Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II

This military video from the USA is called Japanese Americans in WWII.

Again, from the Independent series about US American activists:

Minoru Yasui


In the Second World War, a notice was suddenly posted throughout Japanese neighbourhoods: “All persons of Japanese ancestry will be evacuated from the above designated area by 12 o’clock noon”.

There was nothing in the evacuation order or in any public law that allowed the United States government to keep Americans within any restricted area. But the War Relocation Authority, by pure executive fiat, detained us under their jurisdiction and sent us to camps. The military, without imposing martial law, was ordering the civilian to do something. In my opinion, that’s the way dictatorships are formed.

And if I, as an American citizen, stood still for this, I would be derogating the rights of all citizens. I had to stand up and say, “That’s wrong”. I refused to report for evacuation. Sure enough, within the week, I got a telephone call saying, “We’re coming to get you”. I can still see them. The lieutenant was in a saloon car. A jeep followed with four military policemen. I was thrown into the North Portland Livestock Pavilion, where Japanese-Americans had been put. In stalls where horses and cows were kept, people now lived. It was sweltering, but we had no way to escape it. They wouldn’t let us outside.

In September, they started moving us into desert camps. You were surrounded with barbed-wire fences, armed guards, searchlights, and machine-gun nests. We wondered how long we were going to be interned. What was going to happen? By then, we had heard rumours of forced labour camps in Germany. Were they, as [the journalist] Westbrook Pegler and others were suggesting, going to castrate the men and ship them back to Japan? These things were in the papers constantly: make them suffer. Make them hurt. And I kept on thinking, “What did I do?”

One of the most vocal advocates of this putting into concentration camps of people just because of their ancestry, was US politician Henry “Scoop” Jackson.

George Takei: We Japanese Americans must not forget our wartime internment: here.

Anti-Chinese racism in the USA: here.

10 thoughts on “Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II

  1. Japanese Americans urged to share internment story

    Bill Shishima shares how he joined the Boy Scouts as a 12-year-old behind the barbed wire of a Japanese American internment camp, or how he had to work on a rabbit farm to earn his keep when his parents couldn’t afford to move the family back to California after World War II. The 81-year-old retired teacher answers the questions of those who ask — school groups, news reporters and sometimes his children and 14-year-old granddaughter — but he’s never sat down and recorded his life story or that of his now-deceased parents, who lost the family’s grocery and hotel business when they were sent to Wyoming’s Heart Mountain camp. “They just endured,” he said. “My parents never talked about it.” Like many survivors, Shishima is now being asked to write down his memories with thousands of others before they’re lost to time.

    (boston.com, Feb 26)
    Link: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2012/02/25/japanese_americans_urged_to_share_internment_story/


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