Hawai‘i War Crimes: Attempts to Denationalize the Inhabitants of an Occupied State

War crimes are actions taken by individuals, whether military or civilian, that violates international humanitarian law, which includes the 1907 Hague Conventions, 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. War crimes include “grave breaches” of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which also applies to territory that is occupied even if the occupation takes place without resistance. Protected persons under International Humanitarian Law are all nationals who reside within an occupied State, except for the nationals of the Occupying Power. The International Criminal Court and States prosecute individuals for war crimes.

War Crimes: Attempts to Denationalize the Inhabitants of an Occupied State

The first instance of war crimes was brought up during World War I. In 1919, the Commission on Responsibilities of the Paris Peace Conference identified 32 war crimes, one of which was “attempts to denationalize the inhabitants of occupied territory.” The prosecution of German officials and their Allies for war crimes committed during World War I, however, was dismal. Of 5,000 individuals reported for war crimes only 12 were tried and 6 were convicted.

In October of 1943, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union established the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC). World War II had been waging since 1939, and atrocities committed by Germany, Italy and Japan drew the attention of the Allies to hold individuals responsible for the commission of war crimes. On December 2, 1943, the UNWCC adopted the war crimes that were drawn up by the Commission on Responsibilities in 1919 with the addition of another war crime—indiscriminate mass arrests. The UNWCC was organized into three Committees: Committee I (facts and evidence), Committee II (enforcement), and Committee III (legal matters).

Committee III was asked to provide a report on war crime charges against four Italians accused of denationalization in Yugoslavia. The charge stated:

“Apart from killing, deportation and interning innocent persons, the Italians started a policy, on a vast scale, of denationalization. As a part of such a policy, they started a system of ‘re-education’ of Yugoslav children. This re-education consisted of forbidding children to use the Serbo-Croat language, to sing Yugoslav songs and forcing them to salute in a fascist way, become members of the G.I.L. (Gioventu italiana del Littoria) and spend a certain time in camps for ‘education.’ In all these actions aimed at the denationalization of Yugoslav children, Dr. Binna took a very active part. He brought Italian teachers from Italy and posted them all over the province of Zadar. Amongst those Italian teachers who insisted on the Italianization of Yugoslav children, BETTINI, Education Inspector and INCHIOSTRI, head-master of a secondary school at SIBENIK took a prominent part. Dr. Tulio NICOLETTI Trustee for Education at SIBENIK, and Edoardo CIUBELLI, Education Inspector at ZADAR, were also prominently associated with this policy. NICOLETTI organized special courses for teachers to learn Italian and Italian ‘methods’ and he threatened all those who would not attend the courses. Dr. BINNA is also responsible for forbidding the edition of any newspaper printed in the Serbo-Croat language, and for forcing Yugoslavs to hoist Italian flags.”

The question before Committee III was whether or not “denationalization” constituted a war crime that called for prosecution or merely a violation of international law. The Committee reported:

“It is the duty of belligerent occupants to respect, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country (Art. 43 of the Hague Regulations). Inter alia, family honour and rights and individual life must be respected (Art. 46). The right of a child to be educated in his own native language falls certainly within the rights protected by Article 46 (‘individual life’). Under Art. 56, the property of institutions dedicated to education is privileged. If the Hague Regulations afford particular protection to school buildings, it is certainly not too much to say that they thereby also imply protection for what is going to be done within those protected buildings. It would certainly be a mistaken interpretation of the Hague Regulations to suppose that while the use of Yugoslav school buildings for Yugoslav children is safe-guarded, it should be left to the unfettered discretion of the occupant to replace Yugoslav education by Italian education.”

“It is the rationale of Art. 56 to protect spiritual values. And in order to afford this protection to spiritual values the provision protects the property of institutions dedicated to public worship, charity, education, science and art as a means to a certain end; to make public worship, charity, education, science and art possible even under belligerent occupation. If the belligerent occupant must not confiscate, seize, destroy, or willfully damage the property of educational institutions, he is the less entitled to interfere with the spiritual and intellectual life of the schools, the only possible legitimate exception being considerations of the safety of the occupying forces.”

The Committee concluded:

“In the case of Nicoletti (No. 20) who is described as Educational Trustee, it appears that he was a kind of Commissioner in charge of the administration and Italianization of the schools in the district. In his case it seems to be conceivable to fasten upon him the individual responsibility for the whole Italianization scheme. The case of the three other persons who were mainly teaching personnel, seems prima facie to be different.”

