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Neither Aliens nor Enemies: The Hearings of “German” and “Italian” Internees in Wartime Hawai‘i

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Title:Neither Aliens nor Enemies: The Hearings of “German” and “Italian” Internees in Wartime Hawai‘i
Authors:Rosenfeld, Alan
Date Issued:2014
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi Press
Citation:Rosenfeld, A. (2014). Neither Aliens nor Enemies: The Hearings of “German” and “Italian” Internees in Wartime Hawai‘i. In Breaking the Silence: Lessons of Democracy from the World War II Honouliuli Internment and POW Camp in Hawai’i (Vol. 45, pp. 80-108). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaiʻi Press.
Abstract:Although officially billed by J. Edgar Hoover as an “Alien Enemy Control” program, an examination of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s wartime internment of civilians in Hawai‘i reveals that the bureau grossly overstepped the authority provided under the Alien Enemies Act. Specifically, the hearing board transcripts of those detained as German and Italian alien enemies demonstrate that wartime authorities in martial law Hawai‘i proceeded emphatically on the side of caution and security, even at the expense of justice. In fact, those apprehended for the purposes of “Alien Enemy Control” and subsequently interned at the Sand Island and Honouliuli detention camps included numerous US citizens—both by naturalization and by birth—and several men who had served in the US Armed Forces. One could also find people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds among the ranks of Hawai‘i’s “German” and “Italian” internees, ranging from civilians of Scandinavian descent to an Irish American woman and a family of Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Austria. The stories of this diverse array of internees underscore the importance of defending democratic principles, particularly in moments of crisis.
Description:Modified from original published version to conform to ADA standards.
Original publication can be found at
Pages/Duration:31 pages
Appears in Collections: Articles
Rosenfeld, Alan

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