Did Wesley Clark’s World War 2 Camps for Nazis Actually Exist?

RH reader Teri pointed out that when Wesley Clark said

In World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech. We put him in a camp.

— he was either misinformed or outright lying.  Teri wrote:

We did not have internment camps for Nazi sympathizers during WW2; we had internment camps for Japanese-Americans. They weren’t rounded up because they were Nazis or had expressed interest in Nazi ideas, but simply because they were of Japanese descent.

I regret that I didn’t verify Clark’s mythical Nazi camps myself, even though I had only ever heard of the internment of Japanese-Americans.  It’s certainly a claim that is entirely out of sync with the tactical relationship the US Ruling Class has long had with Nazis, white supremacists and fascists that I have discussed elsewhere on this blog. Various readers noted that Avery Harriman, Prescott Bush and Henry Ford would all qualify for internment under such a policy.

In poking around on the web following Teri’s comment, I  discovered that German nationals were interned as well, but from what I can tell, here too, ethnicity, not ideology was the justification. Italian-Americans were also interned, again on the basis of descent. Clark’s remarks suggest a policy that would have interned Nazi sympathizers of any kind, German or otherwise, but I have found nothing that verifies such a policy.

A beloved progressive militarist fabricating a WW 2 internment of Nazi sympathizers in the midst of recommending such a solution for radicalized Muslims is kind of important. So it’s interesting and also troublesome that very few, if any, of the accounts of Clark’s remarks challenge his claims. His MSNBC host Thomas Roberts certainly didn’t. Salon, The InterceptMediaite and Reason didn’t either.

So what’s the deal? Are we wrong here in claiming that there weren’t camps for Nazis? If we’re not wrong, why did seemingly no one in a high place point this out?

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42 Responses to Did Wesley Clark’s World War 2 Camps for Nazis Actually Exist?

  1. Romancing the Loan says:

    I would suggest it’s because no one in the media does any research before writing their articles or has more than the sketchiest understanding of history. My spouse used to work at an NPR affiliate and the level of “oh this seems hard let’s just expense a lunch date with my old college buddies for a trend piece” was very, very high. I doubt it’s a calculated omission. Internment camps based on ideology would have been more likely for Communists than Nazis, and I don’t think either ever existed on an official level. Those people just get hassled by domestic law enforcement.

    • Tarzie says:

      I’m not suggesting it’s deliberate. It certainly wasn’t in my case. It’s quite possible it’s just as you say, that they’re ignorant and lazy. That’s hardly mitigating. Laziness is less objectionable in some cases than others. Not clarifying the history in this particular case is quite pernicious whether intended or not. I’m lazy cause I’m not paid and my influence is miniscule. They don’t have that excuse.

      This demonstrates the effect of habitually whitewashing the US ruling class’s true relationship to fascism and to the German Nazis in particular. If they understood that relationship, they’d be less likely to take a claim like this at face value.

      • Romancing the Loan says:

        Not suggesting it’s mitigating. I think it’s worse than if they were doing it on purpose. Uncovering deliberate corruption might have an effect but how do you fight stupid?

  2. Clarke is laying down a justification for locking up people who are different in some obvious way from real Americans (religion, accent, names, anything else that goes against the grain). His statements will be largely accepted because he is a respected general which makes everything he says true. Sure, that internment camp things sounds harsh but the progressives will accept it, should the day come, as long as there is “accountability”, “transparency” and judicial or legislative “oversight”.

    Aren’t the people at Salon etc paid to write articles? I think so and that none of them bothered to research Clarke’s statements is suspiciously lazy since the perception among the general population is that these are high-brow outlets (others here may disagree). NPR research this? Their stars only get paid 200K/year more or less so where’s the motivation? Like Romancing the Loan said that’s too hard.

  3. PB says:

    Oh boy, if we actually imprisoned Nazi supporters during WWII we would have imprisoned the men behind the biggest businesses in the nation. Please see Trading With The Enemy by Charles Higham:

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/682306.Trading_With_The_Enemy

