ludecke is their legal legacy.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 05, 4:29 am CST


Your post fails to rebut that Conservatives did everything they could to throw the Constitution out the window in the wake of 9/11. If it does anything, it further reinforces that you are quite ignorant of SCOTUS history other than what you read on Wikipedia.

By faddking on 2014 02 05, 6:33 am CST

@15 "some foreigner"

You are the one who insults Mr. Korematsu with your xenophobic verbiage. Rightists used words like yours back then and you've demonstrated the same mentality still exists on the Political Right.

By faddking on 2014 02 05, 6:36 am CST

No sir. I am a historian specializing in WW2 and the German American. I have friends who were interned at the Crystal City Internment Camp, at Glouchester, at Seagoville and at Ellis Island. I have friends whose fathers were interned at Camp Honouliuli and Fort Lincoln. I lecture at schools and colleges. May I suggest reading some books by Russell Estlak, Stephen Fox, Arnold Krammer, Carl Veno, Heidi Gurcke Donald, and Arthur Jacobs. the German American Internment was handled as an immigration issue, It was used as a means to intimidate the 300,000 German immigrants at the time. Some of the Japanese were treated in the same manner, and were in the same camps asthe German Americans, although most were not. Ludecke v. Watkins is still on the books or it is not on the books. It can't be both ways.As far as 9/11 goes, your comment is not germaine to my post.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 05, 6:57 am CST

Mr. Seward,

The "@" (read as "at") followed by a number at the beginning of comments posted here indicates to whom a commenter is responding. That is why a comment that was not a response to yours was also not germaine to it.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 05, 3:12 pm CST

@21 How could I possibly have insulted Mr. Korematsu a native-born citizen of the United States of America, by contrasting his situation with illegal aliens (which Korematsu was not) or using the term "foreigner" (which Korematsu likewise was not) to refer to these non-citizens?

By the way, the term "foreigner" is neither xenophobic nor derogatory, but is an entirely nuetral term.

By Yankee on 2014 02 05, 3:23 pm CST

Since illegal immigrants in this country are entitled to Fourth Amendment due process protections just like any citizen, comparing the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII to the proposed internment that would be required to deport tens of millions of people as proposed by Tea Party fringes is perfectly relevant to the concerns raised by this article and the partisan recriminations raised by Yankee.

Though I see how one with barely a rudimentary understanding of our laws (if that) and an even weaker ability to reason logically would despise any attempt to think through the matter critically.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 05, 3:38 pm CST

Sorry about the etiquette issue. #3 The problem with overturning Koremasu is that without overturning Ludecke, overturning Korematsu would be strictly an emotional.reaction. It wouldn't change anything. According to Ludecke, it has been the law of the land to intern immigrants from hostile countries since 1798.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 05, 3:53 pm CST

how could ludecke still stand after korematsu. what was the legal distinction?

By mzw on 2014 02 05, 4:22 pm CST

MWZ. Most people equae Korematsu with internment, but according to the law, it is about exclusion of an area based on ethnicity. It is about removing people from their homes in time of war. This is done to citizens and immigrants alike. Ludecke is exclusively about immigrants. Korematsu does not allow people to be deported at the government's whim, but Ludecke does. Ludecke is not about exclusion, but immigraton control even beyond the cessation of hostilities. Before 9066, the government started picking up Japanese and Germans and in Hawaii Japanese Americans, German Americans and Italian Americans for internment purposes. If you lookat a major paper's archives, you shouldn't havea problem finding this article:
On December 13th, the Justice Department made this 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..."

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 05, 5:37 pm CST

OPkay MWZ, I know the press release was going a little of topic, but did I expalin the differences clearly enough? You asked a valid question.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 05, 5:40 pm CST

BTW German and Italian immigrants were excluded from the west coast. The most famous example was the father of Joe di Maggio. The government dropped the Italians from enemy alien status in Octor 1942.,

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 05, 5:45 pm CST

I can understand the difference between the rights of citizens and immigrants from enemy countries, during time of war, although i am not sure I agree with it.
Thank you for your insights.

By mzw on 2014 02 05, 6:24 pm CST

Number 30&31There; are differences-- Korematsu and all Japanese citizen or not and "any and all" deemed inimical by General Dewitt the designated commander on the West Coast were "excluded" from designated areas, and if they stayed, they were put into RELOCATION CAMPS, which permitted them to leave if leaving the Exclusion area. This was not internment. IN 1940 the Alien Registration Act required all aliens over 14, male/female to register, no matter country of origin. This was the data base after Pearl Harbor, when 60,000 "mostly German were arrested according to THE DOJ James Rowe. Lawyers were NOT permitted 'because it was easier that way' in the subsequent hearing and interned as DANGEROUS ALIEN ENEMY.Theere were no witnesses present thus one could not confront the "evidence". I was 17 when arrested in '43 and 22 when released from Ellis Island after a July 1947 (forty seven) convening of the Senate Judiciary Committee there ,chaired by Senator Langer, North Dakota

By Eberhard on 2014 02 05, 9:40 pm CST

I have my doubts that anything like the internment of ethnic Japanese will recur here. The Second World War was a real war, which the nation's population overwhelmingly supported. Since then, we have had these "limited wars," where the military is "at war" but the general public largely ignores that and goes on with daily life as usual. I am not sure we can identify, in this context, what our rules should be "in time of war." I am not even sure whether it is now more accurate to say that we are always at war, or that we are never at war.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 06, 1:04 am CST


Because despite the fact that Japanese Americans may have been native-born citizen of the United States of America, it didn't stop Rightists from using words like yours back then to describe them in such a manner, and as I've said, you’ve demonstrated the same ignorant mentality still exists on the Political Right.

By faddking on 2014 02 06, 8:44 am CST

Faddking, you do know that FDR was a Democrat. EO9066 was done by your party. There were certainly Republicans who approved, but it was a Progressive Dempcrat who got scared and destroyed 200,000 people's lives

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 06, 3:58 pm CST


Nice attempt at distraction, bobby, but a fail on your part. It is undeniable that anti-immigrant groups of the time were Rightist.

By faddking on 2014 02 06, 6:47 pm CST

@35 Every last one of the bad guys in the persecution of that native born patriot Fred Korematsu are Democrats: Beginning with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, continuing with the various government attorneys who prosecuted this case, and ending with the six Supreme Court justices who upheld Roosevelt’s Executive Order. There is more than a ‘smidgen’ of evidence to forever attach this shameful chapter to the Democrat Party and the progressive icon Franklin Roosevelt.

That being the case, you would have thought that faddking would have kept his power dry and refrain from using this particular story to bash conservatives as he is apt to do?

Very odd, indeed.

By Yankee on 2014 02 06, 7:49 pm CST

#37 -- If FDR and the Democrats gets the sole blame for Korematsu's internment, then they also gets the sole credit for winning World War 2.

