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German Subjects Within Our Gates
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German Subjects Within Our Gates
Work Type
Ink on paper
6 p. ; 20 cm.
Written by the National Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor of Columbia University, this piece addressed German “aliens of enemy nationality” within the U.S. and the possibility of their internment during the war. The author opened with a declaration of sympathy and friendliness towards Germans in the U.S., assuring that no “disposition” to harm them nor interfere with their lives would occur, granted that they obeyed U.S. law and did not interfere or act “[prejudicially] to the interests of the United States Government.” Although having claimed that the government relied on these aliens for their devotion, loyalty, and support, the author stressed that the government was “prepared and equipped” to deal with emergencies and intern them if need be. Internment was described as mutually helpful: preventing hostile acts against the government and protecting the aliens themselves. Mentioning other nations’ difficulties with internment and abiding by the Hague Convention – prisoners of war could not do work connected to the war – the author stated that potential U.S internment of German aliens would imitate Canada – having prisoners clear land and build roads in exchange for economic opportunity and parole. The committee claimed that the plans to implement an internment program were ready even though the government did not predict their necessity. There would be friendly treatment for the Germans aliens “so long as they [were] deserving of it.” If instead they acted in “hostile” ways, they would be met with “forceful suppression.”
Accession Number
D525.U6 G477 1917
ID Number
Boatwright Special Collections
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