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Col. Karl R. Bendetsen
Col. Karl R. Bendetsen

Original caption: "Col. Karl R. Bendetsen, Aberdeen Washington, Civil Affairs Division, SHAEF [Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force], 22 Princess Gardens." London, England
"While serving as head of the Aliens Division of the Provost Marshal General, [Bendetsen] played a key role in planning the mass removal of Japanese Americans. He was in effect a liaison between the War Department and the Western Defense Command (WDC) and later served as General John L. DeWitt's chief aide for the mass removal. As the lone westerner involved in the decision-making process in Washington, DC, Bendetsen stated his belief that "a substantial majority of the Nisei bear allegiance to Japan, are well controlled and disciplined by the enemy, and at the proper time will engage in organized sabotage." He went on to help design the mass removal from the coast and later fought the War Relocation Authority plan to segregate the "loyal" from the "disloyal" Japanese Americans since part of the WDC's rationale for mass incarceration was that one could not tell the "loyal" from the "disloyal." He received the Distinguished Service Medal from the government for his service. Later, he was appointed assistant secretary of the army by President Truman over protests of the Japanese American community in 1950. In the 1980s, he was a vocal critic of the redress movement."
Japanese American History
Courtesy of National Archives
February 29, 1944