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The whole story of World War II Internment hasn't been told... They lived behind the same barbwire, order lotrisone no rx required but German Americans and other former internees feel left out of history. Now they are trying to tell their stories.

 

Eberhard Fuhr Story

By Lynda Lin, order lotrisone no rx required Assistant Editor Published June 1, order lotrisone no rx required 2007 in the Pacific Citizen In the small dusty town of Crystal City, order lotrisone no rx required Texas the ruins tell the unlikely story of a former civilization. Concrete foundations and the hollow remains of a swimming pool whisper tales of its former life as a World War II internment camp. But some feel the historical narrative is incomplete. Eberhardt Fuhr was 17 years old when two U.S. Order lotrisone no rx required officials came to his high school in Cincinnati to arrest him in front of his friends. He was taken to Crystal City, order lotrisone no rx required a vast "family" internment camp 120 miles south of San Antonio, order lotrisone no rx required where he lived with his family for over four years. Like his fellow Japanese American internees, order lotrisone no rx required Fuhr's crime was his ethnicity. Crystal City marker"It was a time of abrogated human and civil rights, order lotrisone no rx required" said Fuhr, order lotrisone no rx required 82. Order lotrisone no rx required "A subscription to a German magazine usually lead to jail." About 15, order lotrisone no rx required000 Germans and German Americans were interned in the U.S. Order lotrisone no rx required during WWII under suspicion of being Nazi sympathizers. At Crystal City, order lotrisone no rx required German Americans made up the second largest ethnic community, order lotrisone no rx required but are largely forgotten in historical context. Even a historical marker at the former entrance of the camp refers only to the injustice inflicted against JAs. Fuhr feels a certain amount of resentment, order lotrisone no rx required but he takes every opportunity to talk about his experience. "I just got back from speaking to some children at a school in Chinatown, order lotrisone no rx required" said Fuhr, order lotrisone no rx required who lives in Palatine, order lotrisone no rx required Illinois. Among some other memorabilia, order lotrisone no rx required he brought his arrest warrant, order lotrisone no rx required passport and other legal documents to "present a factual situation." about his little known history. One Camp, order lotrisone no rx required Different Experiences At its peak, order lotrisone no rx required Crystal City was a bustling mini city with diversity: Japanese Americans, order lotrisone no rx required German Americans, order lotrisone no rx required Germans from Latin America, order lotrisone no rx required Italian Americans and Japanese Latin Americans coexisted in a makeshift community. But its idyllic name belied its desolate location where mesquite trees offered the only reprieve from harsh summer heat. Unlike the main 10 JA internment camps, order lotrisone no rx required Crystal City housed alien enemies and their families. Often most of those held in camps like Crystal City were arrested under the Alien Enemy Act for simply being community leaders or martial arts instructors. Many were held without formal trials. Fuhr's parents were arrested and taken away while he was working at a North Carolina boy's camp. When he arrived at Crystal City in July 1943, order lotrisone no rx required the 17-year-old had not seen his parents in a year. The camp was made up of family units that afforded some vestiges of privacy over communal life. It also gave Fuhr his first encounter with Japanese Americans (or "JA's"). "It was strange to hear the language. It was stranger to hear the Japanese music, order lotrisone no rx required" he said. At Crystal City there were no walls separating ethnic groups, order lotrisone no rx required but each communities' experiences was carefully delineated. German Americans lived on one side while JAs lived on the other. There was one general high school, order lotrisone no rx required as well as a German and a Japanese school. "The German Americans lived in their own side of the camp. Order lotrisone no rx required The Japanese Americans stuck to their own group, order lotrisone no rx required" said Sumi Shimatsu, order lotrisone no rx required a Nisei who lived at Crystal City for two years. Order lotrisone no rx required "We got along, order lotrisone no rx required but we didn't go out of our way to be friends with them." But all barriers fell away when it came to sports. The Japanese team played the German and Latin American team in softball, order lotrisone no rx required baseball and eventually soccer. "It was a friendly rivalry, order lotrisone no rx required" said Fuhr. "They are very big! It made it awfully tough for us to beat them, order lotrisone no rx required" said George Kodama, order lotrisone no rx required 79, order lotrisone no rx required with a laugh. Order lotrisone no rx required "We were all trying to grow up in a place