By AndytheLawyer on 2014 02 06, 8:38 pm CST

I don't blame the internment totally on FDR. Republican governor Earl Warren was in lockstep with FDR, but as FDR's successor Truman said, "The buck stops here."

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 06, 9:48 pm CST


Yankee should buy himself some Coppertone lotion because he just got BURNED!

By faddking on 2014 02 06, 11:49 pm CST

@40 Listen, I am in agreement with Andy. When somebody asks me who was responsible for World War 2, I always say the Democrats.

By Yankee on 2014 02 06, 11:56 pm CST

Comment removed by moderator.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 07, 12:11 am CST

#41 -- When someone asks me who was responsible for World War II, I blame the Germans and the Japanese.

But if your logic is to be applied consistently, then you also must blame 9/11 on the Republicans instead of al-Qaeda.

By AndytheLawyer on 2014 02 07, 12:20 am CST

@41 Was that a typo?

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 07, 12:26 am CST

The causes of the war, and the mismanagement to the point that it again became a world war, encompass multiple, complex elements. Beginning, perhaps, with the poorly crafted peace that ended the Great War of 1914-1918, and extending through Chamberlain's misguided efforts to appease Hitler, and FDR's intentional provocation of the Japanese empire. There is a lot of blame to go around.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 07, 12:28 am CST

@45 The Fascists and the Italian Communists were fighting in the streets of NY in the twenties. WW1 never really ended until Nagasaki.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 07, 12:55 am CST

It did end. Italy was an ally in the first one, but not the next. When the Great War (and the influenza epidemic) had passed, there was actually a brief period of prosperity and of great optimism. The United States was a world power. "Peace Dollars" were struck. More than a few people really believed in the League of Nations, and thought war as a phenomenon had indeed been ended. World powers voluntarily limited their arms race (as with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, leading to designs like the Nelson Class). The "Harlem Renaissance" hit its stride. Flappers and speakeasies were "in." It was a special time. In a way, a time of naivete, by whole populations who perhaps ought to have known better. But of course, people prefer to believe what they would prefer to be so.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 07, 1:53 am CST

Oh, you guys can argue the finer points of the Naval Treaty of 1922 and Chamberlain's misguided efforts (bor-ing) but I get most of my intellectual insights from late 90s pop culture movies. Let's face it, K from Men in Black put it best, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. " Who is responsible for World Wars? The panicky extremist leaders that have run out of real ideas and resort to fighting as a solution. Remember, "The first man to throw a punch is the man who has run out of ideas". I've always liked that quote. BTW, don't forget all the scared people that get behind these idea-less leaders and justify hatred, bigotry, misogyny in the name of god and country.

By Matthew on 2014 02 07, 1:03 pm CST

for those of you who are some how blaming the republicans for internment camps of WWII and
9/11 detainees.

On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed an order "Establishing the War Relocation Authority in the Executive Office of the President and Defining its Functions and Duties." Also known as Order 9066, this order started plans of 10 internment camps where more that 110,000 Japanese Americans would be relocated...

from January 3, 1941 to January 3, 1943, during the ninth and tenth years of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Sixteenth Census of the United States in 1940. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.
Senate 64 democrat - House 267 demoract

January 3, 1943 to January 3, 1945, Senate 57 - House 222 - both chambers had democrat majority

how anyone can blame the republicans requires the "willful suspension of belief" and common sense.

Roosevelt did exactly what he need to do. protect the homeland. 70 yrs later we can debate the finer points of policy. we have that luxury. December 7, 1941 the United States was a 4th rate power.

we faced a global war that if we lost we would lose our country. We have never faced such a threat in our lifetime since WWII with the threat of the Imperial Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany - Hitler's Third Reich.

As for the Patriot Act. What was passed by congress and Bush Signed (unlike Roosevelt and Obama) is not what is in effect today.
The Democrat party when it took control and Obama have changed it and modify it to such an extent it is not even the same.

illegal wire tapping of domestic calls one example

By Jorge on 2014 02 07, 1:35 pm CST

The guys saying that the guy warning of internment camps wants to put people in them are hilarious. How did you even register an LSAT score, or did you? Lawyers are some of the most emotional disfunctional weenies known to mankind.

By Associate on 2014 02 07, 1:44 pm CST

@46 bingo. And, longer term, the WWI-WWII conflict between Germany and Russia/USSR was just another chapter in the long contest for control between Germans and Slavs over the lands east of the Elbe.

You could date it starting around the time the post-Carolingian eastern Frankish Reich extended to the Elbe in the 10-11th century, and came into very direct conflict with, at first, pagan slavs, and eventually Polish, Russian and other Slavic (and non-Slavic, i.e. Lithuania) monarchies.

I'm a fan of Norman Davies' No Simple Victory which argues pretty convincingly that the western front in Europe in WWII was pretty much a (my words) sideshow to the real war, mostly fought in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and western fringes of Russia, between Germany and the USSR.

By Jesse Skipper on 2014 02 07, 2:17 pm CST

If one considers why internment would be necessary, the reasons do not exist any more because of technological efficiencies and actual practices of our national security agencies, since 9/11. Back in WWII days, effective surveillance of each and every one of those considered as risk for national security would have been impossible, especially under such emergency situation of a world war that threatened existence of our country. However, now even a sneeze by every citizen is easily recorded while they are in their homes, or any where mobile within the country. Either Scalia is being quoted out of context, or his comments misinterpreted, or he needs to clarify what he means under the contemporary government practices that make internment unnecessary and inefficient way to handle such risks. Unless the aim is to destroy an ethnic or national origin group in their social and economic standing, the use of internment should be reexamined for effectiveness for the purpose.

By Roochi on 2014 02 07, 2:55 pm CST

Justice Scalia is absolutely correct. The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, appointed by President Carter, was established to review Executive Order 9066 and its impacts. The Commission held hearings, examined documents, and concluded that Executive Order 9066, issued by President Roosevelt, and the actions taken under its authority were motivated by “prejudice, war hysteria, and lack of political leadership”. The Commission’s findings led to passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which authorized President Reagan to issue a national apology for the unjust imprisonment of innocent Americans. In 2000, a national memorial in Washington, DC was dedicated to honor the patriotism of Japanese Americans during World War II including the Japanese American soldiers who fought in segregated US Army units while their family and friends sat behind barbed wire in America’s concentration camps. Those all-Japanese American combat units were highly decorated for valor and produced one of America’s greatest leaders -- the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye.

By Gerald Yamada on 2014 02 07, 3:04 pm CST

Jorge the numer of interned is closer to 200,000 and the internment was planned before Pearl Harbor. In 1939 President Roosevelt had Director Hoover of the FBI to compile a master list of those to be detained as soon as the war began for the United States. This list was called the Civilian Detention Index or CDI. It did not matter if a person was a citizen of the United States or not. I've seen the lists. Japese and German names were on them.

