The Injustice of the U.S. Internment Camps.


WWII and the involvement of Japan.

On September 1, 1939 Hitler and his German army known as Nazis invaded Poland, declaring war on France and Britain, and had officially began world war II. Later on, two other country’s joined Germany and their assault on the world, Italy, and Japan Forming a anti Allies group known as the Axis.

Focusing on Japan, after their attack on china they aimed their sights for a country across the sea not wanted to be involve in the war, the U.S. On December 7, 1941 japan attack pearl harbor, a U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Thus forcing U.S. to join the war and fight agents japan. This assault by japan not only stirring up problems outside U.S. but inside it to, because now anyone in the U.S. are now seeing any one as Japanese descent as a threat to America, which later began Japanese prison camps known as Internment Camps.

Relocation to Internment Camps.

On February 19, 1942 president FDR signed Executive Order 9066, in which around 10,000 to 20,000 Japanese immigrants or Americans were forcefully, and unfairly remove from their homes to be relocated to Internment camps. They had to sell all their possessions they had and could only keep what they could carry with them, then they had white numbers pin to their cloths and sent on trains to the internment camps. Canada and Mexico also fallowed suit and relocated Japanese citizens in their country’s also.

Inside Assembly and Relocation Centers. (Internment Camps).

For some Japanese, before they are sent to the main Internment camps they were sent to Assembly camps near their home, the Assembly camps were old fairgrounds or race tracks, environments not suited for human habitation. For instance, they had to sleep in horse stalls or cow sheds that been converted for that purpose. Food shortage and substandard sanitation were also problems at these camps.

In Internment camps, each one was like its own little town, if a town was surrounded by armed soldiers pointing guns at the inhabitants, barb wire, and guard towers (kind of like a prison). Each facility had work facilities like schools, post offices, and farms for food and livestock, and jobs for them to such as doctors and teachers, but were only paid less than an army private.

As for a jail like facility there was also violence in them. There were some cases of people trying to escape but were instantly gun down, or when a riot would break out due to lack of rations and overcrowding, in which armed men in riot gear beat the Japanese crowd, and tear-gassed them, usually killing at least one person in the process. There were also cases of people being shot for going to close to the perimeter.

U.S. Realizing there oops.

By 1945 Internment camps were finally closed due to a supreme court decision. This was because a court case for daughter of a Japanese immigrant named Mitsuye Endo, which led to the ending of these horrible internment camps and freedom of the Japanese. The U.S. government now realized that what they did was wrong and un-constitutional, but it wasn’t until 1988 when the U.S. government decided to offer an apology in $20,000 to the 60,000 surviving internees of the 110,000 there was originally. Even still, this apology probably wouldn’t heal the internal and external wounds form this event, from the family or friends they lost, or the three or so years of their life wasted in a prison like environment for a crime these people didn’t cause. Hopefully nothing like this ever happens again in the U.S.

 

Bibliography

Keen, Jennifer D., “Visions of America: a History of the United Stated”. Pearson, 2015.

History.com Staff. “Japanese Internment Camps.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/japanese-american-relocation#section_10.

16 thoughts on “The Injustice of the U.S. Internment Camps.

  1. This blog post starts off a bit rough, but I do like how you saved yourself when it actually came down to talking about the Internment. The cruel reality of the people who worked, lived, and died there was that their ethnicity mean’t that they could be considered a threat, which led to this form of captivity. Unjust in all the wrong ways, Japanese internment, didn’t make much sense, especially if a person was from an Asian minority, or were even Chinese. If Chinese then they would have been our allies and might have been called Japanese at the time because people didn’t know the difference.

    1. I completely agree with you. Also, the fact that Japanese Americans that lived in the eastern U.S. were not interned, but the Japanese Americans that lived in the western U.S. were interned confuses me. I am grateful that the Japanese Americans living in the eastern U.S. were not interned, because I do not want anyone to suffer, even if it was unfair to the Japanese Americans living in the western U.S. Fear causes people to do unimaginably horrible things, but there was no proof that Japanese Americans were aiding Japan in any way or even still loyal to Japan. The Japanese Internment is definitely a black mark on U.S. history, but also essential to learn about so nothing like this ever happens again.

