2013 | 11 | 211-230
Article title

Życie amerykańskich Japończyków w obozach internowania

Title variants
Life of the American Japanese in internment camps
Languages of publication
The Japanese attack on American military base in Pearl Harbor and the US entry into World War II changed lives of the American Japanese for several years. By the American government’s decision of January 1941, 110 thousand Nikkei, living mainly in the West Coast territory, were resettled and interned for the duration of the war. This action was undertaken in the atmosphere of hysteria after the Pearl Harbor attack and reinforced by the media and leading American politicians. The government’s movements were explained by a “military necessity” and the need to protect the country against sabotage and the attack of the “fifth column”. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s decision was an obvious violation of civil rights of the majority of the interned, as two thirds of them were US citizens. The Japanese were forced to leave their houses in a hurry and move to, originally temporary and then permanent, internment camps, where they stayed four long years. The interned were provided with medical aid, education and entertainment, and with time, the camps began to resemble small American towns. Yet, the living conditions were not satisfactory. For the majority of the interned the memories of the camps are so traumatic and humiliating, that they would like to erase them. For years they revealed their wartime experiences neither to friends and relatives nor to the rest of the American society. The aim of this article is to present living conditions in internment camps and find the reasons of trauma connected with the internment of the Japanese.
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