Internment

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Click here to see some stunning photocollages of the internment camps where so many Japanese-Americans spent World War II.

Earlier this week, as Jeff Taylor noted, a North Carolina congressman expressed the view that the camps weren't all that bad an idea. If you value liberty or simple human decency, the historical record says otherwise.

[Via Todd Morman.]

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  1. > Earlier this week, as Jeff Taylor noted, a North Carolina congressman expressed the view that the camps weren’t all that bad an idea.

    What’s really needed here is a camp for congressman who suggest such things. Or maybe an all expense paid one way trip to Manzanar: http://www.nps.gov/manz/

  2. I am not trying to defen howard coble’s comments, in any actual sense accept the theoretical. He claimed that it was justified to put japanese in internment camps because they were safer there, safe from the violent attacks of others. This was not the reason that japanese were put in inernment camps, but it is the reason that many minorities, especially jews, were concentrated in easily defensible areas, often by local bishops, to protect them from popular attacks. When a majority of a population is determined to kill a minority, sometimes segregating that minority in a protected area is a good idea… usually not, look at srebrenica… but…. there are exceptions… look at our prisons where solitary confinement is both a punishment, for those who are cruel, and a protection for those who might, for whatever reason suffer in the general population. Life is compicated, and some things, segregation, say, that might usually be bad, might at times be good…. Howard Coble is an idiot though, i live in the next district over, believe me i know…. sigh…..

  3. i just thought i’d add that my keyboard is sticking badly and that most, problably not all of the spelling errors in that post were probably not my fault….

  4. > He claimed that it was justified to put japanese in internment camps because they were safer there, safe from the violent attacks of others.

    In fact, during WW2 the Japanese were concentrated in an “easily defensible area” – a two or three square block area in Los Angeles. The fact that they were forcibly removed from that area – leaving homes, business, and belongings behind – would seem to suggest that safety had nothing to do with the real reasons for the internment.

    For a look at where they were moved to check this out:
    http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/anthropology74/ce8.htm

  5. Those are not picutures of the internment camps that the japanese were held in. Those are pictures of the *sites* and remaining buildings after some 40 to 50 years of neglect and weathering.

    What Americans (using the USG as a proxy) did to it’s japanese citizens during that timeframe was horrid, but those pictures do not show where they were held.

  6. Hmmm. Wasn’t the Warsaw Ghetto a pretty effective war-time barrier as well? Sorry, but if I can’t get behind mandatory seat belt laws, I’m sure not going to engage in the intellectual gymnsatics necessary to justify that little piece of paternalistic nonsense.

  7. I’m familiar with that NPS site mentioned by Izaak and it’s quite a good site. Note that Manzanar was a Relocation Center and not an Internment Camp. The distinction for U.S. libertarians is important as internment is the international norm as practiced by many countries. The US, UK, Canada and Australia all interned people during WWI and WWII. Relocation, however, may have set some precedents in the U.S.

    Check also chapter 17 to see who else were placed in camps.

    Here’s a hint but just a hint:

    “Ellis Island, a mostly artificial island of about 27 acres in Upper New York Bay, has been government property since 1808. Between 1892 and 1941 it served as the chief entry station for immigrants to the United States. During World War II it was used as a detention center to hold enemy aliens awaiting hearings. In December 1941 Ellis Island held 279 Japanese, 248 Germans, and 81 Italians, all removed from the East Coast (Figure 17.1). Thereafter several hundred detainees, mostly German and Italian nationals, were brought to Ellis Island each month. Most were transferred or released within 1 to 4 months, however some were held for up to 2 years. In February 1944 there were only three Japanese Americans still being held there and in June 1944 only one Japanese American (Jacobs 1997). The immigration center is now run as a museum by the National Park Service.”

    Jacobs is retired USAF Major, Arthur Jacobs who was held and then deported to Germany with his parents despite his having been a U.S. citizen.

    His website has pretty much of everything not generally known about “internment”:

    http://www.foitimes.com/internment

  8. Yes, Billy. Photos of the camps today.

  9. Those are not picutures of the internment camps that the japanese were held in. Those are pictures of the *sites* and remaining buildings after some 40 to 50 years of neglect and weathering.

    Surprising they lasted:

    “[The construction of the camps] is so very cheap that, frankly, if it stands up for the duration we are going to be lucky.” — Milton Eisenhower, before Senate appropriations committee

    I did a report on the Japanese internment camps in high school, a year before 9-11. Even at the time, I found there was a provision on the books for similar camps to be constructed for racial or ethnic groups “connected with terrorism.” Scary.

  10. In 1942 an invasion was a real possibility. To judge actions taken to save the United States in a half century of hindsight is taking a cheap shot.
    In those countries Japan invaded, the local Japanese were of considerable help to the invaders.
    If you believe that in 20 years planning the war, Japan had no moles in the neighborhood you are being fatuous. Check on the internees who renounced their U.S. citizenship and went to Japan after the war and then tell me that all internees were willing to renounce any attachment to Japan, then come sobing to me again.

  11. They persist in labelling all as internment.

    Does anyone get that internment was and is an accepted practice?

    http://www.1upinfo.com/encyclopedia/I/internme.html

    Or that The UK, Canada and Australia did the same as if not worse than what the US did? And in both world wars among others?

    Who’s concerned with what may occur in the US should be looking more deeply into the issue.

  12. To W.E.White. At least you recognize that life is complicated.

    Now, kiss my ass for even thinking that interning a U.S. citizen is acceptable.

  13. “Check on the internees who renounced their U.S. citizenship and went to Japan after the war…”

    Well, gee, if the American government effectively told you “sorry, as far as we’re concerned you’re Japanese, not American” and then put YOU in a prison, wouldn’t YOU leave for Japan afterwards? DUH!!!

  14. Actually, one should check on the amazing amount who stayed loyal to the USA. The Nesei (sp?) unit of US-Japanese soldiers was one of the most decorated in the European theatre.
    To judge the god or bad of this issue 60 years after the fact is kinda pointless. One can understand the hysteria on the west coast after Pearl Harbor, but it does go against every thing the American ideal represents.

    Danjo
    (who just finished reading a book on Japan and WWII)

  15. Co
    ble for President, Jeff Taylor for VP
    Check out : http://www.hemet411.com/afha for the truth on the WW II Internment

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