Thursday, January 26, 2006

Art Jacob's story of wartime internment

Please take a moment and read.

Shouldn't this also be included in the Sakai curriculum?

The link is here.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Growing Fat 'n' Happy with the Japanese American Reparations Movment

I'm glad Dave Niewert is a mouth for the Japanese American reparations movement rather then a Friend of Historical Accuracy. Like his buddy Eric Muller, Dave has found exploiting the wartime sufferings of others is great business!

Sadly, rather than allowing for open debate of the history, Dave and his buddy Muller long ago banned me (attempted to) from participating in the discussion on their web blogs. No big loss really. Dave and Eric prefer to preach to the peanut gallery who are their regular readers.

A recent assinine comment from Dave deserves a response here at Friends of Historical Accuracy.

Art Jacobs was interned with his parents alongside ethnic Japanese during the war. Art has devoted a good portion of his life ensuring the history of the internment of ethnic Germans and their American born children also be acknowledged.

Fortunately for historical accuracy, he is succeeding but it's hard work.

Apart from maintaining The Freedom of Information Times widely regarded as the best source for information on German American internment, Art spends much time scanning the mass media for stories on the "Japanese American Internment" and responds with a letter asking for acknwledgement of the German American Internment.

A friend of historical accuracy would demand no less, right?

Sometimes members of the mass media will respond to Art with a polite acknowledgement, others will attempt to debate the history (find they are losing and stop responding) - and on occassion a publication will actually print a correction to their original article and mention the internment of other Axis nationals rather than just ethnic Japanese.

Then sometimes the responses are so assinine they demand a response from me.

Such is the case with Dave Niewert. Read the exchange for yourselves.

Here is the intial letter from Art to a faculty member at University of California at Riverside.

The letter was copied to Dave.

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Arthur D. Jacobs" <
To: < CC: <
Subject: The rest (or should I say the truth) of the story....
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 04:21:10 -0700
RE: The Legacy of Japanese Internment Examined
UCR Hosts Award Winning Journalist at "Issues and Dialog" Lecture Series (January 19, 2006).

Dear Ms. Durant:

In this article you report: "His [David Neiwert] talk, titled "Memory and Meaning: the Continuing Relevance of the Japanese-American Internment," will focus on how race continues to be a critical subtext of American politics, affcting both domestic and foreign policies."

First, I want to let you know that Mr. Neiwert does not understand the internment program of World War II. It was not racist! Almost 11,000 German Americans and 3,300 Italian Americans were interned-that we know of. Furthermore almost one million permanent resident aliens, 600,000 Italian Americans and 300,000 German Americans lost their freedoms and civil liberties during World War II. As a matter of fact, they were branded as "Alien Enemies."

And you also report: "David Neiwert, one of the nation's leading journalists on the subject of race, culture and politics,..." Second, it is hard for me to understand how Mr. Neiwert can be considered one of the leading journalists on the subject of race, culture and politics if he does not have a full understanding of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration's WWII internment program. The internment program was not racist.

For myths on internment I invite you to read the web page of factual information on the myths arrest and internment during World War II; see:


Arthur D. Jacobs
Major, USAF Retired

P.S. Mr. Neiwert, I located your e-mail address after I wrote this e-mail to Ms. Durant. ADJ

In typical fashion here is the response from Dave Neiwert.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Neiwert [] Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 7:20 PM
Subject: RE: The rest (or should I say the truth) of the story....

Mr. Jacobs: You seem all too willing to gloss over the fact that the vast majority of Japanese Americans who endured internment camps during World War II were American citizens -- which was certainly not the case for either the Italian or German internments. Neither was there a mass evacuation of any geographical area based entrirely on race for Italians or Germans. To claim that it was not racist also grossly overlooks the kind of rationalizations that were proferred by the military authorities for the evacuation and relocation. I consider folks like yourselves, in terms of historical accuracy, to be roughly akin to Holocaust deniers, with whom I also have a great deal of experience. Feel free to respond, but do not expect any further response from me.

-- David Neiwert

That's a pretty moronic comment for Dave to make to a German American who spent the war alongside ethnic Japanese in Crystal City, Texas. I know Art's story and suffice to say the suffering endured by Art was above and beyond that endured by the vast majority of ethnic Japanese.

Dave still hasn't (most likely won't) acknowledge the difference between the Deptartment of Justice Relocation Camps and the Wartime Relocation Authority Relocation Centers.

