The internment camps was a calamitous experience for many Japanese Americans. The Japanese American’s struggle was divided into evacuation, the camps, and life afterwards. Many will never forget the great injustice wrought upon them from the United States government.
In the middle of WW II, many Americans were worrying about their next meal or about the house payments; however, this wasn’t the case for Japanese Americans. Instead, they were worrying about if they were going to eat and if they were going to have a house due to internment camps. These camps were designed to protect and nurture the Japanese from the American people who were persecuting them. However, these camps did little good beyond that. Many Japanese Americans faced starvation, horrible living quality, and a large distance away from what they knew as home. These Japanese immigrants were always treated with discrimination in America; however, after Pearl Harbor they were forced to leave their homes, live in internment camps, and face prejudice for the years following.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government started to become very suspicious of different races living in the country especially the Japanese. To make sure nothing happened again these internment camps were set up and they were basically “America’s concentration camps”. The Japanese Americans faced a lot of hardships at these camps. Japanese Internment Camps were extremely unfair to the majority of the Japanese Americans who have not engaged in sabotage or spying for Japan during the war. Nevertheless, it was a necessary effort to limit the activities of those who would have tried to harm the U.S. and the war effort.
Japanese internment was the outcome of Executive Order 9066 in 1942. It unjustly relocated and interned Japanese Americans of all ages due to racial ancestry. This travesty lasted three years and affected over 110,000 Japanese Americans living throughout the United States. The roots of this racial prejudice can be traced back to the 1800s.
Harth, Erica. Last Witnesses: Reflections on the Wartime Internment of Japanese Americans. New York: Palgrave for St. Martin's, 2001. Print.
Throughout the entire United States in 1942, the nation incarcerated over 100,000 Japanese immigrants to internment camps (“Internment History.”). At this time, the United States just began their involvement in World War II against the Nazis and the Japanese. Panic and chaos struck the country when a bomb, now famous today, detonated in Pearl Harbor, HI. Although many envisage freedom when entering the United States, the Japanese received the opposite. Due to the racism afflicted by United States’ citizens during World War II, Japanese Americans, along with their future generations, suffered and still suffer from many physical and psychological hardships.
After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans thought that the Japanese Americans were associated with the surprise attack. The United States government decided to create concentration camps to hold them in. These concentration camps denied the Japanese Americans the American dream by excluding their freedom, the conditions of the camps, and how they were treated in the camps.
Between the years of 1942- 1945, the lives of many Japanese Americans were changed. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese military made the United States concerned about national security. The US was also made wary of Japanese people living in America, even though they were legal citizens. This fear of the Japanese immigrants put into motion the document that would forever leave an impact on the unsuspecting Asian foreigners. The Japanese were often lead away from their homes, mistreated, and in the end they were released after years of imprisonment, but the effects of the tragedy were too great to ignore.
“Japanese Internment Camps in Canada.” Yukon Education Student Network – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 April 2011. .
Marsh, James H. "Japanese Internment: Banished and Beyond Tears." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., 23 Feb. 2012. Web. 7 Jan. 2014. .
What were the Japanese internment camps some might ask. The camps were caused by the attack of Pearl Harbor in 1942 by Japan. President Roosevelt signed a form to send all the Japanese into internment camps.(1) All the Japanese living along the coast were moved to other states like California, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Arizona. The camps were located away from Japan and isolated so if a spy tried to communicate, word wouldn't get out. The camps were unfair to the Japanese but the US were trying to be cautious. Many even more than 66% or 2/3 of the Japanese-Americans sent to the internment camps in April of 1942 were born in the United States and many had never been to Japan. Their only crime was that they had Japanese ancestors and they were suspected of being spies to their homeland of Japan. Japanese-American World War I veterans that served for the United States were also sent to the internment camps.(2)
After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the United States was filled with panic. Along the Pacific coast of the U.S., where residents feared more Japanese attacks on their cities, homes, and businesses, this feeling was especially great. During the time preceding World War II, there were approximately 112,000 persons of Japanese descent living in California, Arizona, and coastal Oregon and Washington. These immigrants traveled to American hoping to be free, acquire jobs, and for some a chance to start a new life. Some immigrants worked in mines, others helped to develop the United States Railroad, many were fishermen, farmers, and some agricultural laborers.
I come before you today in defense of the leader of our Nation; our commander n’ chief; guardian of our future; and president of our United States. After an attack by the Empire of Japan on pearl harbor on December 7, 1941. My client, President Roosevelt ordered for the internment of Japanese- Americans throughout the United States through executive order 9006.