Denationalization through Germanization was also taking place during World War II. “Within weeks of the fall of France, Alsace-Lorraine was annexed and thousands of citizens deemed too loyal to France, not to mention all its ‘alien-race’ Jews and North African residents, were unceremoniously deported to Vichy France, the southeastern section of the country still under French control. This was done in the now all too familiar manner: the deportees were given half an hour to pack and were deprived of most of their assets. By the end of July 1940, Alsace and Lorraine had become Reich provinces. The French administration was replaced and the French language totally prohibited in the schools. By 1941, the wearing of berets had been forbidden, children had to sing ‘Deutschland über Alles’ instead of ‘La Marseillaise’ at school, and racial screening was in full swing.” Lynn H. Nicholas, Cruel World: The Children of Europe in the Nazi Web (2005), 277.

Patriotic Exercises_THIn 1906, the United States, as the occupying State, instituted a plan of Americanization in the Hawaiian Islands. The objective was to erase any and all national consciousness of the Hawaiian Kingdom amongst the school children in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian language was banned and American patriotism was taught in the public schools. The policy was established to counter the strong Hawaiian nationalism and opposition to American annexation as reported by the San Francisco Call newspaper, Strangling Hands Upon a Nation’s Throat (1897), Hawaii’s Last Struggle for Freedom (1897), and Passing of Hawaii as a Nation (1898). Americanization was carried out on a massive scale across the islands by inculcating American patriotism into the hearts of the school children and have them recite on a daily basis, ““We give our heads and our hearts to God and our Country! One Country! One Language! One Flag!”


The policy of Americanization bore a striking resemblance to Italianization and Germanization that took place during World War II, but where the German and Italian occupations only lasted six years (1939-1945), the American occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom (1898-present) has gone uninterrupted for 116 years. What Germany and Italy failed to accomplish in six years, the United States was nearly successful at 116 years.

Today, there is no clear distinction made between the occupying State and the occupied State, as was the case between Yugoslavia and Italy or France and Germany during World War II. This was the case, however, when the United States military occupation began in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. But because of the prolonged nature of the occupation and the nearly successful program of denationalization, this clear distinction between the occupier and the occupied soon dissipated and our own people have unknowingly become the ones maintaining the policy of Americanization at the present.

The revitalization of the Hawaiian language and culture is in response to years of Americanization and the fact that the majority of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands, to include the aboriginal Hawaiian, do not speak the Hawaiian language and know very little of Hawaiian culture is unequivocally the evidence of the war crime of “denationalization.”

23 thoughts on “Hawai‘i War Crimes: Attempts to Denationalize the Inhabitants of an Occupied State

  1. Evidence is abundant and irrefutable. The ICRC needs to begin the process of international intervention ASAP. They should be honored to be called upon for such a clear, concise breach of international law. Feb. 15, right?

    • I either read or heard that we should hear something by or on the 15th of Feb. Well, we need to wait for Keanu’s next posting.

    • It’s Feb. 15. It’s now 60, 61 days since Dr. Sai and Mr. Kaiama met with the ICRC. Can anyone update us on the status? Is it time to start calling the ICRC to ask what the status of the request/demand is? Please. I know I’m not the only one who’s head this date circled. Any info, please!!! Mahalo!

      • Mahalo e Noelani, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one anxiously waiting for some news. Yes, if anyone has any info, we’d really appreciate it if you could share…


  2. Excuse me, Dr. Sai. I think there is something wrong with the 4th paragraph.

    “In October of 1943, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union established the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC). World War II had been waging since 1939, and atrocities committed by Germany, Italy and Japan drew the attention of the Allies to hold individuals responsible for the commission of war crimes. On December 2, 1843, the UNWCC adopted the war crimes that were drawn up by the Commission on Responsibilities in 1919 with the addition of another war crime—indiscriminate mass arrests. The UNWCC was organized into three Committees: Committee I (facts and evidence), Committee II (enforcement), and Committee III (legal matters).”

    –On December 2, 1843, the UNWCC adopted the war crimes that were drawn up by

    Shouldn’t that be December 2, 1943?

    • Aloha Iolani, I’ve notice that and glad to see you caught it. It’s just a typo on Dr. Sai.

      As I stated in my other blogging that my mother & her family was forbidden to speak their language and we were forbidden NOT to learn the TRUE HAWAIIAN HISTORY.

      My children and grandchildren was surprise to hear on how we were treated and brain washed by the U.S. government. They now understand why it is important to learn the true fact of their ancestors, culture and to get back what belongs to the people.



      • Aloha, Ginger. Oh, yes of course! I was like, “whoa” that’s kinda strange. But yeah no biggie!

        Oh, yeah. I can surely believe that! I once asked my own father of why we don’t speak Hawaiian; He said because the “haole’s are not gonna like it.” Despite the fact I resent that word “haole” I understood what he meant considering he was born in the period where Americanization was at its full swing! Yeah its very sad!