Here's a quick refresher.

“Relocation” refers to voluntary or enforced movement from the West Coast exclusion area to locations in non-effected states from which movement to jobs and schools in other states was arranged. Approximately 9,000 ethnic Japanese relocated voluntarily, 30,000 relocated from centers to other states and 4,300 left centers to attend college.

The civilian War Relocation Authority ran relocation centers. Originally the centers were to be temporary points that evacuees could relocate from, not points that they were to relocate to. This was an admitted failure from the beginning as some uprooted ethnic Japanese didn’t speak fluent English, had few relatives or friends east of the exclusion area and were greeted with hostility from many locals. The alternative was to wait out the war in the centers.

Internment camps were run by the Department of Justice and held only enemy aliens who had been deemed security risks and their U.S. citizen family members who were allowed at their choice to stay with them. Internees included 10,995 Germans, 16, 849 Japanese (5,589 who voluntarily renounced U.S. citizenship and became enemy aliens), 3,278 Italians, 52 Hungarians, 25 Romanians, 5 Bulgarians, and 161 classified as “other”. Only a small fraction of enemy aliens were interned. Japanese citizens with families were sent to Crystal City, Texas and lived side-by-side with German and Italian families. Single men were sent to internment camps in other states. Not all enemy aliens were placed in internment camps, and no American citizen was forcefully placed in an internment camp. If you were interned it was determined that you, a spouse or parent was an enemy alien and a security risk.

It should be noted that all 16,849 Japanese enemy-aliens including the 5,589 that renounced American citizenship were eligible for an apology from the United States and a $20,000 reparations payment while the Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Romanians and Bulgarians received nothing.

Also, German Americans on the east coast and throughout the country were arrested, interned, and in some cases deported. Almost 11,000 German Americans were interned in the U.S. during World War II. Many German Americans sat, worked, played and went to school in the same camps as their Japanese American counterparts.

Furthermore even before the first person was interned, 600,000 Italian Americans and 300,000 German Americans were deprived of their civil liberties when they (all persons, male and female, age 14 and older) were required to register as "Alien Enemies." This registration entailed photographing, fingerprinting and the issuance of identification cards which the Alien Enemies had to have on their possession at all times. In addition they were forbidden to fly; to leave their neighborhoods; to possess cameras, short-wave radio receivers, and firearms. Finally, these persons were required to report any change of employment or address to the Department of Justice.

Moreover, approximately two-thirds of the adults among those evacuated were Japanese nationals--enemy aliens. The vast majority of evacuated Japanese-Americans (U.S. citizens) were children at the time. Their average age was only 15 years. In addition, over 90% of Japanese-Americans over age 17 were also citizens of Japan (dual citizens)under Japanese law. Thousands had been educated in Japan. Some having returned to the U.S. holding reserve rank in the Japanese armed forces.

Then Dave comments on a "mass evacuation based entirely on race" which in reality was based on ethnic origin as Chinese and Filipinos were not evacuated because they were not enemy aliens as the Japanese were - along with their Japanese children who were American citizens based on birthright citizenship, many having dual citizenship.

Dave also fails to mention this MAGIC intercept. It doesn't mention Germans or Italians.

Dave doesn't acknowledge this either:

1.Office of Naval Intelligence memorandum for the Chief of Naval Operations, Feb 12, 1941,"Japanese Espionage Organization in the United States," which suggests that the information therein be brought to the attention of the President and stating that the Japanese government had decided to strengthen its intelligence network by, among other moves to employ "Nisei Japanese and Japanese resident nationals" using extreme caution in doing so.

2. The Tachibana case (March 1941) about which Peter Irons' wrote in his "Justice at War":"...There was no question that Tachibana headed an espionage ring on the West Coast that enlisted a number of Japanese Americans, both aliens and citizens (sic), nor that the government knew the identities of its members..."

3. Military Intelligence Div. 336.8, Honolulu, 14 October 1941. "Japanese Ex-Service Men's Organization" which reports on two Japanese ex-military member groups active in the U.S. with 7200 members, stating in part: "...these two organizations have pledged to do sabotage (railroads and harbors)in the states mentioned (California, Washington, Oregon, and Utah) in time of emergency. Similar organizations are in Hawaii. Sixty-nine local units of these two organizations are said to be carrying on activities."