On May 2, 1945, Edward Ennis, the Justice Department official responsible for overseeing the Internment said to to a U.S. House committee meeting on Immigration, “We intern on suspicion. If there is any strong suspicion of alien enemy activity, we will intern a man and all doubtful cases are really ruled in favor of the Government and against the individual.” After he left government service, Ennis ran the ACLU. In Hawaii, more German american women were interned than Japanese American women. Of the 160,000 Japanese only 1,000 were interned.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 07, 3:41 pm CST

"It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It's no justification but it is the reality." This may be prophetic as a matter of historical observation, but it is characteristically irresponsible for him to make such a forecast, and coming from him it is as connivingly self-fulfilling as if he had simply written in one of his decisions that he doesn't give a damn about constitutional rights - which is certainly the case.

He says this when the question of whether a war exists as a matter of constitutional law has been completely prevented from being adjudicated, mainly by promiscuous use of the so-called "political question" doctrine, which amounts to an abdication by the courts of any exertion of restraint on the executive branch when it comes to that branch's national security claims. You can be sure that Scalia will be standing at attention, ready to invoke something like this pernicious doctrine upon the occurrence of the next terrorist attack, perhaps when it comes time to write the decision in Hedges v. Obama, whereupon he will then say, "See - I told you so!"

One of the more repugnant figures in U.S. history, in all his scholastic deceitfulness. He shouldn't be on the Court.

By Wortmanberg on 2014 02 07, 3:45 pm CST

Well said Associate @50 . . . and I'm thinking about naming my new band Disfunctional Weenies.

By Smirk on 2014 02 07, 3:46 pm CST

@24 - "the term “foreigner” is neither xenophobic nor derogatory, but is an entirely nuetral term"

Wrong. "Foreigner" is a pretty good band from the '80s.

By Dose of Reality on 2014 02 07, 3:49 pm CST

Korematsu departed from our Common law in the same manner other New Deal jurisprudence did - in succumbing to 'aggregation' as a rational basis for depriving individual right, abstraction substituting for actual fact, the threat of harm overcoming the fact of innocence in the absence of harm. One is reminded of Jackson's rationale in Wickard, licentiously inferring an 'aggregate' impact beyond actual consumption, the inference not merely uncompelled, but unnecessary. Notwithstanding, the same principle of 'aggregation' can be said to apply to any nationality group whose nation is at war with us, and there, like habeas corpus, leading to the suspension of private right. The whole genre of abstract jurisprudence resulting from a polity dictated by ideology as opposed to common law (legislation overcoming for cure or from necessity) has led to the growing subversion of individual right. We must restore that healthy common law aversion to abstraction in reviving the rule of the law of the Constitution over the modernist governance of Jacobin legislature, imperial presidency or Olympian judiciary, which is worse we do not know.

By gdp on 2014 02 07, 3:51 pm CST

Stay on task, all you political partisans. Why didn't someone ask Scalia the most relevant question of all: Would he vote to uphold Korematsu if such a case came before him?

By View from the Peanut Gallery on 2014 02 07, 3:53 pm CST

@59 - That's an interesting question. How about, could commenters here support a similar internment program as the one under Korematsu, and if so, given what facts? If we were Norway in WWII, for example, would internment of Germans, based on the real threat of fifth columnists, violate Fourth Amendment protections?

@39 - That Warren supported internment is as great an indicator as any about how widespread support for this policy actually went. Americans are a fearful, panicky people (consider the widespread paranoia that people need access to lethal weapons in order to feel safe). Scalia, to reiterate, is spot on about how the abuses challenged in Korematsu could recur under certain circumstances, and with wide support.

By NoleLaw on 2014 02 07, 4:16 pm CST

# 49 Jorge is correct except Roosevelt 9066 stated "any and all" may be excluded by his military commander. There is no mention of Japanese or Germans. The Exclusion area was considered a defense/war zone. Roosevelt's Attorney General was Francis Biddle who either founded or developed the ACLU. J. Edgar Hoover worked for him. Roosevelt refused entry to the SS St Louis carrying 907 Jewish refugees to the USA in 1940 long before Pearl Harbor. Cuba refused entry too and the vessel returned to Europe.
It is peculiar that some find it impossible to believe that Roosevelt could intern Germans and Japanese and Italians , the country was allied with Germany, Japan and Italy which were the AXIS nations until Italy changed sides just before the US invaded Italy.
I was interned, I had that hearing without attorney and the "evidence" was hearsay called into FBI such as did I say that Hitler did some good things when I was 12 years old making such a statement. Is this your picture at German-American day at Coney Island? crap like that warrants internment of a 17 year old?
I even insisted that I be permitted to register for the draft when I became 18 years old. The Internment Director in Chicago had to get authority from Washington to transport me to the Cook County Jail which was my Draft board for WW 2.
German and Italian merchant seamen putting into US ports BEFORE Pearl Harbor were interned in Ft Lincoln, ND Ft Stanton NM, and Missoula MT -- no Japanese merchant mariners were interned before Pearl Harbor. Why? There was war in the Pacific a well as Europe. Some of those German seamen were on ESSO tankers..
There were 250 German and Japanese babies born I the Crystal City Texas internment facility. Each Japanese baby got that $20,000 indemnity, whereas no German baby or any other German was ever compensated. Equal Justice for all.

By Eberhard on 2014 02 07, 5:15 pm CST

@53 Only the Japanese received an apology. The German Americans did not receive the time of day and they were not allowed to challenge it. Jacobs v. Barr. Arthur Jacobs was interned at twelve years of age. I know him. The National Parks Service is only allowed to provide funding to record Japanese American History and they are forbidden to do the same for German American experience. I understand that the state of Texas is doing something about the Crystal City Camp as a historic site, but that's not the feds. Crystal City was the only family camp that held Japanese Americans, German Americans, and Japanese,Germans and Ialians from Latin America who were brought up for internment. Many of the Latin American Germans has Spanish wives. I hope that with the increase in Hispanic population will be cause for increased awareness of the Latin American aspect of the internment.

@59 Internment has been part of our legal framework since 1798 Ludecke v. Watkins. That is why Korematsu is not that important. Korematsu is about relocation. We mentally equate Korematsu and internment, but legally we have interned during the Adams, Lincoln, Wilson and FDR administrations. Ludecke reaffirmed the government's right to intern.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 07, 5:26 pm CST

But see, Hirabayashi v. United States, 828 F.2d 591 (9th Cir. 1987)

By Jeffrey on 2014 02 07, 5:44 pm CST

@63 There is a thrid Japanese filed case. Yasui v. United States. That has to do with curfews and citizens. BTW, who were you referring your comment towards?

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 07, 6:01 pm CST

And don't forget the women and the Endocase!

By Jeffrey on 2014 02 07, 6:21 pm CST

It must truly be a slow Friday that the article and comments evidence. I include myself for reading to the end. Perhaps one might start the weekend early.
Professional regards.
@ Seattle

By George Lundin on 2014 02 07, 7:22 pm CST

So where does Lincoln's suspension of habeas fit in this conversation? I'm no big fan of Scalia, but the fact is that when there is a chance to use hysteria to justify the use of police powers it is rarely passed up.

