The Americans were just as bad as the Germans; Here’s why-

the Japanese in “Internment” Camps, 1945japanese

When The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the United States went into an uproar. So much so that the president at the time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, made the Executive Order 9066- allowing the Secretary of State to declare certain areas as military zones, and moving the supposed “threats to National Security,” Japanese Americans, into Concentration Camps (Keene 698). Anyone of Japanese Descent, would therefore be taken out of their homes, with only one bag for their stuff, and be put into small, cramped tar-paper covered barracks. They fit as many as 25 people in each barrack, and they had no plumbing or cooking necessities.

The internment of these Japanese Americans made them feel betrayed by the place that they had come to call home. Even today, they remember the cold, dust, and isolation that they had from their fellow peers. The justification for the Internment Camps (mostly on the West Coast), was that they were a threat to National Security, and could be spies for the Japanese, even though it was thought that less than 3% of the Japanese population was not loyal. They had their homes, money, cars, and businesses just taken away. They had their freedom taken away. Over 40,000 Japanese were forced from their homes (Keene 698).

As America, we pride ourselves in being the “land of the free.” So what made it okay for us to round up some of our citizens based on race and place them in Concentration camps like the Germans did to the Jewish? Honestly, there is no good excuse. We used “National Security” as a reason, but that is so ridiculous. None of the American citizens of German or Italian descent were rounded up. What it comes down too is having a scapegoat for what the Japanese Army did to Pearl Harbor. It was a personal attack. I would feel so betrayed if I was rounded up based on my race for what the country I came from did.

The Japanese Americans feel like they do not have to be loyal to the United States anymore because we were not loyal to them in their time of need. Even today, they feel the stinging pain of that time period; the harshness and judgement and tarnished reputation that they will never forgive and never forget. Let’s use this as a lesson in the future. As our esteemed president Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”

8 thoughts on “The Americans were just as bad as the Germans; Here’s why-

  1. Great read! It’s interesting to think of how Americans descendents of Japan feel towards America as a nation. I understand that it would be hard to trust in a nation that essentially betrayed them as citizens.

  2. I have to start by saying Wow! Really loved the way you used so many details to truly allow the reader to be transported to this time in history. I cannot begin to even try and imagine what it would have been like to be in the process of relocating to what is supposed to be a new home only to end up feeling betrayed on arrival. They most definitely had it rough and understandably so. It is so ridiculous to have deemed the Japanese Americans as spies especially when they were hardly fed and had little to no accommodations. This truly was a sad state of affairs in history that seems to be repeating itself today with the way our lives are so rushed and never really helping anyone who is outside of our line of sight. Really enjoyed your blog and the information you provided.

  3. I like this. I can’t say that I totally feel like Americans were just as bad as the Germans at that time but there is definitely a sad resemblance. I liked how you said America is proud to be “the land of the free”, yet that seemed to go right out the window as we started taking Japanese Americans away from there land and pretty much all freedom.

  4. This was a great post. It is sad to think about how the Japanese-Americans were treated. I also can’t imagine being in their situation and I understand how they would feel betrayed.

    1. Agree with this comment. Putting myself in the shoes of a Japanese American back then I could imagine the level of betrayment I would feel that my own country is throwing me into a concentration camp.

  5. I agree with you in the part where you say it is similar to how the Germans treated the Jewish people. In a sense though Hitler did not have a good reason to go after the Jewish people. I am not saying it was anywhere near okay to put Japanese Americans into internment camps, but I would be a little intimidated towards them even though they had nothing to do with the bombing. What really bothers me is everyone still holds a grudge about history, it happened in the past we should not be told to hate a person by their ethnicity over something that happened several years ago.

  6. I appreciate the amount of detail you put into this post, you seem to really capture the essence of the point you’re trying to get across. I see where the comparison could be made of the Americans being just as bad as the germans, although I don’t know if I can agree that putting Japanese Americans in work camps is the same as attempting to exterminate an entire people.

  7. I believe that the Japanese internment camps closely resembled the German concentration camp in a way that we singled out US citizens who were japanies and put them into camps based just off the fear of Japan. However it wasn’t as bad as completely eliminating them like the Germans did to the Jews, it still seems very unamerican to do something of this nature

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