4. U.S.Army MID Information Bulletin No.6 of Jan.21, 1942,titled "Japanese Espionage," forwarded to Ass't SecWar John J. McCloy by Brig. General Mark J. Clark,then Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S.Army, which, among its conclusions states: "Their espionage net containing Japanese aliens, first and second generation Japanese and other nationals is now thoroughly organized and working underground."

I could go into more detail regarding Japanese nationalism among ethnic Japanese in America and the ten years of the Japanese-American press convincing the rest of us that Japanese invasions of Manchuria and China were a good thing. I could also discuss comparisons between Japanese naval power and German and Italian naval power or the fact the vast majority of ethnic Japanese had been in America just fourty years prior to Pear Harbor that many had initially arrived with no intention of staying...

For people like Dave Niewert that's irrelevent and get's in the way of his lucrative business hurling assusations of racism. Discussing broad historical contexts of historical events isn't Dave's thing.

In Dave's world if someone hurls a racial epithet at you, don't go inside the gas station and call the police. You go inside the gas station take a knife off the shelf and go back outside and stab the guy to death! (That's another book by Dave. He makes his living off the sufferings of others, you know.)

Same with Dave's foray into the reparations movement.

Preach to the peanut gallery.

Hurl acccusations of racism.

Call a guy interned alongside ethnic Japanese during the war a "holocaust denier" and run away.
In a word, Dave is pathetic!

I'm glad Neiwert is a mouth for the Japanese American reparations movment and not Friends of Historical Accuracy.

Art Jacobs is a man of integrity, a public educator and veteran.

His story is the truth and deserves to be acknowledged - not shoved under the carpet because an ethnic minority grievance group lobbied a bunch of politicians to pass a law giving them millions in taxpayer dollars to re-write history with pigs like Niewert (and his buddy Muller) feeding at the trough.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Ken Masugi on Brian Hayashi

Friends of Historical Accuracy regarding the ethnic Japanese Evacuation of 1942

Here's a link to Ken Masugi's comments on a book by Brian Hayashi regarding the evacutaion. I look forward to reading it.

The link is here.

Scroll down a ways to read it. I'll take a chance and paste it below should you have trouble with the link.

Brian Hayashi's Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese-American Internment
Historian Brian Hayashi’s Democratizing the Enemy (Princeton University Press) appeared in 2004, the same year as Michelle Malkin’s In Defense of Internment. Both make highly unorthodox arguments about the relocation of ethnic Japanese during WW II, with Malkin’s work (which I read in manuscript) earning notoriety and making its mark in popular circles and irking a host of usual suspects. (See historian Charles Lofgren’s review of Malkin; my response in the current issue is not on-line.) By contrast, the astounding work of the scholarly Hayashi (a Japanese-American from Hawaii, who taught at Yale and now teaches at Kyoto University) appears to have sunk into obscurity. I have just read his book, which should set the new standard for scholarship on the relocation. Unlike Malkin, he condemns the relocation, “despite the obvious presence of Japanese nationalistic sentiments before and during the camps, since people cannot and should not be locked up on the basis of political sentiment but rather on the basis of acts committed.” Hayashi has the integrity of an historian to uncover the facts and let readers judge for themselves whether his conclusions should be theirs.
One great virtue of Hayashi’s book is that it considers the motivations of Imperial Japan and the influence of Japanese nationalism over the ethnic Japanese. He is particularly astute at pointing out the role of Japanese immigrants in Japan’s other conquests. Pre-relocation violence against ethnic Japanese is also a focus, as is violence against pro-American Japanese Americans by those supporting Japan. (Hayashi is good at underscoring the pro-Japan sympathies of immigrants, my own father’s generation.) And he does not neglect Imperial Japan’s radio broadcasts to ethnic Japanese, urging them to retain their dignity as Japanese subjects and promising them good treatment after the war. On this point the book dust jacket's remarkable cover painting, of news of the atomic bombing received at a relocation camp, deserved close study. Whatever good treatment the Japanese received, he argues, was more to secure good treatment for American POWs than for any humanitarian reasons. Here I think Hayashi errs in not appreciating the internal policy debate and subsequent inconsistencies in policy toward ethnic Japanese and other minorities. For some purposes they were ordinary American citizens (and hence subject to the draft and as workers in even defense-related industries), and for other purposes they were potential agents of the enemy. That led to ambiguous treatment.
The other main weakness of Hayashi’s outstanding work is its failure to deal with the Niihau episode, the strongest part of Malkin’s book. (In this often overlooked part of the Pearl Harbor attack, a Japanese pilot successfully urged a Japanese American couple to assist him in taking over a Hawaiian island.) Together, Hayashi and Malkin provide a means of better appreciating today’s challenges to democratic liberty in the war against terrorists from abroad. That we should not today intern or relocate mass populations does not mean we cannot learn from our World War II experience, its strengths and its flaws.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

How the Go For Broke folks tell it....

