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The Looting of Japanese-American Assets During WWII

Eighty percent of goods and property (Alien Property) owned by Japanese Nisei and German detainees were ransacked, stolen or sold on the cheap during and after WWII according to a postwar survey published in “Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps” by author Michi Nishiura Weglyn.

In early 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order shipping some 120,000 Japanese-Americans off to internment camps, with those individuals sometimes being forced to leave their homes on very short notice. As a result, they lost nearly all the property they had steadily accumulated over two generations, most of which was either seized or otherwise ended up in government hands. Similar government edicts led to the confiscation of numerous German-owned businesses throughout America, many of which had enormously valuable assets.

Road to the Camps | DPLAWithin a couple of years, these federal holdings swelled to include half a million acres of California’s best farmland, some 1,265 small Japanese-owned hotels and numerous urban parcels throughout Los Angeles, San Jose, and other cities.

In 1942, the federal government estimated the value of these former Japanese-American properties at around $3 billion in present-day dollars, but the huge postwar California economic and population boom would surely have greatly increased the worth of this real estate portfolio by the early 1950s. The business assets and patent holdings of the seized German companies were worth additional billions.

Naturally, with large numbers of unvaxxed scamdemic deplorables at large, one wonders if this grifting operation might be repeated by New Underworld Order Crime Syndicate interests who’ve declared “war” on the virus?

The key figure in this fire-sale liquidation of “alien” assets was David L. Bazelon (1909-1993), a well-connected attorney out of Chicago and son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. He was an active supporter of Roosevelt and Truman and became friendly with people connected with the Truman administration. He also was part of a corrupto posse that included J. Edgar Hoover, Justice William O. Douglas, Lyndon B. Johnson and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.

In 1946, Bazelon left private practice for the last time to join the U.S. Justice Department as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Land Division. He soon moved to head the department’s Office of Alien Property, where he oversaw the disposition of the assets of more than 200 companies previously owned by Germans or Japanese whose assets had been frozen during the war.

After the war, all of this property needed to be sold off, and powerful Chicago Crime Syndicate interests recognized this tremendous opportunity. The 1946 elections produced a crushing national defeat for the ruling Democrats, with the Republicans regaining control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1932. President Truman thus faced a desperate battle for reelection, and Chicago’s powerful political machine deployed its considerable political clout to place the sales process in the hands of Bazelon, a leading Democrat fundraiser with deep Syndicate ties.

Bazelon took a pay cut of 80% to enter government service, but he soon boasted to the Washington Post that he had become “one of the largest businessmen in the country.” His motive quickly became apparent as he arranged the liquidation of assets for a fraction of real value to his circle of Chicago friends and associates, sometimes receiving a secret slice of the lucrative ownership stakes in return.

As an extreme example, Bazelon almost immediately sold to fellow Jew Chicago’s Henry Crown a 26,000-acre California mine containing tens of millions of dollars worth of coal for a mere $150,000. A private $1 million sale of seized German property in 1948 to a group formed by his lifelong best friend and former law partner Paul Ziffren was worth $40 million by 1954, and Ziffren soon rewarded Bazelon with a 9.2% share of his multimillion-dollar real estate holding company.

Ziffren was an associate of Sidney Korshak, a highly connected fixer and lawyer in the upper echelons of power and the Chicago Outfit in the United States. His reputation as the Chicago mob’s man in Los Angeles made him one of Hollywood’s most fabled and influential wheeler dealers. His partnership with Chicago mobsters led him to be named “the most powerful lawyer in the world” by the FBI. Korshak was the principal figure in Andy Russo’s book “Supermob.”

Another major beneficiary of Bazelon’s unusual sales practices later told a Congressional investigating committee that he gave Bazelon a 25% share of his large hotel holding company because he “was just feeling good and generous and was grateful.”

These particular hidden gifts to Bazelon only came to light years later through chance references that were eventually uncovered by diligent researchers, so we may assume that such transactions probably represented just the tip of an enormous iceberg. It seems plausible that Bazelon received quiet kickbacks totaling many millions — or perhaps even tens of millions in present-day dollars — in exchange for his very favorable distribution of billions in government assets to the network of beneficiaries who shared his roots in the Chicago Syndicate.

This vast transfer of wealth in the early postwar years from the plundered Nisei gave all these mobbed-up Chicago newcomers the financial wherewithal to soon gain substantial control of California’s money-based political system.

As Art White, the veteran Los Angeles political journalist, later described the situation:

During these years some hundreds of associates of Greenberg, Evans, and others of the Capone crime syndicate, and of Arvey and Ziffren, poured hundreds of millions of dollars into California. They bought real estate, including hotel chains through apparently unrelated corporations from San Diego to Sacramento. They invested in vast tracts of land, built or bought motels, giant office buildings, and other commercial properties. More importantly, they invaded the loan field, establishing banks and home loan institutions. By 1953, Ziffren and his associates had gained control of an enormous block of California’s economy. They could finance political campaigns with the best of the native barons.

