Skip to comments.About Woodrow Wilson's concentration camps......
Posted on 07/12/2013 7:27:07 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
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:
STATUS OF M. WELTE & SONS DEFINED
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.
But were they starved and beaten? Made to work 18 hour days with little food, cabbage soup? Lay on maggot infested straw in barns?
Wilson, FDR, Klinton, Carter, LBJ, and Obama. How did America elect this bunch of communists??? How did America throw away 200 years of freedom and becoming the greatest nation on the face of this earth, for THIS!!!!
The German born conductor Karl Muck, who was then conducting the Boston Symphony, was interned at a camp in Georgia from March 1918 until August 1919.
The Confederates during the Civil War had what was in effect a concentration camp for Southern Unionists. The Democratic Party, the party of dirty tricks, has some skeletons in its closet.
Roger Baldwin was one of the catalysts.
The first concentration camps in America were authorized by Congress in 1851 with the passage of the Indian Appropriations Act. Millard Fillmore was in office at the time. That is, unless you want to count the entire territory of Oklahoma as one big concentration camp, in which case you’d have to look all the way back to Andrew Jackson.
Don't leave out Lincoln.
Internment camps for enemy aliens was standard operating procedure through WWII, for all countries.
There is one book on the subject, and it’s excellent: Nazi Prisoners of War in America by Arnold Krammer, a Texas A&M professor. (ISBN-10: 0812885619 /
Includes some rare photos, as well as interviews with the people who ran, and inhabited, the camps.
Many German prisoners had fond memories of their time in the US camps, and credited what they learned here for their successful careers after the war.
Are people in Staunton, VA, still proud of their Wilson tie?
The “Union” had a concentration camp in Elmira, NY.
And now the internment er re-location camps are for constitution loving patriotic conservatives.
One word: Andersonville.
I read that a large number of them stayed in the US after the war. Germany was in ruins, no jobs or income.
Don’t recall that he ever mentioned being a POW, but my first flight instructor had been an ME-110 pilot during the war.
I ran across a writeup a few years ago about the internment of the diplomatic embassy staffs of the German, Japanese and Italian Embassies who were on-site in early December ‘41.
I don’t recall the details; as I recall they didn’t give their American guards much trouble, but the three diplomatic delegations didn’t get along particularly well with each other.
One of the LARGEST non-nuclear detonations ever, was the infamous "Black Tom Explosion" in New York harbor in 1916. This explosion was so huge it not only destroyed a ship and a large munitions plant, but actually damaged the Statue of Liberty...something like a half-mile away. At the time, Americans were told it was an accident, but, the government knew (and revealed in the 1920s) with clear evidence that it was an act of German sabotage. Along with Black Tom, apparently over 50 acts of German sabotage were known during the war.
The fact of the matter was that the US government, and US corporations, were actively supporting the Allies from the very beginning of the war. Munitions manufacturers made tens of millions selling to the Allies, and Wilson, in spite of his promises to keep the US out of war, was actively looking for a pretext to get involved...so it really is no wonder that Germany saw the USA as its enemy long before we entered the war openly in 1917.
Once again, I wish we had stayed out...but we didn't, and since we were involved in WWI all along, given German sabotage, especially after the enormous Black Tom Explosion, no wonder Wilson was incredibly anti-German...even to the point of opening internment camps.
I remember Richard Basehart playing the CO of Andersonville
The worst camps had to be if you were captured by “Japs”
in ww2.Brutal sob’s then.
Who cares? What’s your point? The government robbed these folks of their freedom without due process
I suspect that if the US had stayed out of The Great War, Germany may very well have won, and a certain Austrian painter would have died in anonymity.
By the time the Germans launched their Spring Offensive in 1918, they were nearly dead, but the French were in even worse condition, and the Germans probably would have taken Paris if not stopped by the Americans at Belleau Wood.
Oh I don’t. I blame him for what he did. You were listing “progressive” presidents. Lincoln was the first.
The Progressive Era’s Legacy in The New Deal
No flaming liberal here, but what really pist me off was when I read that German prisoners in the south could go to the movies and sit in the lower section, but black U.S. soldiers still had to sit in the balcony.
Please give examples of how Lincoln was a Progressive President.
my grandfathers uncle died at the concentration camp in andersonville
People should not confuse POW camps for internment camps. They’re not completely dissimilar but they’re not the same thing either.
IIRC, after the war ALL German POWs were repatriated to their Fatherland, bombed into ruins & everything. Those who wished to return to America did so as foreign civilians & went through the usual immigration procedures. Many new German immigrants were of course not former POWs but actual Nazi war criminals and they are still being caught well into their nineties.
Hmmm... no mention here yet about the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans who like WWI German-Americans were also citizens.
What is largely discussed is Woodrow Wilson. I knew he was a progressive but never knew what an idiot he was regarding foreign relations. Peace without victory?
The more I read of these times, the more I am reading of the present, honestly.
Are you calling the carving out of reservations for the Indians, “concentration camps”?
You apparently missed reading about the German Bundts both in WWI and WWII. It was not just that people were interned. The interned were indeed antiUS and proGerman.
Eugene V. Debs
What’s your point? The government has been doing it for years - that’s my point.
The only president worse than Woody is Barry.
He did unfortunately follow through with the Progressive idea of federal railroads, but he was not the first to do so. Also, he used the railways for the protection which is in the purview of any US President - of the attacks against the Federal Government - to protect the Constitution which the Democrat Slave states tried to destroy. And what else do you think was progressive about him?
Yes. The 19th century implementation of Indian Reservations certainly warrant that label.
What attacks against the Federal Government? Lincoln's War Against the States consisted entirely of the invasion and conquest of the south. Are you saying the Federal Government would have ceased to exist if the south had been left in peace?
Lincoln was the first president to implement many of the policies that would eventually become the progressive agenda. His corporate welfare program would become the regulatory state. His racist back-to=Africa fantasies would grow into the eugenics movement. And who could question his commitment to legal positivism and absolute state authority? He was the first president to issue a fiat currency (since the War of Independence that is). And he was a fervent supporter of protective tariffs. It is no coincidence that the campaign to built the Lincoln Memorial began under a Progressive administration. He was their patron saint.
If the Kaiser wins WW1, no Nazis in Germany and (possibly) no Bolsheviks in Russia.
If he won quickly enough. The Tsar abdicated in February, 1917, Lenin arrived in April with a $10 million war-chest courtesy of Max Warburg.
FYI: The best book on WWI to come out recently is IMHO Thomas Flemming’s The Illusion Of Victory: America In World War I.
How about the American Indians who were rounded up and put on reservations? Wasn’t that a type of imprisonment? They were not all wild savages killing just out of blood lust. Some were quite friendly.
But definitely Bolsheviks - the revolution happened largely because of the Czar's military failure against Germany.
This quote alone shows you're either in denial, a liar, a lunatic, or a combination of the three. The rest of you diatribe shows signs of the same thing. I can see I cannot have any kind of a logical discussion with you; good luck!
No, reservations do not warrant being compared to actual concentration camps.
And some merely owned property that others wanted. The Cherokee were deported because gold was discovered in Georgia.
Run away if you want to. If all you have left in response to my arguments are personal insults then I’ll count it as a win.
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