By A. Lee N. on 2014 02 07, 7:46 pm CST

Scalia is a very result oriented Justice. Yes he would do it again. Clarence Thomas would do it again. I don't think any other of our present court would do it again.

The only relation between the bs we put up with now and the Japanese internment is that white Americans are afraid of any strange looking racial characteristics. I feel so much safer going through airport security. My cargo pants always get me pulled out and searched, but I have forgotten knives and liquids that were in my carry on and they were never noticed. This is not a political problem it is a problem with reality.

By Judge Chris on 2014 02 07, 8:27 pm CST

I find it silly that supposedly intelligent folks in this forum would attempt to win an argument about the events of the 1940's by applying the labels "Republican" and "Democrat." The participants in those parties on the 1940s no longer fit the same demographics as today by a long shot. Don't believe me... just look at the specific shift in party makeup post Civil Rights Act for starters.

By No Party guy on 2014 02 07, 9:42 pm CST

The internment camps have already been built. They're referred to as 'FEMA emergency relief camps' .. There are enough spread across the country to imprison 30,000,000 U.S. citizens, and they're all connected by heavy rail.

I don't consider what Scalia said to be a 'bold prediction' - I consider it more of a warning from an insider.

By You call this coffee!? on 2014 02 08, 12:07 am CST

Why is it any time a topic involving the SCOTUS is published on this blog it becomes a political food fight between Rs and Ds?

By Redwood on 2014 02 08, 5:16 am CST


You make a big deal of Mr. Korematsu being a native born American but your fellow Southern Conservatives of the day didn't have a problem lynching native born Americans of African descent.

By faddking on 2014 02 08, 5:36 am CST

@67 Look at my earliest notes about Ludecke. Judge Black's court was basing his argument on the sedition acts that were passed in the Adams administration. Lincoln used those as his justification to inarcerate the state government of Maryland to prevent Maryland from seceding. In world War One, during the anti German hysteria, German immigrants were interned in Georgia and Utah. That accounts for my Wilson comment. In 1939 FDR ordered the Civilian Detention Index to be created as preparation for right after Pearl Harbor to intern German Americans, Japanese Americans and Italian americs.

BTW, if the governemt inends to legalize the illegals, why do we need those FEMA camps?

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 08, 5:41 am CST

@72 Most of the Klan voted Democrat back then.why are you so bitter?

By Texan Boy on 2014 02 08, 5:48 am CST

@72 Sorry about being a little snarky, but your bitterness is making you throw mud. You aren't making arguments, you ar just accusing people

By Texan Boy on 2014 02 08, 5:53 am CST

Law? What law?

By Lewis on 2014 02 08, 9:57 am CST

Justice Scalia is wrong. I recall that both Germans and Japanese were our enemies. Why not intern the Germans as well,? My grandfather, who is an African American served honorably in WWII. He rode on a German prison train. The German prisoners rode in first class, guess where the AMERICA BLACK SOLDIERS had to ride? During that period those Japanese American Citizens were interned, which included the confiscation of their property and possessions; to add insult to injury, their American children proudly served during the war, were sent to the European theater to fight. The Internment of American citizens without due cause, reason, or justification, should never be contemplated or enacted again in the U.S. of America, regardless of color or nationality except for treason or breaking a law. I am not an attorney. Ace

By Ace on 2014 02 08, 9:31 pm CST

@77 What about those German Americans who were fighting honorably while their immigrant parents were locked up and lost everything? What makes the Japanese so special by comparisoin? Both groups were unilaterally thrown into the camps for their ethnicities without trial or access to the courts. BTW the most famous White Person who was forced to move and lose his livelihood was the father of baseball great, Joe diMaggio. They didn't intern him, but hey made him leave and the government took away his fishing boat.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 08, 10:03 pm CST

If Japanese americans are not responsible for Pearl Harbor, then German Americans are not responsible for Auschwitz.Equal justice.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 08, 10:04 pm CST

@74 Most, if not all of the Klan who voted Democrat back then.later switched party affiliation to the GOP during the 1960s because they were Conservatives so why are you so bitter?
Sorry about being a little snarky, but your ignorance about the switching tides of party philosophy is making you throw mud. I'm not making arguments, I'm stating facts.

By faddking on 2014 02 09, 4:31 am CST

@80 Why do hate so much?

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 09, 4:46 am CST

@180 You claim as you always do: "I'm stating facts."

Here's a fact for you, Senator Robert Carlyle Byrd, Democrat-West Virginia, was an open member of the Ku Klux Klan, achieving the high position as Kleagle. Yet, Byrd was elected by his fellow democrats as Majority Leader in 1987 and was subsequently elected by these same democrats as President Pro Tem in 2003.

By Yankee on 2014 02 09, 2:36 pm CST

#82 -- How about some historical honesty? Byrd quit and disavowed the Klan long before entering the Senate, and his political career was a model of progressivism.

One is also reminded of USSC Justice Hugo Black, who in his misspent younger years was in the Klan....and who later quit, disavowed it, and ended up as one of America's greatest champions of the First Amendment.

Maybe in Yankeeworld one's beliefs never change from those one adopts in one's 20's. But in the world most of the rest of us inhabit, change is frequent and inevitable.

By AndytheLawyer on 2014 02 09, 5:57 pm CST

@81 Why do hate America so much?

By faddking on 2014 02 10, 6:34 am CST


If he believed in historical honesty, every time he brings up Robert Byrd, he'd also mention Strom Thurmond. Of course, that would require him being honest enough to acknowledge that while Sen. Byrd apologized for his involvement with the Klan, Sen. Thurmond never apologized for running for President of the USA as an ardent Segregationist. Yankee also ignores that Republican Sen. Lott, then Senate Majority Leader, said: "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either."

By faddking on 2014 02 10, 8:18 am CST

"The Democrat party when it took control and Obama have changed it and modify it to such an extent it is not even the same.
illegal wire tapping of domestic calls one example "

That's some partisan wishful thinking, right there. Illegal wiretapping of domestic calls did not start with Obama. They were, in fact, a common complaint about W's administration, and probably began some decades previous.

By James Pollock on 2014 02 10, 1:44 pm CST

@86 J Edgar Hoover thought that he didn'tneed court orders for wire taps. No, the real problem is that all forms of soailism need a villain. Progressivism Marxism, nazism \, ommunim all need someone to tear down. If only so an soweren't so rich, you would be better off. The Bible calls that envy.

