Friday, July 12, 2013

About Woodrow Wilson's concentration camps......

Little known is it that FDR is not the first president to have relocation camps, and Japanese Americans were not the original target. Nearly 30 years prior to World War two, German Americans were the targets and the most interesting thing is that very little is written about this. History has been virtually expunged of this topic. Historians do not write about it, so history books don't contain it, and even from various news journals at the time it was largely unreported. When it was reported, some of the blurbs on it were small and not noteworthy.

The first American President to have internment camps got away with it.

I could only find a handful such articles about the incident, one of which details the treatment of war captives. "How the United States Takes Care of German Prisoners (June, 1918)" The other stories I found are often times reported in passing, they detail the harassment of citizens, business owners, and others who clearly don't exist in a war or battle context.

One such citizen was Agathe Wilhelmine Richrath who:

MISS AGATHE WlLHELMINE RICHRATH, instructor in German at Vassar College, who has been taken into custody at Poughkeepsie on a charge of being pro-German and of circulating German propaganda, has tendered her resignation and it has been accepted. Miss Richrath will be interned as an alien enemy.

The paragraph above the one I quoted lists Dr.s Richard Goldschmidt and Rhoda Erdmann were both detained and interned as well.

Richrath's internment did actually get reported in the NY Times, along with the names of several other people in passing.

Finally, quite a scene was created when the government went after Heinrich Bockisch:


Official Statement Issued by Bureau of Investigation of the Alien Property Custodian

E. M. Atkin of the Bureau of Investigation, Alien Property Custodian, New York, issued the following statement on Tuesday last relative to M. Welte & Sons:

"Heinrich Bockisch, the factory manager and a large stockholder in M. Welte & Sons, Inc., was taken into custody by the United States Government on April 22, 1918, on charges of German propaganda. He was ordered interned and was removed July 2 to Fort Oglethorpe, with 17 other alien enemies.

The story talks about a fight on the street and more.

These are all names which are lost to history at this point, but what I'm getting at is that Woodrow Wilson's concentration camps were real. The government did not just intern foreigners(which is bad enough) but they also went after those who emigrated to our country, set up businesses, were attempting to be productive members of society, may have planned on staying, and some who were even full time citizens. One of the most "well known"(His name is specifically listed on Wikipedia) internees was Dr. Karl Muck, who once he was released from his year of detainment, left the country.

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