  4. Norman Pilon says:

    Hm. I thought Hitler’s Germany, that is the Nazis, were a problem for the Soviets more than a problem for the Anglo-American empire (the way, for example, that ISIS is a problem for Syria and not so much for the U.S., despite the official line). And when, really, did entering the war in Europe become a really pressing issue for the American elite? When increasingly it was becoming obvious that the Soviets were finally turning things around in their own favor and marching into Central and Western Europe. America did not fight in Europe to defeat the Nazis, but to defeat both the popular threat of socialist revolution in Europe and to wrest or save what it could from the Red Army, to consolidate its hegemony over what would be left of Western Europe. Is it a fiction or true that the key officials of Nazis Germany retained their dominant social and bureaucratic positions after the war? And what was ‘Operation Paperclip’ all about? Julie Lévesque has written this piece as a possible point of departure for anyone who might be interested in further exploring the Nazis/Anglo-American connection: “Fascism and War: Elite Tools to Crush and Kill Dissent” (url: http://www.globalresearch.ca/fascism-and-war-elite-tools-to-crush-and-kill-dissent/5420224)

    Nazis internments are a fable concocted of us plebs. And everyone’s susceptibility to ‘group think,’ propaganda, and the fear of being out of a job if one happens to come on one’s own to one or another heretical insight into officially proscribed topics pretty much explains why the Generals need not worry of being embarrassed by any truth seeking upstarts.

  5. robertmstahl says:

    “So what’s the deal? Are we wrong here in claiming that there weren’t camps for Nazis? If we’re not wrong, why did seemingly no one in a high place point this out?”

    This is why I think all of history we are taught is wrong about WWII, that it all about Uncle Joe Stalin , or was, and still is today in some context, maybe directly related to WC. Censored from YouTube, Facebook, et al, there is this found on their own website, or his, the author’s, http://www.thegreateststorynevertold.tv. It is called “The Greatest Story NEVER Told!” and it has l lot of very short segments, all as good as the next. Really, you gotta see this. Even, if it is old news (I doubt that, however).

    Anyway, it does point this out very clearly, don’t you think?

    • To situate this material politically, the promotion for this on dailystormer is pretty positive. Even Alex Jones wants no part of it. Just sayin’.

      • Tarzie says:

        It was bound to be excoriated by a lot of people. Alex Jones is an asshole, but repudiating something like this is not at all out of character.

        But how much support Clark’s recommendation gets right off the bat is somewhat unimportant, I think. This shit aims less at furthering particular policies — at least immediately — than fear-mongering and lowering the bar on human rights. Even when they lose, they win.

  6. teri says:

    Thinking on it even further, one might be inclined to point out that AFTER the war, a significant number of Nazis, actual bona fide ran-the-camps, wore-the-Swastika, Nazis were brought into the US by invitation of our government to work in US scientific, medical, and tech circles. Saved from the Nuremberg trials, they were, and given good jobs despite the “threat” of their Nazi idealism. These were definitely not German-Americans who had been interned anywhere in the US prior to that. And the groups that HAD been interned due to ethnicity were released immediately after the end of the war. Clearly, “holding Nazi sympathies” had nothing to do with their internment, since “renouncing” the same had nothing to do with their release, just as direct participation in Hitler’s Nazi blitzkreig did not interfere with the US granting naturalization to some real Nazis.

    Clark may want us to regard history as a flexible and rather nimble story, shall we say, but this whole “interned the Nazi-sympathizers” is really doing some major yoga contortions with the facts. The reason for that has already occurred to you.

    (Thanks for the mention, Tarzie. I was really surprised that none of the “reporters” covering the story had picked up on that, hence my previous comment. Although I do suspect some of them may have refrained from remarking on it due to some instructions from someone higher up.)

  7. jason says:

    was there an operation paperclip for the japanese?

    • Luther Blissett says:

      Sort of, but the US didn’t have to get them to leave the country.

      “MacArthur struck a deal with Japanese informants[45]—he secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731, including their leader, in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation.[10]”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

      I heard a talk recently about the US using a Japanese Scientist to try to infect the North Koreans with Bubonic Plague, during the Korean War. I can’t find the info. now, but if I do, i’ll post a link.

      The US claimed that Unit 731 had to have immunity, in order to protect their data from the Soviets.

    • jason says:

      in the immediate post ww2 race for the awesomest weapon ever (after…you know…the weapon that ended that war) no japs worked alongside the nazis cuz we were TOO RACIST to let that shit happen?

      why doesn’t that surprise me?

  8. I think the closest you can get to Clark’s claim – and it is not at all close, not in the least – is that the formation of HUAC in the 1938 originally focused on homegrown fascism/Nazi sympathizing. Of course, that focus very soon shifted away.

    I am really glad you posted this, and that Teri first raised it. I did a double-take when I heard Clark’s claim, but (shamefully) didn’t follow up. It’s the sort of claim that works fantastically as propaganda, since it has that air of Colbertian truthiness and wish-fulfillment to it.