By Texan Boy on 2014 02 10, 3:49 pm CST

To repeat- I was one of 60,000 Germans arrested at age 17. Interned without benefit of a lawyer for almost five years -- half of which were after Germany surrendered. I was arrested on a Presidential warrant by the most liberal President this nation ever had. I was ordered deported by Truman. I was rescued from that by a US Senate committee on the Judiciary convened on Ellis Island in July 1947 which gave hearings to 250 of German internees there-- there were no Japanese internees there. It resulted in Senate Bill 1749 naming each of us and demanding that the Attorney General TOM C CLARK immediately release us. Which was granted me in September 1947. I never got a dime for my incarceration.For some irrational reason this forum discusses that liberals do NOT INTERN when in fact they did and they do. No German internee ever demanded compensation for our losses, We did try to get the Congress and/or Senate to establish a committee to study internment as an issue, but that was shot down.
Since this forum is convinced that internment was for RACE, then I no longer want to discuss the internment of Europeans including Italian, Romanian, Hungarian internees in WW 2 as well. And if you are correct that internment was for RACE, why do you even take interest unless you are of that vulnerable race.
My high school was 3800 students where I was arrested in Cincinnati. 50% were black- half my football team was black- we shared those wins and losses and sweat together. Ezzard Charles ,already professional was in my Spanish 2 class . He later became a Heavyweight Champ of the world. Look it up. The Blacks of this nation deserve that $20,000 compensation much more than do the Japanese

By Eberhard on 2014 02 10, 4:45 pm CST

It wasn't race. It was ethncitiy. Go on you tube. there is an excerpted video of the Crystal City camp, where German americans and Japanese Americans were in terned TOGETHER. interned by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 10, 5:13 pm CST

Mr. Seward, if someone is a citizen of a country with which the U.S. is at war, and not an American citizen, I believe it is reasonable to believe they are loyal to that country and not the U.S. unless they can prove otherwise. In San Diego, many Italians were placed under house arrest or not permitted to walk close to the bay. Probably not needed, but understandable. The Japanese were excluded even when citizens, something based on race. Having been born after the war, these restrictions now seem ridiculous, but given that we were under attack both from across the Atlantic and the Pacific, it probably was inevitable.

By William Smith on 2014 02 10, 6:53 pm CST

And how many Native Americans have we herded onto reservations or killed since Plymouth Rock? How many Black citizens were enslaved and lynched? We have a long history of atrocities. Those committed during WW I and II to fellow citizens at least did not rise to that level. No political party can escape blame for these atrocities. Reparations are just not feasible. Too many atrocities over too long of a period of time. Native Americans are getting a form of reparations with people waiting in line to donate money to Native American casinos.

By redwood on 2014 02 10, 7:24 pm CST

No 90 When did Germany attack US soil? It was Japan that attacked Pearl Harbor and occupied three Aleutian Islands. German and Italian merchant seamen working for even US firms like Esso were interned in the USA before Pearl Harbor. Not true for Japanese merchant seamen entering US ports the same period. I was interned for two years DURING the war and more than two years following the war which the USA won.
Japanese relocated were about 50% foreign born. There were over 300 German American naturalized US citizens who had their papers revoked and then interned. Kids of aliens under 21 could not become citizens until reaching majority- At 17 I could not become a citizen no matter how hard I tried, but I did register for the draft even while designated DANGEROUS ALIEN ENEMY interned for the duration of the war plus two years.
Germany did not attack US soil. Never dropped a bomb on US soil. Never blew up a bridge or building in the USA.. Never killed 4000 while sleeping in Hawaii. Never tried to assassinate the President of the USA. No US born German internee renounced is citizenship as did 7,000 Japanese internees. I do not fault you for not knowing about 60,000 arrested and 30,000 interned Germans because there is a conspiracy of secrecy about that, so do keep your eyes open, digest it, search out the truths. It is more important that the truth is revealed and quietly discussed than for you to believe me.

By Eberhard on 2014 02 10, 9:08 pm CST


I'm sorry for any injustice you endured. However, Germany did declare war on the US. While not every German immigrant or their native-born American children were pro-Nazi, there were vocal segments who were, especially groups like the Bund.
However, given the rampant racial/religious/ethnic biases of the day, and the fact that there was a long history of mob lynchings in the US (native born Americans of African descent, Chinese immigrants, Native Americans, etc.), do you believe that you would have been safe from mob violence? Robert Prager was a German coal miner living in Collinsville, Illinois, who was lynched by a mob because of anti-German sentiment during the first World War. Prager showed patriotic feelings for his adopted country; he took out his first citizenship papers after the declaration of war and tried to enlist in the US Navy. It didn't help.

By faddking on 2014 02 11, 4:11 am CST

You all are blowing a womderful opportunity. You have a German American who was interned in this ddiscussion. He was old enough to know what was going on, yet harldly any of you are asking him questions.

#93 No one in the Bund was interned except its leader Fritz Kuhn. Remember, Eberhard was interned in '43, so he was in wartime America for over a year. Speaking of World War One, there were two internment camps for German immigrants in that war,one in Georgia and one in Utah. They were never charged with any crime either. Japan did declare war on the United States. The notification was to be delivered shortly before Pearl Harbor. It was delayed and delivered after the battle. Remember,58,000 of those that went to the Relocation camps were Enemy Aliens, just like the German immigrants and Italian immirants interned. If you haven't guessed, Eberhard and I know each other. I told him about the discussion.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 11, 5:19 am CST

I am certainly taking the opportunity to ask him if he believes he would have been safe from mob violence. Robert Prager certainly thought he was.

By faddking on 2014 02 11, 5:30 am CST

I am an American, born in Brooklyn, NY, of parents of German nationality. At the age of twelve I was interned in Ellis Island, from there to a family internment camp at Crystal City, TX; then back to Ellis island....then taken to a prison in Germany operated by the U.S. Army. Faddking, In Brooklyn I did not fear a hanging by the mob, but in the prison my guard threatened me with a hanging from the Hangman's tree; and if that did not work, I would be shot. You can read my story in the book, The Prison Called Hohenasperg: An American boy betrayed by his Government during World War II.

By A.D. Jacobs on 2014 02 11, 3:04 pm CST

One of the objective of German Americans who were interned is to see that history books in school are adjusty to include them. The other is the government acknowledgement that it happened.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 11, 4:17 pm CST

To Faddking
I always felt safe in Cincinnati, because no one knew I was born in Germany. There are 0ver 24% of Americans with German heritage.I had no German accent and neither did my parents , both fluent in English. I did sing in a Kinderchor, but Doris Day was in that chorus of early teenagers directed by her father MR Kappelhof. We sang in German on some of the vey stages that traveling Metropolitan Opera presentations were made, as well as radio presentations. My High school was fully integrated. I earned varsity letters in football and baseball three times. German was not offered so I elected Spanish. We came in 1928 and when the Depression came a year later, we wee as poor as anyone else, but we never really knew that. I am not the blond blue eyed Aryan , but rather dark complected when I had hair. In fact growing up, I was called Dago. Americans seemingly have an affinity to brand people. In short, I seemingly was as American as any kid on the block, except the FBI had a dossier on me that was compiled by hearsay to them stating otherwise. However no one knew me as German in high school. My buddy the left guard on the football team made sure I got my stuff from the locker after he was able to find where I was sent. We still are in contact. As to the Bund. Only US citizens were members. The German government declined any acknowledgement of the Bund as it did not wish to "interfere in the internal affairs of the USA". But then too this is America where one has total free speech, right of assembly etc. Correct? There were other voices wishing that the US stay out of the war in Europe-- Father Coughlin a Catholic priest of national note, several political parties. I would venture that only the Pearl Harbor attack was so horrific that the only response possible was that the USA enter the war in a huge way.
Incidentally, my brother Gerry was born in the USA, and during Korea, he enlisted in the First Infantry Division, but fortunately in Germany. At the same time I was in ROTC at Ohio U and could have been activated, but wasn't. You see we were taught to love the nation we adopted, as well as respect and honor the culture of the place of our birth.
We seek no compensation, but we do wish that a national established study committee examine internment for what it is in toto, and recommend a course of action the next time a national peril comes about. Internment has been kept secret in spite of the numbers involved, and therefor, I understand why people are mystified that it "could happen in the USA". I lecture gratis about it for that very reason, complete with photos, documents, presidential decrees, orders and proclamations Power Point and hard copies.

