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Japanese American Concentration Camps

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From Merriam-Webster:



>: a camp where persons (as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained or confined.


I think it is accurate to call Manzanar a "concentration camp." There is a fair amount of controversy about it, with proponents on both sides. Wiki article:


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Yeah Fred, maybe...but I'm pretty sure most of the WPA camps back then had folks who mostly volunteered to go to 'em.


(...yep, maybe this is just another example of how those friggin' Nazis "ruined" the "good name" of "concentration camps", eh?!) ;) :^0


Btw, where I grew up in SoCal, a little suburb of L.A. named Gardena, many of my fellow friends and classmates during the '60s were children of Nisei parents who had been relocated during the war, and a couple of their fathers had been highly decorated members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.


As I'm sure you know, there was a very well done film about that regiment titled *Go For Broke.*


Edited by: Dargo on Dec 18, 2011 3:10 PM

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> {quote:title=Dargo wrote:}{quote}

>Yeah Fred, maybe...but I'm pretty sure most of the WPA camps back then had folks who mostly volunteered to go to 'em.



Not only that, but most of the Japanese who were forcibly interred had homes and businesses or farms, or at least jobs, which they lost. The WPA people were out of work, usually homeless.

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Actually Fred, I seriously doubt the OP's intent with his title was to "poke poke poke".


Ya see, as I and VX have attempted in this thread to point out, yes, in essence the Japanese-American "Relocation Camps" WERE in effect "Concentration Camps". There were armed U.S. soldiers in watchtowers overseeing them in many many cases. And ya see, the term "Relocation" is well, just a "nice way" of putting it, or in other words it had become "PC" to use the term "Relocation" because the term "Concentration" has become almost synonymous with the "Death Camps" that the Nazi's ran during WWII.



Sorry, but I think after all these years, and especially after the official U.S. Government apology to, and subsequent renumeration received by the Japanese-American community a few year back, it's time to stop sugar-coating the name of what these camps actually were.

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}Now you see, Dargo, the fact that we "sugar coated" it back then, just shows how NICE we were to the Japanese Americans. Remember - sugar was rationed then! :D



Yeah, but in Fred's defense, and all things considered, I surely would've rather been a Nisei confined in an American concentration camp than, say, an American in a Japanese concentration camp, or worse still, and Jew in a German run concentration camp during the hostilities of WWII. And, I know you would also, VX.


(...and I'm pretty sure THAT is what Fred was attempting to say with all those pictures of "good times" at those camps...RIGHT Fred?!) ;)

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Sure, our concentration camps were nothing like the deadly and brutal hell-holes run by the Axis. But, they were still prisons, and especially at first, the accommodations were so bad that absent the force, few would have been willing to live in them.

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When we still lived in L.A., my wife and I once went to the Japanese-American Museum in the "Little Tokyo" section of downtown. In that museum is a reconstructed barrack from Manzanar. And yeah, it sure wasn't a "Four Star Accommodation" by any means at all, if ya know what I mean. ;)

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Coming up on Provoke Theatre: "I Remember Manzanar." A young Nisei girl's fond remembrance of her days in the benign climate of the famous Owens Valley resort, helping America in the war effort . The laughter, the tears, the victories, the chagrins. "It was just like camp!"

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>Fred, one could post frames from Stalag 17 that would look similar.


That's a Hollywood movie. Stupid and funny Germans,

and happy laughing American POWs.


Here are real American and Australian prisoners in Japan:












Richard Kobayashi, growing prize cabbages at Manzanar USA government farm:




Buying ice cream at the Manzanar store, USA:



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FredCDobbs is right. The Japanese were eager to get into the conecen--oops--internment camps. There was a two year waiting list. Even though the Japanese knew the war would probably end before they got a place in one, they signed up in droves anyway. Not willing to wait, many divested themselves of their property, thier businesses, and their farms, and set up squatter camps outside the official sites. This was a source of some tension. The real prisoners, internees rather, feeling threatened by the squatters usurping their position. The hopefuls envious of the lucky ones inside. Tadeiki Oharu, an osteopathic surgeon, voiced the common sentiment: "What do I want liberty, or property, or the freedom to go where I want for? That's not what this country is about. I'd much rather be raising cabbages than working on some kid's darned old club foot." Setsuko Suzuki (no relation), a charming seventeen year-old girl gushed: "I'm so happy to be here! I'd never be on the cheerleading squad in my regular high school! And I can't wait to get to work weaving camouflage nets! I have some great Ideas! I was first in my design class, so I know what I'm talking about!"

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Okay, Fred, I don't think that anyone disputes that the quality of life in our concentration camps for Japanese Americans was, in comparison, far, far better than in those of the Japanese and Germans. But, we still imprisoned them needlessly.


All though we humans would prefer a gilded cage to a hellhole, we still prize freedom, warts and all, above the gilded cage. And, Manzanar wasn't exactly gilded, despite those there making the best of it. You can't post any photos that show they were free to come and go as they pleased. Would you have wanted to live in confinement there? After having your home and business taken away?


Edited by: ValentineXavier on Dec 20, 2011 10:51 PM

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