      1. Even though its not to the same extent, I think that how people blamed an entire race of people for problems is still a problem today. For instance, what happen after 9/11, people accuse anyone who live in or were from Iraq or Iran as a terrorist. Also, there’s just people in general that dislike a race of people for no reason. As said even though we don’t go to the same extent of blame and action we did back then it can still be a problem today.

        1. I totally agree with your comment! I think the way we treat anyone from the Middle East is pretty similar to the way that we treated anyone from Japan. I will also add that we don’t really have a definitive way of deciding where someone is from, so we just leave it up to what they look like. For example, if someone looks like they’re from the Middle East, even though they could be from somewhere else, people would discriminate the way we would anybody else from that area.Sometimes it may just be dependent on the way they act or dress.

    2. I totally agree with your statement on how it was unjust and wrong especially if a person was from an Asian minority. I think people were really uneducated on the difference between Asian, japan, or Chinese people. It still doesn’t make it right what they did to the Japanese people, but I like that you pointed it out!

      1. What makes it worst is that even if some Japanese people from western U.S. had proof of their support of America they were still thrown in to the camps. for instance, there was an Japanese man who was wearing a full U.S. military uniform with all kinds of metals and stuff showing that he fought for America during the first world war, but was lock up with everyone else for no reason except that he was (and or look) Japanese.

        1. It is such a tragedy that, as you stated above, even a veteran was sent to an interment camp simply because of his race. The fact that he had previously fought for this country should be more than enough proof of where his allegiance lies. Hopefully this can used as an important lesson to make sure an event such as this never happens again in this country.

      2. I definitely agree with Kate on this one! I think fear and ignorance go hand in hand when certain cases like these arise. Although I hope we never have such a catastrophe as we had with WWII, at least now maybe we will have the prior knowledge to make more educated decisions on how to act and behave under times of immense pressure and fear.

      3. Honestly, it’s the same idea as the Holocaust was. Fear created this idea that this other group was bad, and that they might hurt you if they continue living with you. This made the Americans fear the Japanese, just like the Germans feared the Jews, causing them to do things that they wouldn’t normally do. It’s sad to think that in that situation not many people would speak out against it, either for fear that they could really harm them, or for fear that they might get shunned and called a traitor for protecting that group of people.

  2. I thought you did a nice job telling us what happened, but I was searching throughout your blog for your thoughts on the mentality of the people and the government at the time and I didn’t find it. Also, can you go into more depth about the court case outlined in the last paragraph? Why do you think that the Supreme Court made the decision that it did?

    1. I definitely agree with this. Landon, I would have liked to see your thought on all of this more in-depth. You did a really good job at stating the facts, and putting them together in a timeline. What do you think about Japanese internment? Do you think if it happened today any of us might think it’s all right? Do you think if you were in this situation you might agree with internment? Just a thought.

  3. Landon I thought this was an awesome blog! I could visualize a lot of things while I was reading this. Its crazy to think our “Free” country did this to the Japanese people. I think this was completely unfair, they lived a cruel reality. overall very informative.

  4. Landon, I thought the article gets better and better the more I read it. Definitely a good job for someone who probably hasn’t used a blog style format before. Goodjob!

  5. I really like how you added that Canada and Mexico were doing stuff like this too, it shows that we weren’t the only one’s doing these horrible things to people of Japanese descent. Not that it makes it any better. I also like how you described the conditions inside the camps, but at the same time I wish I would have seen a little bit more. Along with a little bit more of your opinion. How do you feel about all of these horrible things that happened to Japanese Americans during that time period?

  6. What an insightful blog post, Landon! I believe this is a section of American history that oftentimes gets overlooked due to it’s less than admirable nature. Considering that, do you think there is a better way that we could have handled the situation at hand as a nation? It’s hard to make decisions in the moment, but hindsight is usually 20/20!

  7. Nice work Landon! This is certainly a black spot in American History and in my opinion not talked about nearly enough. It is unreal that this happened in the 1940’s on American soil. It’s terrifying to think the American government rounded up it’s own citizens and marked them and put them in camps at the same time the Germans were doing this to the Jews. While it was obviously not to the same degree as the Germans, the government clearly violated the liberties of its people it is sworn to uphold. Even though compensation was offered many years after the incident, it still doesn’t right the wrong that was committed.

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