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While the physical conditions were difficult, there were also psychological ones. There was a sense of betrayal, as those involved were American citizens. Also this act further separated those involved from the idea that American was a land of immigrants. All of a sudden those of Japanese decent were rounded up as looked on with suspicion. Some of the anti-Americanism today is due to actions such as these. Also this set a very negative precedent for the future.
The experience of Japanese Americans after 1941 was very harsh and involved a great deal of suffering due to the way that they were rounded up and interned as a result of their ethnicity. Of course, for some males, this gave them the chance to prove their loyalty by serving in the US army against Japan, but for many, this time was marked by suffering and sadness.
Even though the internment camps Japanese-Americans were placed in stand in stark contrast to the concentration camps of Hitler's Holocaust and the Gulag in Stalin's Soviet Union, that doesn't mean living there was a picnic. Rooms were small and afforded little privacy for families, and were typically poorly ventilated and heated. Temperatures in the California sun could reach 100+ in the summer and drop below freezing in the winter.
Also, a poster above mentions the way in which segregated Japanese-American soldiers distinguished themselves in combat, which is absolutely true. The 442nd Regiment fought mostly in Italy during the war and remains the most decorated unit, in terms of size and length of service, in US military history.
Many Japanese-Americans who were placed in the internment camps under Executive Order 9066 were actually citizens of the United States. The pretext was that invasion of the west coast was a distinct possibility, and that Japanese-Americans had served as spies for Japan in the months preceding Pearl Harbor. But as was previously noted, many who were placed in internment camps lost their property and their businesses, and most were never accused of, much less found guilty of, disloyalty. The constitutionality of the executive order was upheld by the Supreme Court in Korematsu v. US (1944,) but President Ronald Reagan apologized for internment in 1988.
In addition to what the previous post says, it is very important to note that the evacuees generally lost all their property that they could not carry with them. They either lost it completely or had to sell it hurriedly at very low prices.
Many Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced to live in camps after the beginning of U. S. involvement in World War II. One important factor often enemphasized in accounts of this period is that many Japanese Americans volunteered for service in the U. S. military, partly to "prove" their patriotism. Many of them distinguished themselves significantly during such service.
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