        I couldn’t believe it myself too when I learned Hawaii’s legal history for the very first time. I did not take it very well! I was in a state of shock so bad I dropped out of school for a while! (Eventually I finished it.) But yeah, not only is it important to know Hawaii’s legal history, we also gotta be careful on who and what to trust when it come to that history considering most of it has been doctored upon! For me when it comes to Hawaii’s history, Dr. Sai is the only one I trust. There are a few others too, but Dr. Sai is the primary one.

        The U.S. Government has indeed done terribly wrong to the people of Hawaii and the country itself. Its indescribable! They should indeed restore the HK Government–in fact they’re lawfully supposed to and they will eventually do it! I honestly believe that possibility! The evidence may be deniable to someone’s resisting mind, but it is not refutable, especially if it was proven in court! Eventually the time will come when we will need to help each other out and educate others and ourselves. I just hope our de-occupation does not result in fighting…..

        • Iolani, you’re so right, I as well trust Dr. Sai. I believe he is the chosen one to spear head the truth on what the U.S. had done to Hawaii and our Kupuna’s. The saying is: THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS SURFACE…

          • He is very much indeed the chosen one when it comes to Hawaii’s history! Not only is he continuing to find more historical information about our country, but when it comes to the information he researches, he encourages people to find out for themselves and not to believe in him. He encourages you to question everything and use your head! That is the most primary things of Dr. Sai’s uniqueness in Hawaii’s history!

            Of course even though Dr. Sai is the primary person I trust when it comes to Hawaii’s history, it does not mean I’m gonna shut every other Hawaii history researcher out. There is actually one other person I’m beginning to believe. But I need to find and hear more of his research. So far, this person’s research centers on Hawaiian nationality and race relations in the HK. He’s name is Willy Kauai, a PhD candidate in political science at UH Manoa

  3. Wow. This is the pain that I feel every single day. Words cannot explain it. I describe this prolonged occupation the most purest of evil and the most extremist case of child abuse in the history of humankind! And yeah, unlike Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, when they occupied countries during their reign, yeah it only lasted for about 6 years. Hawaii’s occupation with the USA has lasted 10 times as more to today! This would make Adolf Hitler’s dream of a “thousand year German Reich” partially successful. What a heart-stabbing sight! If no one can constitute the effects this occupation has had not only on the last couple generations, but also on the country itself as evil, then I don’t know what is evil.

    If we ever do get de-occupied, well I seriously wonder how are we ever gonna de-Americanize everyone in Hawaii. But I have hope! If we endured the psyche of a foreign power’s occupation for the last 100 years, we can certainly “de-occupy” the psyche of it! Aloha will prevail!

    • Aloha e Iolani,
      Luckily for the folks who do not want to be “de-Americanized”, they can always go to America, unlike us Hawaiians that had no choice.

      • Aloha Mahina! Oh, yes. They have that option to do so. For me, I will never live in America! Visiting there is fine, but living there is out of the question. There is no feeling of love, nor peace, and the government plays God rather then fearing him!

        • Are you a Hawaiian or a Kanaka ma’oli American? That is going to be the question. It really becomes that simple. Not every Kanaka Ma’oli will want to be a Hawaiian, at first, especially after the Americanization effort.

          Think about it. Is every person of Chinese ethnicity a Chinese citizen. No.

          I believe we are about to be blessed with the most amazing opportunity. Being able to amend our constitution in order to bring the Hawaiian Kingdom into the 21st century. Who gets to decide on those amendments? Foreigners? I don’t think so, it will be the Hawaiians. We will be able to look at every other nations successes and failures throughout history and use that as evidence as to why we choose to Implement certain amendments, or more importantly to choose NOT to adopt certain practices, beliefs, policies… Unregulated capitalism, privatization of national resources, horrible ideas, in my opinion. Citizenship and immigration are going to be huge issues, as we only have a limited amount of land.

          After being exposed to this information 2 years ago, I thought to myself “We got a lot of problems.” The statistics say: poorest, most incarcerated and sickest. I have since changed my thinking. We actually only have a couple of problems, granted they are pretty BIG problems, occupation and re-education. Once we solve these problem almost all of the other problems disappear. Mahalo Acting government for tackling the biggest problem, Occupation. Our ancestors are so proud of all of you and your actions and the decisions you have made. Now we need to kokua the acting government and educate everyone we know, Hawaiian or not, as to our TRUE history.

          Can “Ua Mau Ke Ea” shown publicly without permission?

