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When we think of World War II, we think of the Holocaust or, perhaps, the attack on Pearl Harbor, D-Day. Although these are significant and tragic events that shouldn't be forgotten, there are millions of voices we rarely hear about. In this project you will work in groups and be assigned the perspective of an ethnic group living in the United States during WWII.

Based on your research about life in the United States as an "alien enemy," you will write a first person, historical fiction narrative that will be the basis for a multimedia project.

We will use this space for groups to collect resources and to discuss ideas about their assignment and research.




As we begin this project, you will need to use information learned during your Social Studies unit on World War II along with information from your Holocaust novel study. To assist you in learning about WWII from an "alien enemy's" point of view, begin with the section US Enters WWII. Be sure to take notes on your wiki page.

US Enters WWII




On December 7, 1941 the United States was attacked by the Empire of Japan. On December 8, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered this famous speech declaring war on Japan. This act forced the United States into WWII and changed the lives of many forever, at home and abroad.

This declaration, along with Proclamation 2525 and Proclamation 2526 changed the lives of Japanese-Americans and German-Americans. Use the links below to learn about Proclamation 2525, Proclamation 2526 and some of the events leading to and following the United States' declaration of war.

Proclamation 2525
Proclamation 2526
History of Wartime Treatment - A timeline of events leading to the interment of Japanese and German Americans.
Executive Order 9066 - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 (Go to the section called Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry)
Executive Order 9066 - Treatment of Germans and Italians



Research Questions
Using the information from the links above, collect facts and details related to the statements and questions below. Take notes for each question on your personal notes page.

  1. Summarize the events of December 7, 1941.
  2. Describe the actions taken by the United States government following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  3. What is an 'alien enemy?'
  4. Were all detainees considered 'alien enemies?'
  5. What was the government able to do as a result of Proclamations 2525 and 2526?
  6. How and why was the US government able to inter people of Japanese and German descent?




Concentration Camps vs Internment Camps


Use the links below to help you answer the questions in the Concentration/Internment Research Questions.

Internment
Operations of Manzanar - This is a long chapter. You are not expected to read the entire chapter, but skim the sections to get an idea of how the camps were organized and the services/facilities they offered.
Internment Camp Map - Click on the locations on the map to learn more about the internment camps. See the one in Chicago?!?
Internment and Detention Facilities - Scroll below the map to find the information.




Concentration/Internment Research Questions *Note change to questions. Please copy/paste the changes into your notes!
Using the information from the links above, collect facts and details related to the statements and questions below. Take notes for each question on your personal notes page.

  1. What is the difference between a concentration camp and an internment camp?
  2. How were internment camps organized?
  3. Where were the internment camps?
  4. What types of facilities did the US use to contain enemy aliens?




Japanese American Experiences


General Stories & Experiences
Japanese American Internment
Divisions in Japanese/Japanese American Communities
Evacuee Experiences Part 1
Evacuee Experiences Part 2
Community Government
Can't Believe It's True

Personal Stories & Experiences
Telling Stories - A collection of video and text interviews with former internees
A More Perfect Union
A More Perfect Union - Transcripts
Norman Mineta
Interview with Kenji Okuda
An Interview with Marielle Tsukamoto: A First-hand Account of Japanese Internment
Miss Breed Letters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


Photographs
Ansel Adams’s Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar
JARDA>People
JARDA>Places
JARDA>Daily Life
JARDA>Personal Experiences

General Stories & Experiences
Japanese American Internment
Divisions in Japanese/Japanese American Communities
Evacuee Experiences Part 1
Evacuee Experiences Part 2
Community Government
Can't Believe It's True

Personal Stories & Experiences
Telling Stories - A collection of video and text interviews with former internees
A More Perfect Union
A More Perfect Union - Transcripts
Norman Mineta
Interview with Kenji Okuda
An Interview with Marielle Tsukamoto: A First-hand Account of Japanese Internment
Miss Breed Letters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


Photographs
Ansel Adams’s Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar
JARDA>People
JARDA>Places
JARDA>Daily Life
JARDA>Personal Experiences





Japanese American Experiences Research Questions *Note change to questions 2 and 4.
Using the information from the links above, collect facts and details related to the statements and questions below. Take notes for each question on your personal notes page. In addition to answering these questions, collect facts, details and dates related to the Japanese American experience after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and their internment.

  1. How did the attack on Pearl Harbor affect the lives of Japanese Americans?
  2. How were they treated before and after the bombing?
  3. Why were they treated this way?
  4. Were most Japanese Americans sympathetic to or against what Japan was doing?
  5. In what ways was this similar and different to how Jews were treated in Germany?
  6. Who were the Nisei, Issei and Kibei?




German American Experiences


General Stories & Experiences
Overview of Personal Stories
Shadows of War

Personal Stories & Experiences
Real People
Ahrens Story
Berg
Ebel
Eberhardt
Eiserloh
Engemann
Fuhr
Graber
Greis
Peters
Vogt


Photographs
Faces and Places
Images of Internment





Research Questions
Using the information from the links above, collect facts and details related to the statements and questions below. Take notes for each question on your personal notes page. In addition to answering these questions, collect facts, details and dates related to the German American experience after Germany declared war on the United States and their internment.

  1. How did life change for German Americans after the start of WWII?
  2. How were they treated by Americans and others in the US?
  3. Why were they treated this way?
  4. Were German Americans sympathetic to or against Hitler and the Nazis?
  5. How did their support or lack of support for Hitler affect their lives in the US?


Your Historical Fiction Narrative


Using the links in the Personal Stories and Experiences sections for Japanese Americans and German Americans, choose 5 personal stories to read. Take notes on the stories thinking about experiences these people had, how they felt, what their life was like and any other facts you find interesting or important.

Working with your partner, you will combine the notes both of you took and use them to create one story that is a historical fiction piece written from the perspective of a Japanese American or German American. As a group you will need to decide on your gender, age and the event you wish to describe. Remember to use the notes from the personal stories you read. Your story should include some actual facts about places, people or events that actually occurred.


Historical Fiction Digital Story


Using the narrative you have written, you will need to search for historical photographs using the links in the Japanese American and German American sections. You will also need to search for photos that represent places or ideas in your story. While collecting your images, you will need to record your story using one of the digital recorders and download it. Once done, you can begin your digital story using Windows Movie Maker!