VITAL SIGNSrnHISTORYrnThe CensoredrnHistory ofrnInternmentrnby Joseph E. FallonrnIn March 1997, Japanese-Peruviansrnwho had been interned in the UnitedrnStates during World War II called uponrnPresident Clinton to issue an executivernorder awarding them financial compensationrnsimilar to that awarded in 1988rnto Japanese-American former interneesrnand relocatees under PublicrnLaw 100-383. Simultaneously, thesernJapanese-Peruvians lobbied members ofrnCongress to enact legislation whichrnwould award them this money shouldrnthe President reject their claims. As inrn1988, the facts about internment andrnthose who were interned is being censoredrnso that individuals of Japanese ancestryrnalone might receive $20,000 perrnperson.rnThe politically correct revisionistsrnconfound internment and relocation inrnorder to misrepresent the actual numbers.rnInternment, which is based on thernEnemy Alien Act of 1798 and is recognizedrnby international law, commencedrnon December 7, 1941, and was appliedrnonly to enemy aliens —i.e., nahonals ofrnthose countries with which the UnitedrnStates was at war. Since internees werernalmost always men, many of whom werernthe sole financial support of their families,rnfamily members, even if Americanrncitizens, were permitted voluntarily tornjoin husbands or fathers in internment.rnBut once inside the camps, they couldrnnot leave.rnAccording to a 1948 government reportrnon wartime internment, 56 percentrnof all non-renunciant internees (14,426rnof 25,655) were Europeans and European-rnAmericans—Cermans, Italians,rnHungarians, Rumanians, Bulgarians,rneven some Czechs and Poles. The totalrnnumber of Japanese and Japanese-Americansrninterned was 16,849—not 120,000rnas historical revisionists claim. Of thatrn16,849, however, nearly one-third —rn5,620—were renunciants. That is, afterrnPearl Harbor, 5,620 United States citizensrnof Japanese ancestry renouncedrntheir American cihzenship so that theyrncould be repatriated to Japan.rnAn additional 20,000 Japanese-Americansrnin Japan at the start of the warrnjoined the Japanese war effort, and hundredsrneven joined the Japanese army.rnThe most infamous case was that of TomoyarnKawakita, an American citizenrnwho worked as an interpreter and arnPOW guard for the Japanese army, andrnactively participated in the torture (andrnat least one death) of American soldiers,rnincluding survivors of the Bataan DeathrnMarch.rnBowing to pressure from Japanese-rnAmericans, Congress, on July 1, 1944,rnenacted Public Law 405, which allowedrncitizens to renounce their citizenship inrntime of war. There were no renunciantsrnamong German-Americans, Italian-rnAmericans, or any other Americans ofrnEuropean ancestry.rnIn addihon, many Japanese nationalsrnand Japanese-Americans with dualrnnationality living in the United Statesrnrefused to take a loyalty oath or tornpromise to abide by this nation’s laws.rnWith the exception of a reference to thernJapanese emperor, this loyalty oath wasrnthe same as that required of all UnitedrnStates draftees and all persons working inrnUnited States war industries. There wasrnno similar refiisal to take a loyalty oath orrnto promise to abide by American lawsrnamong Germans, Italians, or other Europeans.rnRelocation from the West Coast wasrnbased on Executive Order 9066, issuedrnby President Roosevelt on February 19,rn1942 —more than two months after internmentrnhad been implemented. Thisrnorder affected California, portions ofrnWashington and Oregon, and the southernrnthird of Arizona. Contrary to revisionistrnmisrepresentations, it did not callrnfor the “intemmenf’ of Japanese in “concentrationrncamps.” Executive Orderrn9066 clearly stated that “any or all personsrnmay be excluded, and with respectrnto which, the right of any persons to enter,rnremain in, or leave shall be subject tornwhatever restrictions the Secretary ofrnWar or the appropriate Military Commanderrnmay impose in his discrehon.”rnGermans and Italians were also excludedrnfrom the West Coast. Of thern112,000 residents of Japanese ancestryrnwho were excluded, nearly 40 percentrnwere enemy aliens who by law shouldrnhave been interned. Those excludedrnwere encouraged by the LInited Statesrngovernment to resettle in the easternrnhalves of Washington and Oregon (areasrnnot affected by Executive Order 9066) orrnin any of the other 44 states.rnThe government established relocationrncenters as a temporary (and voluntary)rnalternative to resettlement. Butrnsuch housing was only for residents ofrnJapanese ancestry. Those of Germanrnand Italian ancestry had to fend forrnthemselves. Of the tens of thousands ofrnJapanese who chose to enter relocationrncenters, 35,000 soon left to resettle inrnother parts of the country.rnThese relocation centers had thernhighest live-birth rate and the lowestrndeath rate in wartime United States.rnThe Japanese in the centers “receivedrnfree food, lodging, medical and dentalrncare, clothing allowance, education,rnhospital care, and all basic necessitiesrn. . . . The government even paid travelrnexpenses and assisted in cases of emergencyrnrelief”rnA National Student Council RelocationrnProgram was also instituted by therngovernment, and like the relocation centers,rnit discriminated against those ofrnGerman and Italian ancestry. Under thisrnprogram, 4,300 students of Japanese ancestryrnreceived scholarships to attendrnmore than 500 colleges and universihesrnlocated outside of the exclusionary zone.rnSeeking to have Executive Orderrn9066 declared unconstitutional, thernJapanese American Citizens League andrnthe American Civil Liberties Union filedrnthree test cases with the Supreme Court:rnKorematsu v. United States, Hirabayashirnv. United States, and Yasui v. UnitedrnStates. But in its October 1944 term, thernSupreme Court, led by Justices WilliamrnO. Douglas and Felix Frankfurter (itsrn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn