Janaese soldier killing Chinese Baby
Courtesy gregnwoko.blogspot.com
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The Truth about Japanese Internment

 

.

. . and why the interment of Japanese


By Patrick Tillery, editor


Seuss cartoon — Typical cartoon of time

If you were not around or aware in 1942; if you sometimes wonder how Americans could be so . . . well . . . un-American as to haul Japanese and Japanese-Americans off to internment camps; if you are embarrassed that your parents and grandparents could do something so unfair--Read this book (The Rape of Nanking) It tells of the systematic torture and murder of more than 300,000 Chinese residents of Nanking – more killed than by both atomic bombs combined.

After reading it, be aware that Americans living then knew little of Nazi atrocities but lots about those of the Japanese — they were well documented. Discover by reading this and other books that these Japanese atrocities were not individual aberrations as in MyLai but organized efforts by the Japanese command. Also know that Americans had every reason to believe those same atrocities could and would happen in American cities if they were occupied.

Seuss cartoon depicting common fear
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Americans saw the Japanese juggernaut crush resistance in the Philippines resulting in the infamous Bataan death march. Americans saw the "invincible" British navy and land forces in the "Unconquerable fortress Singapore" fall swiftly to the Japanese. Americans also suffered the shelling of a west coast city by a Japanese submarine, the bombing of Oregon, and balloon bombs dropping in the U.S. and Canada. America was, not only fighting for it's very existence, but to prevent these horrors from happening in Honolulu! Add to this, actual reports in San Francisco newspapers of a few resident Japanese celebrating the attack on Pearl Harbor and proudly and openly pledging loyalty to Japan — a disconcerting thought to those afraid of saboteurs. Consider all of this when judging your grandparents. See Suess cartoons depicting this fear.

It was, perhaps, a sad chapter in American history. In hindsight it was unfortunate because many loyal Japanese-Americans were swept up.
But, look at it through the eyes of the Americans who were there and had reason to be afraid and you might be more tolerant. "Reparations" have been paid and apologies given to those unfortunate Japanese - Americans who were

interned, both to the loyal ones and to the ones who might not have been. Japan and Japanese companies that used American prisoners for slave labor have never even acknowledged their guilt - much less pay reparations. GIs of all ethnic groups, however, were also uprooted from their homes and sent to fight a vicious life or death battle in foreign lands. While we are loudly wringing our hands over a few that were unfairly but benignly and comfortably interned, wounded GIs, including Japanese-American ones, rotted, forgotten in dirty VA hospitals. Neither they nor their dead buddies got reparations.

Note: The internment was a project of the president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, pushed by California Governor Earl Warren (later SCOTUS), and upheld in the Supreme Court's Korematsu decision. It was written by Justice Hugo Black.


Seuss cartoon — Typical cartoon of time
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