By Eberhard on 2014 02 11, 5:03 pm CST

It's estimated that there were about 25,000 members of the Bund before the war. They were so over the top that the Nazi government did indeed forbid German citizens from being members if only to not unnecessarily raise tensions between the US and the Nazi regime. Some of my family lived in Yorkville in Manhattan in the 1930s. To Bund were active in that neighborhood and whenever my uncle talks about that time, he talks about how he and his friends were constantly in fights with the "Nazi kids" who started fights with his Jewish friends. As for Father Coughlin, his anti-Semitism made him a hero in Nazi Germany.

By faddking on 2014 02 11, 5:23 pm CST

I have no idea how many Bundists there were. Yorkville was indeed the center of German stuff in NYC. After my release in '47 I sold insecticide door to door in NYC and played on the junior soccer team of HOTA and we met in a bar just off Yorkville the night before any match.. Fritz Kuhn was sent to our internment camp in Crystal City on his way to deportation from Algiers, New Orleans after his prison sentence. He seemingly was a nice guy, but when he got to Germany he was placed into de Nazification Camps several times. His family also sent there even though US citizens, gradually disintegrated into chaos. Why is it necessary to destroy people even after paying their "dues"? The German Deli here still sells Schaller and Weber cased sausage spread.

By Eberhard on 2014 02 11, 5:40 pm CST

faddking: You as well as many others miss, are these two aspects of "justice"..... Injustice is injustice...and justice for all....not just for minorities, not for tens of thousands, but for all.....

By Arthur Jacobs on 2014 02 11, 5:45 pm CST

Eberhard - I think your goals of establishing a national group to study internment and treatment of fellow citizens who have the misfortune of being descendants of a nation with whom we are at war is praise worthy. However, I can't agree with the sentiment expressed @92 suggesting that Germany was less blameworthy than Japan for our entry into WW II. Germany may not have invaded US soil but it did kill many Americans. My uncle was a merchant seaman transiting the Atlantic when his ship was sunk by a German submarine in 1941 well before the war. He was lost at sea along with all of his shipmates. The atrocities Germany committed in Europe are well known. None of that excuses your treatment by this country, but if ever there was an evil empire Nazi Germany fit the bill. Whatever one may think of internment and FDR's administration, declaring war on Germany and insisting on unconditional surrender was absolutely necessary.

By redwood on 2014 02 11, 6:45 pm CST

Redwood, the war was underway in 1941, even though we were not formally in it. What port was your uncle's ship bound?

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 11, 9:59 pm CST

Robert - Pearl Harbor was December 7, 1941. My uncle's ship was bound for Eritria early in 1941 when sunk by a German sub - well before we declared war on Germany. I don't think Germany was at war with Eritria either.

By redwood on 2014 02 11, 10:13 pm CST

Italy was, and Germany was Italy's Axis ally.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 12, 12:47 am CST

Of course they were. So were France and England. Go back and read earlier posts. Maybe it will make more sense to you.

By Redwood on 2014 02 12, 1:14 am CST

No, I don't think England was Italy's Axis ally. After the invasion of Poland (1939) England (and France, while it lasted) fought against the Axis powers.

If you didn't know, it bears mention that FDR had "neutral" U.S. destroyers shadowing Kriegsmarine subs as far out as Iceland, radioing their positions to the Royal Navy. Officially, we weren't in the war yet, but FDR knew he was going to fix that (and he did).

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 12, 1:23 am CST

Not sure where you got the idea I thought England and France allied with Germany. But if we hadn't stepped in when we did to help England all of Europe (with the possible exception of Russia) would have been under Nazi rule for who knows how long. FDR did the right thing.

By Redwood on 2014 02 12, 3:06 am CST

It was from your response to my observation that Germany was Italy's Axis ally, to which you responded (incorrectly, I believe), "Of course they were. So were France and England." Go back and read your own post, and it may make sense to you.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 12, 4:50 am CST

For the record, I am sorry that your uncle's ship was sunk, but wasn't Eritrea part of Ethiopia? Wasn't it under Italian domination? What was your uncle's ship doing? This is a little off topic, but since the subject was raised, it won't hurt to address it.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 12, 5:01 am CST


I haven't missed a thing, except for having had the chance to get to know dozens of my family's European relatives who the Nazis marched off into the woods and shot, or otherwise murdered in concentration camps.

By faddking on 2014 02 12, 7:47 am CST


"He seemingly was a nice guy"

Perhaps to other "Aryans."

"Why is it necessary to destroy people even after paying their “dues”?"

Perhaps because 12 million people were murdered at the hands of those who practiced the beliefs that Kuhn wholeheartedly endorsed. If anyone knew anything about destroying people, it was the Nazis. At the time you were released from internment in 1947, my family members were still trying to learn the fates of many of our European relatives. Of those relative, there were only two known survivors of the Nazi death camps. One of them did not live long after being liberated. He was murdered by Polish anti-Semites in 1946.

Not all Germans were Nazis. There were many ardent anti-Nazi Germans. But all Germans paid the Nazi's bill after the war.

By faddking on 2014 02 12, 8:16 am CST

Yes they did, but was that "justice"? Was the firestorm in Dresden "justice"? Were the thousands of rapes and murders committed by the Red Army in May of 1945 "justice"?

And if you believe in this kind of blood-justice on an entire people, have the atroctities committed by Palestinian terrorists and Hamas militants, in retribution for their suffering then also been "justice"?

You are awash in a sea of blood. When will it suffice?

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 12, 8:27 am CST

German Americans have been paying for Germany's real and perceived sins since WW 1. In other words, America has been trying to destroy one of our largest ethnicities for a century, when in truth, the overwhelming majority have been hard working and loyal to America.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 12, 8:37 am CST


When you accept the fact that the first man to throw a punch has run out of ideas.

By faddking on 2014 02 12, 9:40 am CST

@114 "America has been trying to destroy one of our largest ethnicities for a century"

Is that real or perceived?