    • Tarzie says:

      Yeah, I’ve mentioned HUAC’s origins in a couple of my Free Speech pieces. Didn’t mention it here because I don’t think it amounted to anything in the way of repressing Nazis. Did not know all that stuff about Dickstein, which was quite interesting, especially if he was on the Soviets payroll.

      I’m glad Teri brought it up too, though disappointed at my own passivity even though my first impulse was “Wha?” It just didn’t sound like the fascist-loving US government to me.

  9. [Parenthetically my above comment was about the anti-communist Hitler recuperation movie mentioned in that comment not your blog post. Now I will respond to your blog post and comment .]
    Clark’s statement continues a line of thought which confuses ethnicity with ideology (and often nationality and religion too) that has, obviously, a long history.
    “fear-mongering and lowering the bar on human rights” will definitely be the result over all and that is part of the intention which I think by now is pretty deliberate. For example there are people such as Sam Harris, one of the “Four Horsemen” of professional Atheism, talking about profiling people “that look Muslim” who put forward this kind of mystification also.
    It’s not really so much confusion as identification with “those like us” and the a priori status that carries regardless of ideology.

    • Tarzie says:

      oops sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.

    • dmantis says:

      I think this is important. This rhetoric is not just coming from semi-left militarists. The most popular mouthpieces of New Atheism (Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins etc) save their most adamant denouncements for Islam. They prioritize it as uniquely stupid and dangerous.

      The problem with this is that they suffer the same enormous blindspot that General Clark does…namely: they make shit up and the truth is a simple google search away:

      https://abagond.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/are-christians-more-violent-than-muslims/
      https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/08/bill-mahers-gross-liberal-bigotry/
      http://www.rawstory.com/2011/08/poll-muslims-atheists-most-likely-to-reject-violence/

      I mean, you could possibly forgive a retired general some fetish associated with the current enemy-du-jour even if he is supposed to be of the “left” persuasion. But these are the paragons of the friggin New Atheist movement so lauded for their reason and logic. How is this shit not completely repudiated by all but the most stalwart and overt racists?

      • jason says:

        as if muslims invented ICBM’s & bio-chemical warfare, started ww1 & ww2, the Cold War, keep the world awake with nuclear nightmares, etc. as if it’s been nations overwhelmingly muslim that have predominantly shaped the global order since “the age of discovery”. as if it’s muslims who’ve killed 10’s of millions of christians (=white europeans) since ww2 while ineffectually “we” have only killed thousands. as if the Saudi monarchy would exist without Anglo-US support. as if every attempt by a “muslim” nation to establish a secular gov’t has not been brutally squashed by Uncle Sam & Co. as if the medieval & modern muslim states treated their Jews (& Christians) remotely like their european counterparts treated Jews. etc., etc.

      • Tarzie says:

        This is awesome. Self-awareness really isn’t the caucasian strong suit.

      • jason says:

        yes, try pointing this out to a liberal.

        also, immediately post-ww2, i believe the US was circa 90% of global GDP. so they run operations gladio & paperclip & a bunch of other crap all over the globe that would take an encyclopedia to detail. and control almost in toto the flow of capital around the planet.

        the heir & nadir of the european colonialist mind, the US, has been the predominant shaper of the globe for 70 years.

  10. This Wiki on the US German Bund mentions an internment cap in Texas in 1942

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American_Bund

    Sorry, I don’t really know this history, but my general sense is that there was lots of Nazi support active in US during WWII

  11. Regardless of whether the claim was accurate or not, the essential point is that “liberal” US military leaders and media are openly talking about internment camps *while brushing aside illegal domestic surveillance as a non-issue).

    Have we hit bottom yet?

    What’s next?

    • Tarzie says:

      I don’t think domestic surveillance has been brushed aside. It’s just run its course as a news item.

      I get what the point is, but I think inventing an anti-fascist history to bolster support for internment camps is important too.

      • But the revisionism is not only false and used to justify internment camps.

        It masks just how openly fascistic major segments of US society have openly been.

        Simialr story for the US eugenics moment – it was mainstreamed.

        Those are histories that are buried

  12. diane says:

    Oh why do I suspect – and (as somewhat of a lone wolf myself) certainly I’m made sure not to have the resources to verify – that those stunningly few Interned Germans and Italians may very likely have been fervently against Hitler and Mussolini, just like those Japanese interned were likely fervently against Empire and Dynasty; and just like all those true Nazis were quite welcomed to run NASA, etcetera, et al.

