During World War 2 there were many atrocities commented by most countries. One of which is considered the darkest mark on American civil liberties and cultural differences. The Executive order 9066 which was signed on February 19, 1942 permitted the military to bypass the constitutional safeguards for national defense. The order also allowed for the relocation of Japanese-Americans into concentration camps.
The reason we as a nation decided to allow order 9066 is because we were petrified of a Japanese invasion of the mainland and if that were to happen the Japanese-Americans would work for Japan and turn on our country. The living conditions in these concentration camps were OK. They were not to the level of Germany’s concentration camps. The government thought the camps would be able to maintain themselves by having the Japanese grow crops but the soil didn’t allow for it. They expected the children which took up most of the camps population to attend school while in these camps. There were mess halls for families to dine in. Most Japanese-Americans complied with the relocation order but the government still wanted to show that they were treating the Japanese-Americans with respect. So they hired photographer Dorothea Lange to show the governments “good” treatment of evacuees.
I think the concept of citizenship for those imprisoned in these concentration camps ultimately had Japanese-Americans questioning whether to stay loyal to the United States. I think this because when you have your freedom taken away from you for no real reason at all you begin to question your own decisions in life. The way you define a nation isn’t how it does in peaceful times but how they react to crisis. During the Pearl Harbor crisis America showed that even though we are thought of as the “land of the free and home of the brave” we are no better than other countries when it comes to the judgment of people.
In conclusion World War 2 brought out the worst in nations. The United States wrongfully imprisoned Japanese-Americans because of their nationality. We often look upon ourselves as the best country in the world. George Santayana once said “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” and hopefully America has learned from her mistake.