Updated: Jan 30, 2021
President Franklin D. Roosevelt is often refered to as being one of America's "greatest presidents". What is often less discussed and almost never mentioned are FDR's crimes against his own US citizens and also the people of Europe.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the secretary of war to designate military zones within the U.S. from which "any or all persons may be excluded." The order became the basis for the mass relocation and internment of some 110,000 in what was essentially US concentration camps for of Japanese Americans, including both citizens and non-citizens of the United States. Only in January 1944, a Supreme Court ruling halted the detention of U.S. citizens without cause, and the exclusion order was rescinded, and the Japanese Americans began to leave the camps, most returning home to rebuild their former lives. The last camp closed in 1946, and by the end of the 20th century the U.S. government had paid $1.6 billion in reparations to detainees and their descendants.
Japanese American boys at an internment camp in the United States.
During WW2, FDR could have saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, but chose not to. At one point, the US literally turned away a ship of 900 German Jews. Shortly afterward, FDR rejected a proposal to allow 20,000 Jewish children to come to the US for safety, because he thought some of them might be "Nazi spies". In 1942 FDR was personally briefed by the Polish underground courier, Jan Karski, about the ongoing German holocaust of Europe's Jews. FDR only response in that briefing was to ask Karski about the general condition and health of horses in occupied Poland. Only in 1944, after millions of Jews were already murdered by the Germans, would FDR reverse his decision and would allow Jewish refugees to enter the US.
Jewish refugees about the St. Louis that were sent back to Nazi Germany.
But FDR's seemingly greatest crime was when after WW2 ended, based on previous secret negotiations that went back as far as 1943, he handed to Stalin, whom he had become friends with, most of Europe to do with it as he pleased. This resulted in Stalin instituting a murderous, totalitarian dictatorship regime, which was responsible for the rape, torture, deportation to gulags and murder of millions of people after WW2 had ended. Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, who were not part of the USSR before WW2 started, would now be condemned to a Soviet Communist occupation after WW2 ended, and the "good guys" won. In the case of Poland, FDR committed a heinous betrayal because Poland had been one of the allies in the fight against Hitler and Nazi Germany, and had been given repeated assurances by FDR himself that it will be a free and democratic state after WW2 ended. However little did the Poles and their leaders know that FDR had betrayed them already in 1943, in the Tehran conference, and sold them out to Stalin. Thanks to FDR, a totalitarian communist dictatorship presided over most of Europe and lasted until the fall of Communism and the breakup of the USSR, in 1991.