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Use this page to collect notes, media and citations for your research. Answer each question with facts and details, adding links and citations for sources as you go.

US Enters WWII Research Questions

Summarize the events of December 7, 1941.
  • The Japanese army bombed Pearl harbor, Hawaii out of the blue without warning. This sparked the American involvement in the war and distrust of Japanese americans.

Describe the actions taken by the United States government following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Soon after the bombing America officaly enters the war of Wolrd War 2

What is an ‘alien enemy’?
  • It is a citizen of a country that is in conflict with the country they are in.

Were all of the detainees considered ‘alien enemies’?
  • The Japanese were unexpected enemies. They were considered alien enemies along with the German Americans.

How and why was the United States able to inter people of Japanese and German descent?
  • They were able to inter japanese and germans because the president made the Proclamation 2525 saying that if anyone over 14 is part of a country that is in war with the US, they can be "restrained, secured, or removed as an alien enemy".

What was the US government able to do as a result of Proclamations 2525 and 2526?
  • The U.S. was able take away some of their rights and was able to inter alien enemies.

What were the circumstances surrounding Proclamation 2525 and 2526?
  • The United States considered all nationals from enemy countries "alien enemies" which allowed the US to be able to detain them in internment camps.

Concentration Camps vs Internment Camps Research Questions

What is the difference between a concentration camp and an internment camp?
  • Concentration camps were where people worked hard as laborers. Internment camps were a large area used for enemy aliens,specific ethnic or religious groups, or others during the war.

How were internment camps organized?
  • Interment camps were guarded all the time.

Where were the internment camps?
  • There are many in America.Lots of camps in the North Eastern. California had the largest number of interment camps. Texas also had a couple.

What was life like in the internment camps?
  • Life in internment camps was not good. People were treated badly, worked hard, and they were taken away from there family and everything else they had.

German Americans Research Questions

How did life change for German Americans after the start of WWII?
  • German Americans were treated really badly and the language was unable to be spoken and everything that was written in German was burned.

How were they treated by Americans and others in the US?
  • People went through their houses, took them out of their house and took them away. They were taken from their families and put in internment camps.

Why were they treated this way?
  • They were treated badly because of thier religion and ethnic group.

Were German Americans sympathetic to or against Hitler and the Nazis?
  • Some German Americans were and some weren't sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazis.

How did their support of or lack of support for Hitler affect their lives in the US?
  • It did affect their lives because Hitler made their lives miserable in the U.S. because the United States declared war against Germany and the United States did not trust any German-American unless they declare themselves as a true American citizen and would remain loyal to the U.S.

Notes about personal story one.
  • Armin- He remembers the high fence and several strands of barbed wire at the top and the gate he had to pass through. The guards all had rifles and side arms.In the center of the room there was a small square table and four chairs. In the corner of the room was another chair that was occupied by an armed guard. He also remembers that one guard has a gun pointed in his direction.

Notes about personal story two.
  • The Neupert Family Story- "I was born on October 10, 1932 in New Jersey.In the summer of 1942, the FBI came to our home and arrested my mother. My father and I stood at our kitchen window and watched them leading my mother away.We were allowed to visit my mother once a week. On Ellis Island we spent our days in the Great Hall, an enormous room that was dingy, dirty, and grey with age. It was filled with very long benches, and the women who were imprisoned there moved them around to form squares, sort of imaginary rooms, where they sat during the day.The camp was divided between German and Japanese internees. The building was alive with roaches; every time anything would be moved, the roaches would scurry about.There were about eight women in our room, and two children.The camp was encircled by a high chain link fence crowned with barbed wire and had guard towers and searchlights at regular intervals. I don’t remember being able to see much except desert outside the camp."

Notes about personal story three.
  • The Reseneder Family Story- "FBI agents came to their apartment in the middle of the night. They woke them from their beds and ransacked their apartment. The agents proceeded to question my grandfather and without notice, took him away. For several days my grandmother did not know his whereabouts, until she learned that he was being retained at Ellis Island.During the next three plus years they lived in a world that consisted of barbed wire and guard towers. They were prohibited from leaving the grounds."

Notes about personal story four.
  • The Scheibe Family Story- "My mother, at the age of 10, arrived at Ellis Island with her family in 1924, leaving behind their farm in Bremerhaven.The war broke out in 1942. On June 15th, the FBI went to my father’s place of business, handcuffed him, interrogated him and took him to Ellis Island. Agents came to the house and searched all our personal belongings. For the next 6 months my mother and I visited my father by ferry. At that time the building was deteriorating and conditions were deplorable. My parents were forbidden to hold hands by the guards. The days that followed were an emotional roller coaster for us."

Notes about personal story five.
  • The Schmitz Family Story- "That’s how we ended up interned on Ellis Island for three months before being shipped to Crystal City Texas in July of 1943 with a group of other German families on a train ride lasting three days.About 200 acres enclosed the camp plus an additional 300 acres of surrounding farmland outside the fence worked by the detainees under guard. Every man in the camp had a job and was required to work for which he was paid about 10 cents an hour. Special plastic coins of various denominations were the currency used in the camp which was rationed to families depending on their size. Ice and milk was delivered daily to both loosely divided sections of the camp by German and Japanese rotating crews. Meals were prepared in separate mess halls for those Germans and Japanese aliens not living in units having kitchens, and they were the majority.For us kids, and there were at one time about 1,600 minor children in the camp, total detainee population about 3,600, it was a huge playpen."

Group Story