June 28th: Anniversary Of The End Of World War I

On June 28, 1919, the Allied leaders signed the Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended World War I, writes Business Insider.

With hardly any German involvement, the principal architects of the treaty – Britain’s David Lloyd George, Italy’s Vittorio Orlando, France’s Georges Clemenceau of France, and America’s Woodrow Wilson – adjusted Germany’s borders and demanded steep war reparations.

Germany finally paid off its World War I debt in 2010, according to Business Insider and the German magazine Der Spiegel.

That treaty, known as the “unhappy compromise,” had harsh terms laid out in 15 parts and 440 articles.

Those harsh terms reportedly gave rise to more German nationalism, which in turn gave Nazi leader Adolf Hitler a political platform, according to Business Insider.


German Internment Camps In The U.S.

A recent article from Smithsonian.com details the treatment of German Americans during World War I.

Smithsonian states that the German nationality attracted suspicion and anger from nationalistic Americans during World War I.

“In the course of the war, the federal government registered around half a million ‘enemy alien’ civilians, spied on many of them, and sent approximately 6,000 men and a few women to internment camps.”

The article also claims that the federal government seized a huge amount of private property with questionable relevance to the war effort.   The effort ultimately seized assets worth more than half a billion dollars.  That was close to the entire federal budget of pre-war America.

Wikipedia states that President Woodrow Wilson issued two regulations: one on April 6, 1917, and another on November 16, 1917, that imposed restrictions on German-born male residents of the United States over the age of 14.

The rules included natives of Germany who had become citizens of countries other than the U.S.

“Some 250,000 people in that category were required to register at their local post office and to carry their registration card at all times.  They also had to report any change of address or employment. The same regulations and registration requirements were imposed on females on April 18, 1918. Roughly 6,300 German-born aliens were arrested. Thousands were interrogated and investigated.”  A total of 2,048 were incarcerated for the remainder of the war in two camps –  Fort Douglas, Utah, for those west of the Mississippi, and Fort Ogelthorpe, Georgia, for those east of the Mississippi.

Wikipedia also states that unlike the Japanese Americans and Italian Americans who were interned during World War II, German internees have never received an apology.