Senate votes to study treatment of Germans in U.S. during WWII

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In 1943, 17-year-old Eberhard Fuhr was taken out of his high school classroom in Cincinnati, arrested by FBI agents, and sent off to an internment camp for "enemy aliens" in Texas, where he spent the next 4 1/2 years with his family.

The stories of the Germans have gotten little attention so far, but the Senate took a step toward changing that last week, voting to look into the treatment of Germans and other Europeans in the U.S. during World War II.

The legislation's status is uncertain because it was passed as an amendment to the immigration bill, which stalled in the Senate last week.

Still, just getting a vote on the issue was an accomplishment for Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who represents a large German population. For the last six years, a hold placed by an anonymous Republican senator had kept it from coming up for a vote.

"Congress and the U.S. government did the right thing by recognizing and apologizing for the mistreatment of Japanese Americans during World War II," Feingold said. "That same respect has not been shown to the many German Americans, Italian Americans, and European Latin Americans."

Feingold's "Wartime Treatment Study Act" would set up a commission to examine the treatment of German, Italian and other Europeans; and a second commission to look into how Jewish refugees fleeing persecution were treated.

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Donald Newton Langenberg - 6/11/2007

Anybody know who the "anonymous Republican senator" is?