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History's injustices

March 22, 2007

Re "The forgotten internees," editorial, March 18

Thank you for your opinion piece on the Japanese Latino issue. It is truly wonderful to see a major newspaper take up this issue. Anyone who has sat with Japanese Latinos and heard their stories and seen their tears, as I have, can only feel the greatest of sympathy for their cause. But I am sure that even the Japanese Latinos would agree that the true "forgotten internees" are the 11,000 or so German Americans, 3,000 or so Italian Americans and 6,000 or so German and Italian Latinos who were put into camps by the U.S. government during World War II. Many of the German Americans interned were arrested even before the U.S. was at war with Germany. Many remained interned on Ellis Island, within sight of the Statue of Liberty, until an act of Congress freed them from internment three years after the war ended.

KEARN SCHEMM

Arlington, Va.

The writer is president of the German World Alliance.

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One of my ancestors was brought to America from England as an indentured servant. I'm sure that the United States or England owes me and many of my relatives a big apology and a prodigious sum of reparations money for this reprehensible action. This surely makes as much sense as what The Times' editorial seems to suggest we do for Japanese Latinos. Nothing we can do today will make a minute's worth of difference to what happened yesterday. Humans, being what they are, are bound to repeat mistakes. Atoning for the past in the present doesn't help anyone.

JOE DOREMIRE

Fountain Hills

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