On The Monitor this week:
- The (mostly) unknown World War II story of German and German-American internment – an interview with Arthur Jacobs
The “relocation” of Japanese and Japanese-Americans into internment camps during World War II is relatively well known. Less known is the story of the arrest of Germans, German Americans, Italians and Italian Americans which began on December 7, 1941–four days before the U.S. was at war with Germany and Italy. European and European Americans were kept interned until July 1948–more than three years after the war in Europe had ended. On this week’s show we spend the majority of the hour with Arthur Jacobs to hear his account of his own internment, and the battle he has fought since his retirement to get the story of German-Americans out.
More about this week’s guest:
Brooklyn-born Arthur Jacobs is an American citizen whose father was arrested by the FBI in 1944. Lambert Dietrich Jacobs, Art’s father, was taken to Ellis Island. This was the start of a complicated and harrowing journey for Art and his family that saw them all held at Ellis Island along with his father. They were then moved to Crystal City, Texas, to be interned. In 1945, the Jacobs family and 101 internees from Crystal City were sent back to Ellis Island. In 1946, under the threat of deportation, Art’s father volunteered to be sent to Germany and the family was moved to Bremerhaven, Germany. Art was taken to Hohenasperg prison where he turned 13 years old. He was released months later and lived in Germany until he was able to get back to the United States. He served in the United States Air Force for more than two decades. Art wrote about his story in his book, The Prison Called Hohenasperg, Universal Publishers/uPUBLISH.com, 1999. You can visit his website for more info.