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Profiling Based on Nationality

Register as German at the Local Post Office

The following is a decree put up in government and local building written in both English and German.
"GERMANS YOU MUST REGISTER BETWEEN Monday, Feb. 4, and Saturday, FEB. 9
A Proclamation issued by the president of the United States on November 16, 1917 orders you to present yourself for registration between Monday, Feburary 4, and Saturday, February 9.
This order applies to you if you are native, citizen, denizen or subject of the German Empire, unless you have been fully naturalized as an American Citizen, even if you have registered before.--- It applies to every male German Fourteen years old or over.
Present Yourself Early Before the Postmaster
You will be required to furnish four unmounted photographs of yourself, not larger than 3 by 3 inches, on thin paper, with light backgrounds. Have these photographs ready before the registration begins.
In Case of Doubt, Consult the Postmaster
This Order Must be Obeyed!
Issued by the Connecticut State Council of Defense for the United States Government

The nationalism of the First World War drove citizens to be suspicious of their neighbors. While counter-espionage efforts were supposed to cover all peoples threatening the war effort of the United States, the suspicion and paranoia fell primarily upon German Americans, leading to the profiling and tracking of the preserved threat. This attempt to counter enemy spies and sabotage attempts, will be directly reflected in the executive orders of the Council of Defense specifically targeting foreigners and those of German descent not yet naturalized. Note these efforts primarily target men and women of “fighting age” or old enough to act as a saboteur. By forcing un-naturalized peoples of German descent to register at the post office, the National Council of Defense hoped to create a list of potential threats with photographic identification.

These efforts to catalog foreigners did not end with their names, addresses, and photographs. Profiling will include the property they owned and their monetary worth.

Registration of German Property

The following are orders from the Connecticut Council of Defense, May 28, 1918.
"To all local Agencies:
It is necessary that the Alien Property Custodian shall locate all property owned by enemies, our allies of enemies, in the United States. We are ordered to get this information by the authorities in Washington, and we therefore ask that you collect for us all possible information concerning such property within the jurisdiction of your War Bureau or Town Committee.
We want to know who owns such property, the nature of it, and any other facts you may be able to gather, and we urge that you send in this information to us as fast as it is received, even though it cannot be verified.
To clarify the confusion now existing over the term "enemy" as used in connection with property, we give below a condensed statement of its interpretation:
1. By "enemy" as here used we mean every person living within, and every company incorporated within, Germany, Austria Hungary, and all territory occupied by the office forces of the Central Powers.
2. By "ally of enemy" we mean every person living within and every company incorporated within any of the allies of Germany and Austria Hungary.
3. RESIDENCE and not CITIZENSHIP is the determining factor except in the case of Germans and Austro-Hungarians held in the custody of the War Department who are considered as "enemies". Germans, Austro-Hungarians, etc. residing in the Unite States are not considered "enemies", but Americans residing on enemy soil are so considered.
4. "Enemy" owned property includes all kinds of property where the money, securities, chattles, accounts receivable, etc. belong to an "enemy".
5. If the property is held in the name of another, whether by dummy or in the trust, and if the beneficial interests belong to an "enemy", it is "enemy" property.
We urge upon you the necessity of obtaining this information as quickly as possible, and of transmitting it to us as you receive it.
Connecticut Council of Defense
Assistant Secretary."

The Connecticut Council of Defense tried to catalog German property in order to profile the individual and judge if their wealth could pose a threat to the United States. This will lead to local agencies working for the Council of Defense to profile aliens living in their districts. It is important to note the term “enemy” is determined in this document. While naturalized citizens were given a higher degree of freedom, the suspicion was focused primarily on foreigners who have not yet been naturalized or have ties to Imperial Germany or its Allies, as shown in “Germans, Austro-Hungarians, etc. residing in the United States are not considered "enemies", but Americans residing on enemy soil are so considered.” The local agencies for the Council of Defense were to compile this catalog of enemies and enemy property.

Register of Local Property

The following is an alien property account of a local Council of Defense.
Name    Land Personal       Property             Total

Deckert Carl, South end $1950 $270 $2220.

Dede Deidrich, Berlin St. 2229   50      2279.

Fischer Henry H & Mary E. 1930  ---   1930.
Meriden Ave.

Heller Frederick, W. Center St 978 ---  978.

Kiehl Jacob & Christine
Marion Ave.               1645 195 1840.

Meese Alfred, Prospect St. 1670 10 1680.

Neubling Jacob, Meriden Ave. 2130 ----- 2130.

Teubner Ernst J. Meriden Tpke. 500 25 525.

Wolff Henry, South End 3515 515 4030.

Zipke Paul, Buckland St. 975   -----    975.

While the local agencies compiled these rosters, local banks also submitted statements on the funds of these people. While profiling was intended to stop potential spies and acts of sabotage, no evidence exist that the continued profiling of known foreigners stopped any attack or act of sabotage.