"Holocaust historians conclude that the Nisei liberated Kaufering IV Hurlach. This camp housed about 3,000 prisoners. Hurlach was one of 169 subordinate slave labor camps of Dachau. Dachau, like Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Mathausen and Ravensbruck, was surrounded by hundreds of sub-camps. In Germany alone, there were 956 sub-camps."

You can read that here.

However it is stated here:

"The photo below shows American soldiers standing at the gate into the Kaufering IV camp. The TV series "Band of Brothers" depicted the Kaufering IV sub-camp in one of the episodes.

The Kaufering IV camp was near the town of Hurlach; the camp had previously been called Schwabmünchen. Before the Nazis abandoned the camp, they burned some of the barracks buildings. Dr. Charles P. Larson, a US Army doctor, examined 258 bodies at the Kaufering IV camp and reported that 189 had probably died of typhus or starvation, while 86 had apparently been burned to death, 11 had been shot inside the camp and 17 more had been gunned down outside the camp. Dr. Larson also did autopsies on some of the bodies at the Dachau main camp and determined that none had died from poison gas."

The photo credits are from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Those aren't Japanese Americans in the photos and I didn't see any Japanese Americans in the "Band of Brothers" episode either.

The Go for Broke guys don't go into a lot of detail regarding the comments they've posted, and what they have posted contradicts the history provided on the other site , a site that has received the good graces of a professor of German History at UC Santa Barbara and author of what is widely recognized as the most authoritative history of Dachau.

That doesn't stop the Go for Broke guys from editorializing their falsified history,

"Many Japanese American soldiers returned to American concentration camps, like Manzanar, Minidoka and Poston. They helped move their parents and siblings out of the barbed wire camps. They found work and housing and tried to pick up their lives. But they would never forget the sight of the starving Jewish prisoners.

In the spring of 1945, the men in the 522nd had participated in one of the greatest ironies of World War II. Members of a persecuted minority, the Japanese Americans reached out to members of another persecuted minority, the European Jews.

These two minority groups were victims of the most blatant disregard for civil liberties and human rights that a government ever perpetrated against its people - one for being of Japanese ancestry, the other for being of the Jewish faith."

What an outrage and an embarrasment that the Japanese American Reparations Movement would compare this and this - to this, this and this.

Who Liberated Dachau? Part Two

In a follow-up to the previous post, I located a few pictures from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum regarding Japanese Americans (?) and Dachau.

Check out picture number four and a caption which reads...

Two Japanese-American soldiers with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion stand in front of the crematorium in the Dachau concentration camp soon after the liberation.

One of those pictured is Bob Ikeda.

The 522nd Field Artillery operated as an independant battalion in the southern German campaign in the spring of 1945. The enlisted men of the battalion were all Japanese Americans from the west coast and Hawaii. Units of this battalion liberated prisoners on one of the death marches from Dachau near the town of Waakirchen on May 2, 1945.

Date: May 1945 Locale: Dachau, [Bavaria] Germany
Copyright: Agency Agreement (No Fees)

First off, there is no mention of Japanese Americans liberating Dachau at the USHMM website.

Secondly the picture is so blurred that I can't make out the face of the soldier on the left.

Thirdly, the soldier on the right doesn't look like an ethnic Japanese to me. He looks Native American. In fact he looks a lot like my cousin who's 100% Gros Ventre American Indian from Blaine County, Montana.

I've lived amongst Asians and Indians all my life. That's enough time to recognize one from the other and I'm willing to wager that is a picture of Native American soldiers from the Thunderbird Division.

The post provides a name "Bob Ikeda". There is no credit for the photographer so how can this be verified? Copyright is listed "Agency Agreement (No Fees)". Which agencies agreed to post this?

Unfortunately I have become skeptical of any history provided by Japanese Americans since the money bill fiasco of 1988. I could be wrong and if you can solve the mystery please do.

Until then I suspect this picture is planted by the reparations movement. It is historically questionable and deserves to be treated with skepticism.