December 17, 2015
David Cole: The Nazi Kid From Brooklyn
A monument dedicated in 1985 at the site of the Crystal City camp left out any mention of the German internees. In 1988, Congress passed the “Civil Liberties Act,” apportioning $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese internees. A formal apology was also issued. But the German and Italian internees were left out completely. Jacobs brought suit, claiming the law was discriminatory (his attorney in the case was Greta Van Susteren). Every major Japanese-American organization in the country opposed Jacobs’ suit; they wanted sole proprietorship of the victimization. Jacobs was being opposed by some of the very people he had gotten to know in the camp as children. The U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, ruled against Jacobs, claiming that while the internment and relocation of Japanese-Americans was unconstitutional, the internment of German-American children was just dandy. Among the three judges who struck down Jacobs’ plea to have his ordeal acknowledged? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of course.