where we didn't know where we were going." Life After Internment When the fences came down, order lotrisone no rx required lives further diverged. Order lotrisone no rx required Some repatriated to the countries that were now foreign while others struggled to reestablish their homes and reconcile with the past. "I didn't talk a lot about it until I retired, order lotrisone no rx required" said Fuhr about his internment. "Back then I always had the feeling that I couldn't go for a job that required security clearance." He had to wait seven years after his release from Crystal City in order to be applicable for U.S. Order lotrisone no rx required citizenship, order lotrisone no rx required but he couldn't shake the feeling that he was never qualified for a job. Unlike the JA community, order lotrisone no rx required which actively organizes internment camp reunions, order lotrisone no rx required Fuhr only keeps in touch with a spattering of former German American internees. Life after internment wasn't as smooth for German American internees as JAs, order lotrisone no rx required said Shimatsu, order lotrisone no rx required who had just returned from a Crystal City reunion in Las Vegas. Order lotrisone no rx required "Their anger is much stronger." It's more a feeling of resentment, order lotrisone no rx required said Fuhr for being left out of history despite their shared experiences. In 1988, order lotrisone no rx required JAs won the long-fought battle for an apology from the U.S. Order lotrisone no rx required government and redress, order lotrisone no rx required while the narratives of other ethnic communities languished in obscurity. "The German experience is not well-known, order lotrisone no rx required because myths were spread by so-called scholars, order lotrisone no rx required who knew little or nothing of the truth of internment, order lotrisone no rx required" said Arthur D. Order lotrisone no rx required Jacobs, order lotrisone no rx required a retired major of the U.S. Order lotrisone no rx required Air Force and researcher of WWII internment history. Fuhr attributes the lack of awareness to the lack of a coalition. Building Bridges, order lotrisone no rx required Completing History A growing number of campaigning German Americans are now asking for recognition from the American government for their injustice. The Wartime Treatment Study Act, order lotrisone no rx required which seeks to establish a commission to review the facts surrounding injustices suffered by European Americans, order lotrisone no rx required European Latin Americans, order lotrisone no rx required and European refugees during WWII, order lotrisone no rx required is currently up for debate in Congress. And a "bus-eum" exhibit sponsored by Traces, order lotrisone no rx required a non-profit educational organization, order lotrisone no rx required allows visitors to learn about the German American internment experience in a converted mobile museum with its own 21-seat theater. "This history of U.S. Order lotrisone no rx required internment cannot be limited to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, order lotrisone no rx required" said Grace Shimizu of Campaign for Justice, order lotrisone no rx required an advocacy group working for redress for Japanese Latin Americans. Order lotrisone no rx required "If we want to look to our past to draw lessons for today, order lotrisone no rx required we need history that is based on truth and accuracy. What is at stake is the defense of our Constitution, order lotrisone no rx required application of international human rights to the U.S., order lotrisone no rx required and upholding rule of law and our democratic process." Mending the divide between JAs and other former internees is simple, order lotrisone no rx required some argue. "The divide can easily be mended first by including all civilian victims of internment in discussions, order lotrisone no rx required in meetings, order lotrisone no rx required in bills, order lotrisone no rx required and in proposals on the subject of internment and second by insisting that our textbooks be corrected, order lotrisone no rx required followed by an insistence that the social studies curriculum of our schools be required to include a section on the internment of German Americans, order lotrisone no rx required" said Jacobs. JACL National President Larry Oda was born in Crystal City in 1945 and although he has no memory of the desolate camp, order lotrisone no rx required he remembers his mother talking about the separate areas for the JAs, order lotrisone no rx required JLAs and Germans. "Just as we fought to have the injustice inflicted on us acknowledged and corrected, order lotrisone no rx required part of what we wanted to accomplish was to ensure that all suspension of civil liberties against any group never was allowed to occur again. Order lotrisone no rx required The JLA and German internees were concurrent with us and should be afforded the same justice as we've achieved." Original piece by Ms. Order lotrisone no rx required Lin can be found at:    http://www.traces.org/buseum_2_tour/Eberhard-Furh.html