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CBA Talks: Strangers in the Land

Sunday, May 23, 2021 12 Sivan 5781

10:00 AM - 12:00 PMBeit Midrash | Zoom Event

Strangers in the Land: The U.S. Justice Department and Enemy Alien Internment from 1941 - 1945

with John Joel Culley, Ph.D.


Meeting ID: 831 1732 8911
Passcode: CBATalks


During World War II, there were two separate civilian internment programs in the United States.  The two programs had separate origins and administration.  One is well-known—the indiscriminate mass removal and internment of all ethnic Japanese people. But there was an earlier internment program that has received far less attention. This program arrested and interned resident aliens of Japanese, German and Italian nationality.  In early December 1941, when the U.S. entered the war against the three Axis powers—Japan, Germany and Italy—as non-citizens these individuals automatically fell into the category of “enemy aliens.”  The Justice Department, through the F.B I., had previously identified, investigated, classified, cataloged and selected those who would initially be arrested immediately.  John will speak about how this program came to be and how it operated.

John Culley Bio: Dr. John Joel Culley is a Professor of History, retired from the Texas A&M University System, and he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.  His publications and presentations on the Justice Department program were among the first to bring attention in the historical literature to this topic. Dr. Culley and his wife, Sofia Baruch Culley, live in Carlsbad and have been members of the CBA community since 2006.

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