Bill would study WWII treatment of ethnics, refugees

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)
introduced legislation to re-examine U.S. World War II-era treatment of ethnic
German and Italians, as well as Jewish refugees.

The Wartime Treatment Study
Act would create two
fact-finding commissions to study internments and other restrictions imposed
on some European Americans during World War II, as well as government policies
limiting the ability of Jewish refugees to come to the United States, Feingold said in a statement last week. The measure was co-sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.),
Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).

“Although the U.S. government has
formally studied and recognized the mistreatment of Japanese Americans during
World War II, no similar endeavor has been undertaken with regard to these other
groups,” said Feingold, who is Jewish. “Americans are rightly proud of our
victory in World War II, but few people know about our government’s failure then
to protect the basic rights of German and Italian Americans. Americans must
learn from these tragedies now while the people who survived these injustices
are still with us.”

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