Interment Camps

Interment Camps

Japanese-American Internment Camps
A historical fact that is not really "common knowledge" is the fact that, during World War II, over 100,000 Japanese-American individuals, the vast majority of which were actually American citizens, were rounded up and shipped eventually to internment camps. These consisted of poorly-constructed barracks surrounded by barbed wire, sentry posts and armed guards.

They were put in these camps, not because they had been tried and found guilty of something, but because either they or their parents or ancestors were from Japan and, as such, they were deemed a "threat" to national security. They were also easily identifiable due to their race. There was no similar large-scale roundups of German or Italian-Americans, even though we were also fighting them during World War II.

These people were forced to abandon their businesses, their homes and, in many cases, their families as some individuals were taken elsewhere and held, again without trial, for years. The Japanese-Americans suffered severe economic losses, personal humiliation and, in a some cases, death, due to this relocation.

The relocation itself was ordered by the then President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and by an act of Congress.

The Japanese-American (Nisei) and the Japanese aliens (Issei) on the West Coast were rounded up and moved to assembly centers and then to internment camps. Few Japanese living in the East or Midwestern portions of the U.S., though, were treated the same way.

What is extremely interesting is that the Nisei and Issei living in Hawaii were not subject to a mass evacuation even though they formed a third of the population in Hawaii and were a lot closer to Japan than the Japanese-Americans on the West Coast of the U.S.

The reasons they weren't rounded up were both cultural and economic.

"There was no mass relocation and internment in Hawaii, where the population was one-third Japanese American. It...

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