Response to Thomas B. Fordham Institute on “The State of State of U.S. History Standards 2011”
Arthur D. Jacobs – On page 142 of your organization’s report “The State of State of U.S. History Standards 2011” by Dr. Sheldon M. Stern and Dr. Jeremy A. Stern, (hereinafter referred to as Sterns) make the following statement as relates to Texas’ U.S. History:
March 23, 2011
Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Via e-mail: Cefinnjr@aol.com
Dear Mr. Finn:
On page 142 of your organization’s report “The State of State of U.S. History Standards 2011” by Dr. Sheldon M. Stern and Dr. Jeremy A. Stern, (hereinafter referred to as Sterns) make the following statement as relates to Texas’ U.S. History:
“In the modern era, the standards list ‘the internment of German, Italian and Japanese Americans and Executive Order 9066’–exaggerating the comparatively trivial internment of German and Italian Americans, and thereby obscuring the incontrovertible racial dimension of the larger and more systematic Japanese American internment….”
You be the judge…on the Sterns’ exaggeration and triviality charge!
Injustice is injustice—The Sterns would argue that one injustice is TRIVIAL.
There were 73.5 million deaths, excluding Holocaust deaths, during World War II. Given that Holocaust had 6 million plus deaths—the Sterns would conclude the Holocaust is TRIVIAL.
STERNS would also state it this way, because six million Jews were killed in the concentration camps, etc., but only one million Gypsies were killed in the camps—in other words the Sterns would argue the Gypsies don’t count!
300,000 German American (permanent resident aliens) and 600,000 Italian Americans (permanent resident aliens) with the stroke of a pen were declared (labeled) Enemy Aliens—they were required to carry ID cards identifying them as Enemy Aliens; they were not permitted to fly, they were not allowed to possess cameras, firearms, and short-wave radios; and in addition they could not travel outside their neighborhoods—TRIVIAL the Sterns say…
Many German American heads of household were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) without the knowledge of their spouses and children—days and weeks went by before the family knew that their breadwinner was arrested….TRIVIAL say the Sterns?
The Jacobs family was destroyed—this may seem to be TRIVIAL to the Sterns, this was neither TRIVIAL to the Jacobs’ nor to other families that were torn asunder by internment.
Thousands, including US-born infants and -children, were sent into harms way, to a Germany under siege—bombs were falling all around them—the Sterns may consider this TRIVIAL, but it certainly was not TRIVIAL to those who fled the bombs.
My brother and I (born in Brooklyn, New York, at ages 12 and 13) in January 1946 were sent to a war-torn, starving Germany.
When we arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany we were taken to Bremen, Germany in U.S. Army trucks and under heavily armed U.S. Army guards…then
We were loaded into frigid stinking boxcars with no facilities…the doors slammed shut and locked… three days and two nights…we rode through one of the coldest winters in Germany, TRIVIAL the Sterns say; then
We were taken to a 14th Century prison (Hohenasperg)—here we were put into cells and threatened with a hanging from the Hangman’s Tree….all under U.S. Army control—TRIVIAL say the Sterns.
According to then Assistant Attorney General James Rowe the U.S. rounded up some 60,000, mostly German Americans—the Sterns say this too was TRIVIAL.
Internment for many German Americans did not end until December 1948…more than three years after the war ended—locked up seven years with no charges against them—TRIVIAL say the Sterns.
More than 50 internment camps and detention centers were used to lock up German Americans during World War II—TRIVIAL say the Sterns.
If there were “charges” against the German Americans—the charges were based upon hearsay—TRIVIAL?
The lists of suspicious persons used by the FBI for the apprehension of German Americans were found to be useless—a TRIVIAL matter according to the Sterns.
All internees were denied a writ of habeas corpus…TRIVIAL the Sterns say….
Internees were denied due process…TRIVIAL say the Sterns…
Eleven Public Laws have been enacted on behalf of Japanese Americans, including permanent resident aliens, providing this ethnic group with relief. NOT ONE Public Law has been enacted on behalf of German Americans—TRIVIAL reported the Sterns.
If it is trivial for a family of four German Americans to be incarcerated for 27 plus MANYEARS—then TRIVIAL needs to be redefined by the Sterns.
Internees included notables such as the designer of the Arizona War Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Alfred Preis, an architect—A TRIVIAL matter according to the STERNS
The parents of Joe DiMaggio, Giuseppe and Rosalie DiMaggio, were among the thousands of German and Italian immigrants deemed “enemy aliens” after Pearl Harbor was attacked. They had to carry photo ID booklets at all times, weren’t allowed to travel more than 5 miles from their home without a permit, and Giuseppe’s boat was seized—of course the Sterns would say this is TRIVIAL.
Sterns would argue that the US policy of encouraging Latin American governments to arrest, deport to the US (a country most of them had never been in) thousands of German Latin Americans, hold them without trial, and then, either charge them with illegal entry, or deport them to Germany—is TRIVIAL
When Being Italian was a Crime. During World War II, some 10,000 Italian immigrants in America were displaced. Another 50,000 lived under curfew. Others spent months or years in internment camps—the Sterns say this was TRIVIAL.
“’Are you Ezio Pinza?’ He admitted he was. They pulled out their FBI badges. One of them said, ‘In the name of the president of the United States, we place you under arrest.’ They searched his house. They put him in a car. They drove him down to the Foley Square courthouse in Manhattan. They fingerprinted him and interrogated him and then they took him to a detention center that was ready and waiting on Ellis Island—the same place he had first entered the country 15 years earlier. They took away his belt, his tie, and his shoelaces. He was to remain there in a crowded dormitory for most of that spring. He was not told the substance of the charges against him. He was not allowed an attorney in the hearings on those never-revealed charges. His offense was being an Italian national..”—TRIVIAL the Sterns report.
/s/ Arthur D. Jacobs, victim of TRIVIAL internment at age 12. TRIVIALLY deported and incarcerated in prison at age 13.
Arthur D. Jacobs
Major, USAF Retired
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