Karl Bendetsen: Opportunist or Patriot or Both?

Klancy Clark de Nevers
discusses her book

The Colonel and the Pacifist: Karl Bendetsen, Perry Saito
and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II

December 7, 2004
4:30-5:30 PM

Author Klancy Nevers
In 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 Bendetsen’s role in promoting and executing this infamous episode in U.S. history. Her book contrasts Bendetsen’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 Nevers’s book: “a chilling tale of mendacity and crassambition . . . de Nevers’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.”

, December 7, 2004
4:30-5:30 PM

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 .

Co-sponsored by the National Japanese American Historical Society and the Commonwealth Club of California

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