    Regarding (first paragraph from your last post , bolding mine) this coded language:

    … General [Wesley Clark], a lot of people would say you reap what you sow, so how do you fix self-radicalized lone wolves domestically?

    The Lone Wolf coding is what horrifies me the most. The truly massive murders and suffering have always been the work of a group of quite powerful persons and entities conspiring; while lone wolves are most responsible for outing malevolence. For an example, whistleblowers equal lone wolves. One more time now:

    a whistleblower = a lone wolf,

    and

    whistleblowers = lone wolves.

    • diane says:

      The truly massive murders and suffering have always been the work of a group of quite powerful persons and entities conspiring …

      it has never been a lone wolf, taking action utterly alone, who has committed a mass atrocity.

  13. Coffee Drinker says:

    Anyone else notice something familiar about the way the “Reddit Revolt” has played out?

    1. Celebrity Left icon Rev. Jesse Jackson gets shot down on Reddit.
    2. Reddit CEO fires popular admin who allowed this to happen.
    3. Reddit users protest CEO’s decision to fire popular admin.
    4. CEO portrays herself as the real victim in an op-ed published by major newspaper.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-cannot-let-the-internet-trolls-win/2015/07/16/91b1a2d2-2b17-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html

    Most people leaving critical comments about the op-ed seem to focus on the personality of CEO Pao. They don’t recognize, as readers of this blog will, that Pao’s response to criticism and the reception of the press to her little tantrum fits a pattern.

    • dmantis says:

      I frequent Reddit and have been following this pretty closely.

      The admin that was fired was not merely popular. She handled all coordination, verification and logistics concerning the WIDELY popular AMA (Ask Me Anything) sub. Moderators of particular subs depended on her to execute these series. Yet, she was fired by the “new” leaders of the company aiming to push it into the mainstream simply as a scapegoat.

      It was the last straw in a long line of virtual insults to moderators (who volunteer their services no less). So many of them began closing their subs by turning them private.

      Let us not be naive. She was facing real harassment for some of her policies. Yet, this particular issue is indeed a perfect example of the Celebrity Left’s switch-a-roo wherein actual criticism gets lumped into and absorbed by calls of trolls, harassment and sexism.

  14. davidly says:

    Nice follow-up. And the comments as well, to which I’d add Operation Gladio as typical pro-fascist anti-leftism.

    And a couple of other things: One, the NSU in Zwickau (Saxony). Therein mired was a controversy that barely ever was, in that the neo-nazi trio responsible for murdering those of varied ethnic minority origin — two of whom killed themselves and were burnt to bits in a house fire — were “discovered” to have been involved in the same circles as state assets (there’s that word again) and, again, it could never be that the handlers shared their sentiment, so that part of the investigation came to a swift end, trailing off with a pusillanimous “Do we need better oversight of our informants?” Keep in mind these assets were, you know, very bad people cutting deals and more than appear to have had pretty cozy relationships with law enforcement.

    The other thing: This timely coincidence from printiN’ t’ fYT media corps — linked large for a time at Arianne OnLine — speculates that Legacy Builder in Chief won’t get his way re. Gitmo:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/us/politics/obamas-plan-for-guantanamo-is-seen-faltering.html?ref=us

    • diane says:

      I really appreciated your Sunday, 19 July 2015 commentary, The Sundae Conspiracy:
      In Which I Strawman with the Best of ‘Em
      ;

      particularly as regards Jade Helm,

      thank you, so very, very much.

      • davidly says:

        Thanks!

      • diane says:

        You’re very welcome, I sense what I would name a kindness and burning desire for fairness in you, which I take comfort from.

        Re Airianna’s Huffer, simply amazing how she went from being the obscenely wealthy obnoxious and supportive wife of an utter snake (not at all that Dianne Feinstein/Blum, who ran against him and won [One], was/is any less of a snake, if not more of a snake), to an Industrialized and Legally Manufactured Heroin (oopsie, sp?) of Transparency And Truth.

      • diane says:

        (yes, i wuz, … making a sub comment about: utterly false “female” MEDIA! “Heroines!”; how the U$ has (once again?) industrialized Heroin, via Afghanistan , and don’t get me started on those Afghani$tan Lithium (as in batterie$) reserve$, and U$ Fentanyl/China White Mfg. profiteering; and, lastly and generally, the hideous “capital” made of the knowledge that those suffering the most will cling to the first promise of relief.)

  15. robertmstahl says:

    Ever watch “The Greatest Story NEVER Told!” YouTube continues to censor it, but they have their own site… Now, who IS the Pied Piper?

    thegreateststorynevertold.tv

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