More good news for Children of Internment – the documentary by 20 Questions Film’s Joe Crump and his sister Kristina Wagner – in the wake of their EMMY nomination.
The documentary, chronicling the heartbreaking stories of German civilians interned in America during WWII, has been scheduled to air on PBS SoCal on August 1st at 8PM – with a repeat on August 2nd at 5AM. Please tune in!
NOTE: If you have problems finding PBS SoCal Plus on your TV airwaves or with your cable provider, please download THIS pdf file. It will give you the channel number to find the program.
About the film:
The decision to evacuate and intern Germans, Japanese & Italians in America began at least five years before the attack on Pearl Harbor. J. Edgar Hoover had begun to compile the notorious ABC list. This list was created with concerns over national security and was originally aimed at Communists, Fascists, and Nazis. By the end of 1939, it had evolved into wartime hysteria.
It is a common misperception that only Japanese Americans were interned during WWII. The German American wartime experience remains largely overlooked by historians and generally unknown to most Americans. It is important, when studying WWII internment to make distinctions between German-Americans, Japanese-Americans,, and German Aliens who were not U.S. citizens. In light of those terms, few German-Americans were interned. Nearly 11,000 Germans were detained and of the 11,000, 4,000 were from Latin American and were interned. Roughly 3,000 were interned from the United States. Japanese, Germans and Italians suffered illegal searches, seizures, relocation, harassment, interrogation, family separation, scapegoating, deportation and repatriation.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, the nation was clearly under threat and historically when there is a threat, a pattern occurs. Families around the world are at risk whenever government policy makers assume that ethnicity alone decides loyalty. While WWII internment was driven by racial bigotry, it is important to note that other factors could also label a group dangerous in times of national crisis. This is a relevant lesson, since today the Alien Enemies Act is still in use for the “War on Terror”.
In the documentary, former internees and their families come forward to tell their heartbreaking stories. It is important to acknowledge yet another civil liberties violation that happened here on American soil.
About the filmmakers:
Kristina Wagner is a daytime TV veteran with 25 years on General Hospital. She also majored in history and wrote her thesis paper on the detainment of Americans during WWII. With Children of Internment these two worlds collide most beautifully, as Kristina not only approached the material with academical precision, but also with a journalistic accuracy she picked up during her 25 years as a soap star doing countless interviews. She knew that sometimes the things that are said in an interview aren’t always conveyed accurately with the final outcome, so she made it a priority to be as accurate with her documentary storytelling as possible.
Joe Crump is the founder of 20 Questions Film. He graduated film school in 1981 and worked in the industry for a decade, but got sidetracked when one of his scripts were picked up by Fox, then rewritten, then dropped, ultimately giving Joe a desire to finance his own film. Which led him to a career as an investor. With Children of Internment he is back in the business, having fun making movies and already have several new feature film scripts in development.