          • Since 1898 through today the Hawaiian Kingdom still is a Country that is “illegally occupied” by america where HK Laws are not being enforced. Therefore, all contracts and births and immigration citizenship’s are invalid. Everybody born in Hawaii after 1898 are aliens and have no nationality, we are in Limbo, NOT identified. That is why we have to get The HAWAIIAN KINGDOM Restored so we the People in Hawaii can Declare our true Identities and restored as a Hawaiian Subject, Citizen or Nationality. We must be recognized as a HAWAIIAN not pacific islander or etc. as a result, the EXTREME Confusion of sovereign identity…

            IMUA!!! One Identity…

            EO!!! Hawaiian Kingdom!!!

        • Amen! I feel the same way about the Governments. They seem to be untouchable and can change the laws to benefit themselves and their mistakes. Well, this illegal overthrown is not a mistake and they can’t change the law for this premeditated crime.

          As for living in America, I can’t imagine myself living away from Hawaii, I would have to me brain washed.

          • Mm-mmm. They sure do. Unlike the so-called U.S. State of Hawaii Government and the U.S. Government, the HK Government is wise, very smart, and cares for the people then themselfs. Her Majesty Queen Liliuokalani demostrated that during the time of the U.S. intervention in 1893! Yeah the U.S. Government cannot hide from this for long! They know about this and its not refuitable! And if it was, it should’ve been done a long time ago! Especially in 2000!

            Me neither! In fact whenever I visit America, I kinda feel junk a little.

    • The question is not “if” but when we get de-occupied. Its only a matter of time. Evil, evil is when the US government sent our sons and daughters to fight and die in their wars and conflict around the world, evil is when the US put the entire Hawaiian islands under nuclear threat and destruction because of their military presents, evil is when they occupied our beloved country called the Hawaiian kingdom, that is pure evil. It will not be possible to de-Americanize everyone, the occupiers and others will leave, while the criminals will stand trial for War crimes and treason. We are the end result of the prolonged US occupation, victims of foreign greed and power. It will be the Hawaiian patriots and supports who will pick up the pieces and restore the Hawaiian kingdom to its rightfully status as an
      equal among the other nations in the world. Hopefully, seven generations after the kingdom is restored, this living nightmare will just be a faint memory

      • Oh, I believe that. Please don’t get me wrong. As of January 2014, I firmly believe in the possibility of Hawaii getting de-occupied. And quite frankly, even though I am very well aware of Hawaii’s occupation with the United States, I actually do want Hawaii de-occupied! Not only because Hawaii is not legally U.S. sovereign territory, but, yeah, mostly all the reasons you mention and several more. Especially the U.S. military presence here which puts not only them, but us in extreme life threatening danger from foreign attacks! It is just that this is something heavily massive on a grand scale–something that the world has not seen maybe since the Second Great War (WWII). We’re not just talking about something small, we’re talking about the U.S. Government not only loosing its vital military base in all the U.S. Armed Forces, but admitting to massive international law violations and other crimes committed on Hawaii; And that is one of the last things they want happening to them! I’m just thinking on a realistic matter considering the severity nature of our occupation. Its still hard to fathom it honestly. Know what I’m saying? But as I said before, I do believe, as of January 2014, in the possibility of de-occupation and I want it to happen! The evidence is not only heavily overwhelming, but irrefutable! I firmly believe eventually the U.S. Government will cave in and de-occupy Hawaii! (Its gonna be quite a entertaining show when it happens!)

        I have no doubt. Yeah, not everyone is gonna get de-Americanized. Especially the old generation. The old generation will be almost impossible to de-Americanize. The young generation like me mostly has a chance. But either way it does not matter. If they cannot be convinced, then, yeah, if they choose to live America or somewhere else, there’s nothing we can do.

        I hope so too!

  4. One way of De-Americanizing ourselves is through the learning, speaking and perpetuation of our own Hawaiian language that is to be spoken by everyone under the Hawaiian Kingdom. By speaking and understanding our language we will be better able to understand who we are, where we came from and what we must do to preserve, protect and to perpetuate our true history, our culture and our language for our future generations. It is called…..”HAWAIIANIZATION”!!! EO…….

  5. Dr. Sai, I enjoyed our conversations and your educating me on the crimes America has committed on your country and peoples. It embarrasses me on how America conducts itself and the politicians lies boldface to its people in an effort to make the world think it is a moral nation. America cares only about making more money for the ultra rich 1% and controlling the peoples of the world.

  6. America invades countries even till today. They install puppet governments so long as it serves them and when it doesn’t they overthrow them and then send in mercenaries to start unrest and then blames a manufactured problem as a reason to convince Americans why they should go in and get involved. Who doesnt know this. Even our enemies accuse the US government of this. Hawaii was a port of neccessity with a small population and they sought to take it any way shape or form.
    But History will tell the true story finally. Wheres the treaty? Its about time someone is made to produced one ..

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