Perhaps Arab and/or Muslim Americans can give you a perspective from the most recent ethnic group to suffer a backlash.

By faddking on 2014 02 12, 9:45 am CST

You're right McLeod - my bad.

By Redwood on 2014 02 12, 1:29 pm CST

@116 Faddking, If we formally declare war wih one oif those Muslim countries, every immigrant from that country is now an enemy alien. They can be arrested, interned and deported at the government's whim. Ludecke v. Watkins. Being a citizen is not necessarily a protecton, either. Korematsu v. United States, Hirabayashi v. United States and Yasui v. United States. That is the point of this discussion.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 12, 5:54 pm CST

@110 I think you are right. But that happened a few years before my birth. I don't know what the purpose of my uncle's trip to Erirea was. My point was that American ships were being sunk before war was declared on Germany. Germany didn't know what each ship's mission was but they suspected that if it was an American ship it's mission must be to assist the English or French. So they sunk it. My point was we had every right to declare war on Germany. Of course there was political oppostion to war with Germany and Pearl Harbor gave FDR the excuse. But the world is a better place because of it.

By redwood on 2014 02 12, 7:12 pm CST

@119, no one is arguing the merits of declaring war on Germany. AD Jacobs, Eberhard and I are talking about the treatment of German Americans and Italian Americans. Seldom is this talked about. Would you agree that German Americans should not have been blamed for Nazi Germany's actions?

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 12, 10:53 pm CST


You brought up the subject of the alleged attempted destruction of German Americans. I merely pointed out that Arab and/or Muslim Americans can give you a perspective from the most recent ethnic group to suffer a backlash. Likewise, Native Americans and African Americans can also give you their perspective about "America" trying to destroy ethnicities.

By faddking on 2014 02 12, 10:56 pm CST

@121 I I am very familiar with Native American issues. I worked with the Nez Perce and Coeur d'Alene Tribes for five years in a high school youth program. I am not denying there are serious concerns with Natives , Blacks, Muslims, Hispanics etc. You used the term alleged attempted destruction of German Americans. You have indicated that you are Jewish in previous posts. Straight question> Do you, personally, blame German Americans for the Holocaust?

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 12, 11:11 pm CST

@119 I would agree. But I would also think that this country had a good reason to question those that were recent immigrants to this country evn if they attained citizenship. I know many Germans immigrated to this country early in its history and were as American as anyone. I would think there would have been little reason to question them. But for those with recent ties there would be a natural level of suspicion. For those under suspicion what do you do? You don't have the manpower to follow everyone and you don't want to ignore the possibility that we could be harboring saboteurs or assasins. The simple remedy is to round them up and keep them in one place. Ideally each person would have been judged on their own merits. But I really don't know enough about it to say this is what I would have done. I was not aware of the internment of Germans. Japanese internment has gained more attention. I do think for those Japanese, Germans etc. born in this country or who came over in their infancy should have been given the benefit of the doubt. I don't know that all Germans were blamed for the crimes of the Nazis. If they were then no I certainly don't believe that was appropriate.

By redwood on 2014 02 12, 11:30 pm CST

Redwood, we declared war on Imperial Japan (actually recognizing that a state of war had existed from the commencement of the attack). Germany then declared war on us, because it was Japan's Axis ally, and FDR had what he wanted. (Despite the war colorably coming to be out of the attack by Japan, the European Theater was given first priority).

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 12, 11:53 pm CST


To borrow a line from the ending of the classic movie, The Odessa File:

I bear no hatred nor bitterness towards the German people. Peoples are not evil. Only individuals are evil.

By faddking on 2014 02 13, 1:08 am CST

@125 So say we all

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 13, 1:48 am CST

Except that from Faddking's prior posts in this chain, it is obvious he in fact believes in punishing entire peoples, and has a permanent chip on his shoulder just because some Nazis shot a few of his forebears.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 13, 5:11 am CST

Comment removed by moderator.

By faddking on 2014 02 13, 5:46 am CST

So, you're saying it's not happening right now, Antonin?

By Adamius on 2014 02 13, 5:47 am CST

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By B. McLeod on 2014 02 13, 5:51 am CST

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By faddking on 2014 02 13, 6:26 am CST

I am not the one trying to justify bad behavior such as unwarranted mass internments based on something a few Nazis did. Further, although many Nazis sometimes participated in unjustified conduct, it does not follow that everything all Nazis did must have been wrong. Certainly I am not prepared to criticize these particular Nazis in this instance, without a complete knowledge of the facts.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 13, 1:16 pm CST


You most certainly are trying to justify your bad behavior. Stop making a fool of yourself and move on.

By faddking on 2014 02 13, 3:35 pm CST

You are unbelievable McLeod - extermination chambers, forced labor, human guinea pigs, death marches etc etc is bad behavior by a few Nazis resulting in the extermination of over six million people?

By redwood on 2014 02 13, 9:20 pm CST

War is war and bad things happen and always will. If one believes in Equal Justice in The USA, then All the internees , the Japanese, Germans, Italians and other European internees-- as well as the same ethnics brought from dozens of Latin America states for internment n the USA by the USA- then we or none should have been compensated, we or none should have promptly been released following secession of hostilities
The alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 provide that habeas corpus may be denied and it was. In fact courts at all levels are hesitant to restrain the Executive during Wartime for obvious fight.
There are other means of control of "Enemy Aliens" , some were even used in WW 2, such as Parole at Large, in other words though "convicted", they were free to do such things as essential defense work but were required to regularly report to an authority. The knowledge that one is under "observation" is in itself a deterrent.
I never questioned the right of the government to intern me, which is, in fact granted under Geneva Conventions, but I resent each minute of my internment after the war ended and that was for two and a half years after Hitler killed himself. Now as to NAZI --- just publish the membership list worldwide. Hitler was number 555. Those not on the list were not NAZI, they were German. Just as the US Army was American it was not the DEMOCRAT Army.
Then too we could do the very same thing now about aliens as did Roosevelt. REGISTER every alien in the USA over 14, no matter country of origin, male/female, with fingerprint (ALIEN REGISTRATION ACT 1940), disclose employment data , port of entry or airport, police record and whatever.
Then too there was not merely a Regiment of Japanese who served, but there was an Army of millions of German heritage that served the US military in every military theater including those engaged in the conquest of Europe and Germany itself. There was no domestic threat to the USA by legal German immigrants. Kuhn headed a group which disbanded immediately the day after Pearl Harbor, thus that voice was permanently stilled. But the Bund was not the only group opposed to the war in Europe, but that is a discussion for another time.
To repeat -- we seek only that the USA study internment quietly, no preconditions, to determine all aspects of it, more like a case study than a political document for efficacy, humane treatment, and justice under this fabulous Constitution. Then to report the findings for debate and or action and consideration of the citizenry. This is worthy of a Doctoral Thesis.

