HIDDEN STORIES OF WORLD WAR II:
A Conference on Enemy Alien Restrictions and Internment
Three One Act Plays on Enemy Aliens in World War II
In 2001, a unique collaboration among the Japanese, German, and Italian communities produced the highly acclaimed photo-exhibit “The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of World War II.” Over the past five years, that exhibit has traveled to dozens of locations, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Washington DC, presenting for the first time in dramatic format a photo-narrative history of the World War II Enemy Alien Internment Program, which interned over 30,000 Japanese, German, and Italian “enemy aliens,” as the alien immigrants were designated by Presidential Proclamation after Pearl Harbor.
On April 28, 2007, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., the Enemy Alien Files Consortium, in collaboration with the San Mateo Public Library, will present Hidden Stories of World War II — A Conference on Enemy Alien Restrictions and Internment. This exciting conference will be open to the public and will mark the appearance of the “Enemy Alien Files” exhibit at the San Mateo Public Library for the month of May, 2007. For the symposium, numerous writers and internment scholars will be joined by former World War II internees or their families from the Japanese, German and Italian communities.
Also on April 28, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theater of Hillsdale High School, the Enemy Alien Files Consortium will present “Freedom Lost: Three One Act Plays on Enemy Aliens in World War II.” The evening will feature three, one-act plays, by Bay Area author John Christgau, and directed by Hal Gelb, noted West Coast director, writer and dramaturg. Each play focuses on one of the three ethnic communities affected by World War II alien internment.
The play “Zip” tells the true story of Eberhard “Zip” Fuhr, a 17-year-old German American who was arrested by the FBI as a “dangerous enemy alien” while in a high school classroom in Cincinnati in 1943. Fuhr eventually spent nearly five years in internment at Crystal City, Texas. “The White Line” dramatizes the fate of Italian fishermen in Santa Cruz, who had their boats seized and were forcibly relocated and separated from their only source of income. “The Master Tailor’s Wife” dramatizes the little known, shocking story of the U.S. government’s seizure of Japanese Peruvians, who were subsequently brought to internment camps in the U.S. and then used as hostages in exchange for U.S. citizens trapped in Japan.
Events in this country since 9/11 have put the issues of national security and immigrant treatment on center stage, and the historical events explored by the “Enemy Alien Files” exhibit are more important than ever. The “Enemy Alien Files Exhibit” and the “Freedom Lost: Three One Act Plays on Enemy Aliens in World War II” are being co-sponsored by several groups:
California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, Enemy Alien Files Consortium, Public Library, National Japanese American Historical Society, Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project, German American Internee Coalition, San Mateo and Watsonville-Santa Cruz Chapters-Japanese American Citizens League, Peninsula Italian American Social Club, Steuben Society of America, North Peninsula Chapter of the ACLU, American Italian Historical Association—Western Regional Chapter, Los Altos Voices for Peace, Radio Goethe, William Sinclair Trust, German World Alliance, San Mateo County Times, Tricentennial Foundation, European American Issues Forum, German American Business Association, Campaign for Justice, California Ethnic Leadership Council, TRACES Center for History and Culture, and San Mateo Adult Community Education. Complete funding for the project is being provided by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Project. Additional cosponsors are invited.
For additional information or to cosponsor, please contact: John Christgau, Project Director by email at or the German American Internee Coalition at .
– Hidden Stories of World War II – A Conference on Enemy Alien Restrictions and Internment
April 28 1-4pm San Mateo Public Library, 55 W. 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 650 522 7800
– Freedom Lost: Three One Act Plays on Enemy Aliens in World War II
April 28 7:30pm Little Theater of Hillsdale High School, 3115 Del Monte St, San Mateo, CA
650 558 2699 – Free Admission and Opening Seating
– The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of World War II Exhibit
May 2007 San Mateo Main Library, 55 W. 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA
650 522 7800
For printable event flyer, please