Bendetsen: Opportunist or Patriot or Both?
Klancy Clark de Nevers
discusses her book
The Colonel and the Pacifist: Karl Bendetsen,
and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II
May 1942, Colonel Karl Bendetsen used the Commonwealth Club’s podium to
explain why the Army had just forcibly removed all Americans of Japanese
ancestry from the West Coast. He stated that the alien Japanese and their
citizen children presented “a high potential for action against the national
interest,” claiming that they might possibly engage in sabotage, espionage
or fifth-column activities. He had no evidence to support these allegations.
History has a far different appraisal of that event than members of the
Commonwealth Club got from Bendetsen in 1942.
BKlancy Clark de Nevers welcomes an opportunity to talk about Bendetsenâ€™s
role in promoting and executing this infamous episode in U.S. history. Her
book contrasts Bendetsenâ€™s story with that of his neighbor Perry Saito,
a pacifist who, along with his mother and siblings, was imprisoned in one
of the detention camps that Bendetsen organized. Saito became a revered
Methodist minister and vocal critic of the incarceration in the 1980s.
Historian Kai Bird called de Neversâ€™s book: “a chilling tale
of mendacity and crassambition . . . de Neversâ€™s insightful history
of this dark story is a painful reminder of how ignorance and war hysteria
made it possible for one man to trample on the Constitution of these United
States. In the post-9/11 era, this story should serve as a cautionary tale
for all Americans.”
NJAHS Members Rate $8.00/Non-Members $15.00
Seating is limited, please reserve.
Commonwealth Club of California
595 Market Street, San Francisco
For more information, call Judy at NJAHS at 415-921-5007 .
by the National Japanese American Historical Society and the Commonwealth
Club of California