By Eberhard on 2014 02 13, 9:31 pm CST

Eberhard - your feeling are understandable and I think the study you suggest could be useful. But from my point of view I think you disregard the fact that the bad things brought on by war in the case of Nazi Germany were virtually unprecedented in human history - at least to my knowledge. I am not aware of any other people that exterminated a significant portion of their country's own citizens as well as the citizens of their own allies many of whom could have served the fatherland as soldiers. Their hatred of their fellow citizens based on ethnicity was so deep they wouldn't even use them for cannon fodder. And most of them had done nothing to deserve such hatred. Citizens of Germany allowed that to happen. I don't know why you and other German Americans were interned after the end of the war, but I would like to know the thinking behind it.

By redwood on 2014 02 13, 10:26 pm CST

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By Just Law on 2014 02 13, 10:53 pm CST

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By B. McLeod on 2014 02 14, 12:00 am CST

Also, in response to @133, at least I still have the option of making a fool of myself, while you are precluded by the axiom of "What's done is done."

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 14, 12:14 am CST

@136 The Russians under Lenin and Stalin killed a lot more people than Hitler did Stalin killed 20 million Ukranians in two government produced droughts in the thirties. That doesn't count the gulags. The Communists were at least as bad if not worse.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 14, 12:38 am CST

The Soviets were worse than the Nazis or at least as bad. Stalin killed 20 million in tow created droughts. That doesn't count the gulags.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 14, 12:39 am CST

They also started earlier. The timing is another problem with trying to use the Nazi death camps as a justification for internment of Germans in the United States in 1941. The death camps didn't exist yet (the first ones would not be constructed by the Nazis until 1942). In 1939, when FDR had the first lists compiled, and in December 1941 when the internments commenced, there were no Nazi death camps.

By the following year, of course, there were. The Allied high command knew where they were and what they were. But, even in the face of reports from escapees who begged that the death camps be bombed, the United States and its allies made a conscious decision to allow them to continue to operate. Strategically, the camps were eating fuel, construction supplies, food and rail resources, and diverting German soldiers (sometimes SS) from the field to guard them. In this way, the camps (and even the prisoners, though they were only going passively to their deaths) were weakening the German military effort, and it was in the Allies' strategic military interest that the situation continue.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 14, 1:57 am CST

Eberhard was not complaining about his internment during hostilities. It was the additional two years that he still resents. I was sort of speculating that maybe the news of the Nazi death camps that started emerging towards the end of the war may had something to do with it. With regard to our country intentionally allowing it to continue please identify your source.

By Redwood on 2014 02 14, 3:07 am CST


An option you repeatedly exercise without self-control. Hence, my advice to you to stop making a fool of yourself and move on.

By faddking on 2014 02 14, 4:46 am CST

My source was the professor in an upper level graduate class in Holocaust Studies, who passed away last year. I don't recall if he gave his source, and I am not going to take time tonight to go looking for my old 1980s notebooks to see. However, based on the extensive data he had put together for the class and the number of secondary sources he assigned for course reading, I expect that you will find corroboration on this point if you research it.

No. 144, please try to remain on topic.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 14, 7:08 am CST

Checking to see what a quick Google search would turn up, this was the first result for "Allied knowledge of the death camps," and is worth a read (although it is specific to one of the worst camps):

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 14, 7:15 am CST

This one is also linked to a great deal of worthwhile information, and covers the extermination operations more generally, although its main thesis seems to be that the Allies did not act because high officials either did not care or actually shared the Nazis' antisemitic prejudices:

I doubt that alternative thesis, and suspect that the overall strategic view was that the best way to stop the Shoa was to stop the Nazis entirely, and that the best way to do that was to utterly destroy their state and force its unconditional surrender. But perhaps that is only what I prefer to believe. Scholars should turn back to these questions, as much of the information should be declassified now, and the need to protect individual reputations and public careers has faded with the passing of the leaders who controlled the decisions.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 14, 7:39 am CST


The topic is Scalia's take on the Korematsu decision, not Nazi death camps. Stay on topic.

By faddking on 2014 02 14, 7:17 pm CST

Someone injected the subtopic of the camps in Post No. 111, and that post hasn't been removed, so the discussion must be sufficiently relevant to the topic. Now move on.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 15, 1:01 am CST

Since this is now a discussion of HOLOCAUST, then I am no longer in this debate, since neither I, nor President Roosevelt knew about it when war began, otherwise he would not have permitted the SS St Louis to return to Europe with 907 Jewish passengers seeking admittance to the USA. It is insanity to suggest that I could have done anything about HOLOCAUST, when the President reused to do something .
At my advanced age I have 7 doctors , 4 of them are Jewish which I selected because they are at the top of their specialty

By Eberhard on 2014 02 15, 2:41 am CST

I don't think anyone here, apart from Faddking, is attempting to use the Shoa to justify internments, and as you point out (and as I have already pointed out) the timing for that thesis does not work, because the internments were ordered before the first death camps even existed.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 15, 2:09 pm CST

Faddking clearly blames German Americans for the Holocaust.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 15, 3:34 pm CST


The topic is Scalia’s take on the Korematsu decision, not you continuing to make a fool of yourself. Stay on topic.

By faddking on 2014 02 16, 6:13 am CST


I clearly do to anyone lacking reading comprehension skills.

By faddking on 2014 02 16, 6:17 am CST

Same response as @149, now move on.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 16, 3:28 pm CST

Same response as @153, now move on instead of you continuing to make a fool of yourself.

By faddking on 2014 02 16, 8:51 pm CST

Well, as previously noted, at least I still have the option of making a fool of myself, while in your case, what's done is done. Now move on.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 16, 11:05 pm CST

McLeod and faddking - You may each say that you got in the last word. It is now time to grow up and act like the mature adults that I expect that you are in real life.

By redwood on 2014 02 16, 11:12 pm CST


Your increasing defensiveness simply serves to acknowledge the correctness of my position and the absence of substance in your own. Please move on.

By faddking on 2014 02 17, 5:37 am CST


That would work if McLeod were a mature adult, but he's a bully, and dealt with as such.

By faddking on 2014 02 17, 6:38 am CST

Comment removed by moderator.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 17, 4:11 pm CST

Please refrain from name calling and personal attacks. Comments that stay on topic are welcome.

By Molly McDonough on 2014 02 17, 4:26 pm CST

Such as No. 160 (and all the others I mentioned)?

A little even-handedness, please.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 17, 4:40 pm CST

Molly, it is nice to see a fresh voice. Eb and I have mostly backedoff this conversation because this has degenerated to elemenary school name calling. I have written a historical fiction manuscript twhich Eb has reviewed for historical accuracy. I am looking for an agent. I am working ona Masters Degree on the subject o the German American experience in WW2. Eberhard and Art Jacobs were both internees during the war. If you have particular questions about the internment, feel free to ask.

By Robert Seward on 2014 02 17, 4:55 pm CST

Of course, when Molly weighs in, that would be the voice that counts, even when she does not sign with her title.

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 17, 4:58 pm CST

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