Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

House approves measure to preserve WWII internment camps

By Aussiegirl

How about preserving the detention camps where people like my parents were interned after WWII and subject to forcible deportation to the Soviet Union following the Yalta accords? My parents and family including my mother and young sister, including people with babies and children, were kept in former POW camps under armed guard, with armed sentries at the guard towers and behind barbed wires. They were many times forcibly moved from camp to camp and treated brutally by American soldiers who beat my father with the butt of a rifle. As people were being transported to what they thought were Soviet camps, women began throwing their children off the backs of trucks and jumping off and running into the woods as soldiers fired at them. This was a horrible miscarriage of justice that is little talked about. My parents barely escaped forced repatriation (and sure death) only by smuggling out a letter to General Eisenhower and telling him of our plight. He then sent his adjutant who examined the situation and gave them Eisenhower's personal word that they would not be forcibly moved.

KRT Wire | 12/05/2006 | House approves measure to preserve WWII internment camps

House approves measure to preserve WWII internment camps
By David Whitney
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Congress completed action Tuesday on legislation to preserve and protect the remnants of one of the darkest chapters in American history: the internment camps and gathering centers that were used in the roundup and forced detention of Japanese American citizens during World War II.

The voice vote in the House of Representatives came two days short of the 65th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. That tragedy stirred such fear and anger in the United States that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 three months later, ordering the roundup. The Supreme Court later upheld the directive on the grounds of "pressing public necessity."

Congress issued a formal apology in 1988 and offered $20,000 apiece in compensation to the survivors of the camps, who lost their freedom and property without any formal legal proceedings. Lesser numbers of Alaska Natives, Germans and Italians also were ordered detained.

On the West Coast, the Japanese Americans drew a strong public reaction. They were removed from their homes with very few possessions, taken to processing centers and transported to the internment camps, in remote corners of seven states, where they lived behind barbed-wire fences for most of the war.

Ten relocation centers were built to house them, and two - Manzanar and Minidoka - have been turned over to the National Park Service. With money from the legislation, what remains of the others can be restored and operated by local sponsors to keep the memory of the camps alive. President Bush is expected to sign the bill. [....]


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