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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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