Two months later, on February 19, , the lives of thousands of Japanese Americans were dramatically changed when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order view the Order. This order led to the assembly and evacuation and relocation of nearly , men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry on the west coast of the United States.
It is interesting to note that, despite the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans in Hawaii were not incarcerated en masse. The fact that so few Japanese Americans were incarcerated in Hawaii suggests that their mass removal on the West Coast was racially motivated rather than born of "military necessity. The United States was fighting the war on three fronts — Japan, Germany, and Italy — compared to the number of Japanese Americans, a relatively small number of Germans and Italians were interned in the United States.
But although Executive Order was written in vague terms that did not specify an ethnicity, it was used for the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans.
The government claimed that incarceration was for military necessity and, ironically, to "protect" Japanese Americans from racist retribution they might face as a result of Pearl Harbor. These reasons were later proved false by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians in the s.
Prejudice against Japanese Americans, including laws preventing them from owning land, existed long before World War II. Even though Japanese Americans largely considered themselves loyal and even patriotic Americans, suspicions about their loyalties were pervasive. Before Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt secretly commissioned Curtis Munson, a businessman, to assess the possibility that Japanese Americans would pose a threat to US security. Despite these findings, however, thousands of families in California, Oregon, and Washington were soon incarcerated in government camps.
Many of the rest were long-time US residents who had lived in this country between 20 and 40 years. By and large, most Japanese Americans, particularly the Nisei the first generation born in the United States , considered themselves loyal Americans.
No Japanese American or Japanese national was ever found guilty of sabotage or espionage. It administered the extensive resettlement program, and oversaw the details of the registration and segregation programs. Taking only what they could carry, Japanese Americans were taken by bus and train to assembly centers — hastily converted facilities such as race tracks and fairgrounds. Here they awaited reassignment to the "relocation camps. Although official government photographs were careful not to show it, these facilities were fenced with barbed wire and guarded by armed soldiers.
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During internment also called incarceration , families worked, studied, and lived their lives in the barracks-like living quarters of the relocation centers, which were alternately labeled "relocation camps," "concentration camps," or "evacuation centers. The government provided medical care, schools, and food, and adults often held camp jobs — in food service, agriculture, medical clinics, as teachers, and other jobs required for daily life.
In December , President Roosevelt rescinded Executive Order , and the WRA began a six-month process of releasing internees often to "resettlement" facilities and temporary housing and shutting down the camps. In August , the war was over.
Japanese Internment Camps Essay - Words | Cram
By , the camps were closed and all of the internees had been released to rebuild their lives. In the postwar years, these Japanese Americans had to rebuild their lives. The tombstone shown here was more elaborate than most. Bain Collection. Kondo Collection. Shigeko Kitamoto and her children left to right : Frances, Jane, Frank, and Lilly Kitamoto in front of their barracks at the Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho.
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Japanese i nternment camps essay
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