Much like the historically well-known Nazi concentration camps for the Jews, the Japanese American concentration camps weren’t the first injustice Japanese Americans received. As Japanese-Americans began to settle the West Coast more,propaganda of distrust against them grew. It started in 1907/08 when immigration from Japan was blocked but loopholes were found, then it grew in 1913 when Japanese-Americans were not allowed to buy agriculture land, and then in 1924 the government made it so absolutely no Japanese people would be able to immigrate to the U.S. They were also stripped of their rights to become naturalized citizens. This distrust continued to cultivate and seemed to explode once the Japanese attacked the the Pearl Harbor base on December 7th, 1941.
The concentration camps began to appear in February 1942, after Franklin Rosevelt released Executive Order 9066, with no factual basis on why the Japanese- Americans were being placed into them. . For four years around 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into these concentration camps. They resembled military style barracks with barbed wire fences, straw mattresses being their only furniture, a mess hall, and much over crowding. On top of that, many of the people were not accustomed to the the extreme temperature differences of the areas. Summers could be over 100 degrees and Winters below freezing. Two-thirds of the people in these camps were Niseis (Japanese-Americans born in the U.S.) Many of the Japanese-Americans in the camp died over bad medical care, emotional stress, and as the officers claimed “resisting orders”.
Around 1943 to 1946 the concentration camps began to slowly close and many of the people would be released. Although many were not allowed to return to their homes in the West. In result, they began to spread to the East (areas like Chicago and New York) in search of jobs and education. F.D.R. believed this would be for the best to stop the bias against the Japanese-Americans.
In 1988, Congress passed the U.S. Civil Liberties Act to apologize. This Act gave remaining survivors $20,000. Even with Acts like this being passed the lasting affects of the concentration camps can still be felt. Racism against minority groups is still prevalent and speaking of incidents like this in American history can help aid minority groups in receiving power against things like racism. As our country is in a rough spot again with fear of different ethnic and religious groups, we need to look back on our countries past and see the affects acts like propaganda and distrust create.