Russo notes that the FBI analysts subsequently endorsed White’s conclusions.

Another key figurehead in the Asian grifting operations was Earl Warren, governor of California from 1943 to 1953, the running mate with Thomas Dewey [another corrupto] for president in 1948 and the Chief Justice of Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969.

Warren was very active after 1919 in Freemasonry and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He rose through the ranks in the Masons, culminating in his election in 1935 as the Grand Master of the Freemasons for the state of California from 1935 to 1936.

Biographer Jim Newton wrote that Warren “thrived in the Masons because he shared their ideals, but those ideals also helped shape him, deepening his conviction that society’s problems were best addressed by small groups of enlightened, well-meaning citizens.”

Some of Warren’s “well meaning” positions included eugenic forced sterilizations and the confiscation of land from Japanese owners during WWII. Warren, who was a member of the outspoken anti-Asian society Native Sons of the Golden West successfully sought legislation expanding the land confiscations.

Read “LBJ Pressured Earl Warren to Head Commission Investigation into JFK Assassination”

Ultimately, after nearly half a century and well after the loot was in the hands of the predators, arrangements were made to have American taxpayers pay restitution. Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act. The surviving 82,219 Japanese-Americans who had been incarcerated were each sent a formal apology letter from Reagan and awarded $20,000 each. The first payments were made in October 1990 to the oldest Japanese-Americans. The program concluded in 1999.

Read “Ronald Reagan: Organized Crime Corrupto and Hack”

The controversial Bazelon went on to become United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was an influencer towards more “liberal” Supreme Court selections. He was in particular a close associate of Justice William J. Brennan Jr., whom he had met in 1956. Bazelon became a primary source of Justice Brennan’s law clerks.

Bazelon’s former law clerks include prominent legal figures and functionaries such as Loftus BeckerAlan DershowitzMartha MinowThomas MerrillJohn SextonRobert PostDavid O. StewartEleanor SwiftBarbara Underwood and John Koskinen.

Bazelon had a broad view of the reach of the Constitution. He expanded the scope of the “insanity” defense in the landmark case of Durham v. United States (1954) and led the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals toward an expansive view of criminals’ rights. Under Bazelon’s Durham rule, a defendant would be excused from criminal responsibility if a jury found that the unlawful act was “the product of mental disease or mental defect” rather than the product of an “irresistible impulse” (which was the old test).

7 Comments on The Looting of Japanese-American Assets During WWII

  1. very rotten amerikkka to the core,a land built and owned by the worst criminals assassins ,murderers convicts,extortionists,rapists,racists,,sodomites,perverts,depraved

  2. I had always wondered what happened to the property of the Japanese that were interred. I remember reading about one southern California town that had gone from being predominately Japanese to having a “thriving jewish population after WW2”. I’m sure there were others.

  3. What about Italian detainees? Google Missoula Montana Italians and learn about the thousands of Italians detained there (and there were others elsewhere). In San Francisco the massive fishing industry there was totally run by Italians. Their boats were left to rot by the authorities who considered them to be a wartime security risk. The list of offenses goes on and on. At least many of the Japanese received reparations from the federal government after the war. The Germans and Italians, despite a lawsuit, received nothing.

    • That’s why I come here! This wartime history of Italians in the US is new to me. In a quick scan, it seems that a small number of Italian nationals were actually interned in MT; but 600K Italian immigrants in the US were classified as enemy aliens – and yes, private fishing boats on the West Coast were confiscated – and many forced to move inland from the coast.. Some Germans and many Japanese were also held at the army base in Missoula. Is it by way of “excusing” or just being aware of how damned complex history is to point out that this was not Auschwitz in the Rockies; detainees apparently had some freedom to visit and shop in Missoula; pro and anti fascist Italian factions in the camp would occasionally have fist-fights but joined in a common riot when olive oil ceased to be supplied by the commandant.

  4. An excellent source to learn about how thoroughly corrupt Bazelon and the Chicago Syndicate was is an indepth article by Ron Unz. Who knew the Chicago Syndicate went on to control almost all of Hollywood under the command of known and lesser known Jews such as Lew Wasserman of MCA and Sidney Korshak.
    The Power of Organize Crime –

    There is also this book:
    Uncivil Liberties – Italian Americans Under Siege During WWII by Stephen Fox

    • The Boer War may have popularized the concept of ‘concentration camps’ from which no nation has not institutionalized since then. What an easy way for the race of vipers to steal massive wealth & property.

  5. I recently read that Australia had a similar program for their Japenese citzen’s. Not alot of details.
    Makes me wonder if this wasn’t an intentional looting operation cooked up by the people (the usual suspects) who ultimately profited.
    The reparations were an insult. Even back in the 40’s and 50’s weren’t they model citzens?

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