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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.
  • Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. President Eisenhower quoted "a date which will live in infamy."

Describe the actions taken by the United States government following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • The Japanese attacked out of the blue, although the US did try to fight back, most of their artillery whas blown up

What is an ‘alien enemy’?
  • An alien enemy is any citizen of the same descent/ethnicity of the country the US is currently at war with.

Were all of the detainees considered ‘alien enemies’?
  • Yes
How and why was the United States able to inter people of Japanese and German descent?
  • The Proclamations states that if the U.S. is in war with any other foreign nation and the President makes a public proclamation of the event, all citizens of that nation not naturalized in the U.S. can be restrained or removed as alien enemies

What was the US government able to do as a result of Proclamations 2525 and 2526?
  • If you were from the nation that the U.S. was at war with, you were sent to interment camps and could be removed or arrested easily if you did something wrong

What were the circumstances surrounding Proclamation 2525 and 2526?
  • The U.S. couldnt hurt anyone from Germany or Japan and since Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and Germany wanted the U.S. involved in the war, the U.S. took precautions for their safety be sending them to internment camps

Concentration Camps vs Internment Camps Research Questions

What is the difference between a concentration camp and an internment camp?
  • An internment camp is a large detention center created for alien enemies
    A concentration camp was a death camp for a group of people for no reason
How were internment camps organized?
  • They were used all over the country but varied in size.
Where were the internment camps?
  • Most were in California or the north east

What was life like in the internment camps?
  • There was no plumbing or cooking, the buildings were overfilled, some of the internment camps were in cold were people where unprepared for the weather.

Were there different internment camps for Japanese and Germans?
  • Sometimes they shared, but others they were seprate.

How were the Japanese and German camps similar and different?
  • Both targeted people from the Japanese and German ancestry.

Japanese Americans Research Questions

How did the attack on Pearl Harbor affect the lives of Japanese Americans?
  • General John L. DeWitt said "I don't want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty... It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty... But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map."

How were they treated before and after the bombing?
  • before, they probably would have been welcomed.
  • after, they were discriminated against

Why were they treated this way?
  • People thought that they were on the Japaneese side, and were against the U.S.

Were most Japanese Americans sympathetic to or against what Japan was doing?
In what ways was this similar and different to how Jews were treated in Germany?
Who were the Nisei, Issei and Kibei?
  • Issei - Japaneese imargated to U.S (born in Japan)
  • Nisei- born in America and taught american, (children of Issei)
  • Kibei- born in America but taught mostly or all in Japaneese.

Notes about personal story one.
Akiko K, I no longer felt I'm an equal American, that I felt kind of threatened and nervous about it.

Notes about personal story two.
Mutsu H, they said that the Jap is not a human being

Notes abou t personal story three.
Nancy K. Araki, couldnt even buy an icecream cone as a little child.

Notes about personal story four.
Reiko Oshima Komoto
Topaz, Utah

Notes about personal story five.

Personal Narrative:

All I wanted to do was take a plane home to Japan and see my family, I had come here, to California, to start a new life, and now my sister back in Japan was sick. I needed to get home.
"Why can’t I go to the airport?" I said calmly to a soldier. Ever since I came here, I wasn’t treated fairly, so I didn’t really expect an answer. The soldiers were loading us onto a train, a train that I needed to use to get to the airport. I didn’t understand anything that was happening, I had one suitcase that contained clothes, and surprisingly I got to keep it. They said they contacted every Japanese-American and told them about this, but I had not gotten a call.
There weren’t very many Japanese people living in my town, at least that I have seen before, but as I got on the train I realized everyone on was Japanese. Where are we going? What’s going to happen to us? I was so confused, I didn’t understand. I had done nothing wrong. I knew my country bombed Pearl Harbor, even though I didn’t know where that was, but I didn’t know why all Japanese people were getting onto a train and going somewhere.
"Where are we going?” I asked out loud, so maybe, just anyone would answer me.
"Their taking us away from here", said a young man standing next to me, probably ten years younger then me.
"Who's ‘their’, where are they taking us, why?" I asked so many questions, knowing not all would be answered.
"The U.S. army, can’t you see the uniforms? We are a "threat" to America, their taking us to camp, to keep us away."
"No, no, this cant be right, I need to go home, I need to go back to Jap-", the train started moving.
"I’m sorry. Hey what's your name?" the man nearly fell as the train flung back, starting to go forward.
"Nobuo," I said, "What’s yours?"
We continued to talk until the train had stopped, I even forgot that we were on a train until it halted and I flew forward, almost hitting my head on the man in front of me. I heard someone shout "Topaz, Utah", so I took a guess that that was where we were. We walked for a little while until we reached a fence, and in the distance I could see many cabins. They called each group of cabins a 'block', but they referred to the cabin looking things as barracks. The barracks were tar-papered and were one story. When took us inside, I saw that the rooms contained one light bulb and I tiny stove, for heating. There were metal cots with army blankets laying on top. There was no faucet or toilet, I knew there was either another cabin for that, or we would have to go outside. I found out that all bathrooms, the dining hall, and similar rooms were located in other buildings. The bathrooms were separated by gender, and the stalls did not have doors or curtains. The meals usually consisted of organ meat, like kidney or liver. Of course I had thought about jumping the fence, but where would I go? We were in the middle of no where. They started jobs in the camp, but later I had heard that some people were sent away to go work for a factory or for someone. I knew if I ever wanted to get away I needed a job that allowed me to leave. I never got the time to get a job because luckily the camp closed in 1945. I was there for nearly three years. Life after was hard, but I fortunately found a new place and started a new job. A few years later I returned to Japan to find a healthy sister and family.