Updated: 9:45 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2012 | Posted: 11:41 a.m. Thursday, June 14, 2012
Q&A on the News
By Andy Johnston
For the AJC
Q: During WWII, why didn't the U.S. intern the Germans and Italians like they did to the Japanese population since we were also at war with both Germany and Italy?
-- Peter Jones, Conyers
A: The U.S. interned 11,000 German Americans and Latin American citizens during World War II, according to the German American Internee Coalition, and thousands of Italian Americans. Many of the “enemy aliens,” as they were termed during the war, were held in internment facilities throughout the country, although some were arrested and placed in custody. Their families were subject to surprise raids from the FBI, according to a Congressional Report called “A Review of the Restrictions on Persons of Italian Ancestry During World War II.” A government agency called the War Relocation Authority made arrangements with Latin American countries to either detain thousands of their citizens of German, Italian or Japanese ethnicity in camps in the Panama Canal Zone and Cuba, or deport them to U.S. camps. Several thousand more people of German and Italian descent were forced to move from prohibited zones in the U.S., especially along the California coast. Others, such as the father of baseball star Joe DiMaggio, had restrictions placed on them. DiMaggio’s father Giuseppe, a fisherman in San Francisco who had been born on an island near Sicily, was told he could not fish in the bay, CNN.com reported, several months after his son set the MLB record with a 56-game hitting streak.
Andy Johnston, for the AJC. Do you have a question about the news? Our news researchers will try to get an answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name and city). Sorry, individual responses are not possible.
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