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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

The War Relocation Camps of World War II:
When Fear Was Stronger than Justice--
Supplementary Resources

By looking at The Japanese Relocation Camps of World War II: When Fear Was Stronger than Justice, students learn how fear led the U.S. government to take unjust actions during World War II which might not have occurred under other circumstances. Students who want to know more will find that the Internet offers a variety of interesting materials.

Manzanar National Historic Site
Manzanar National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park System. Visit the park's web page to learn more about the park's history and visiting the site.

Minidoka Internment National Monument
Minidoka Internment National Monument, a unit of the National Park System, commemorates the hardships and sacrifices of Japanese Americans interned there during World War II. Also known as the "Hunt Camp", the Minidoka Relocation Center was a 33,000-acre site with over 600 buildings and a total population of about 13,000 internees held from Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. It was in operation from August 1942 until October 1945. Visit the park's web page to learn more about the park's history and visiting the site.

Confinement and Ethnicity
Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, written by Jeffery F. Burton, Mary M. Farrell, Florence B. Lord, and Richard W. Lord, is available on the NPS History web page. This award-winning study provides information on all of the War Relocation Authority assembly and relocation centers, context material, and many historic and current photographs.

Report to the President: Japanese-American Internment Sites Preservation
On November 9, 2000, President Clinton directed the Secretary of the Interior to follow up on Confinement and Ethnicity: an Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, which describes the current condition of the War Relocation Centers and other relocation sites, by developing recommendations to preserve the existing Japanese American internment sites and to provide more opportunities for the public to learn about the internment. The recommendations are presented in the Report to the President: Japanese-American Internment Sites Preservation, which is divided into three sections:
1. General recommendations and proposed actions for the War Relocation Centers;
2. Short description and specific recommendations for each site; and
3. Appendices; including

Detailed reports about each site:
* Manzanar
* Tule Lake
* Granada
* Topaz
* Heart Mountain
* Minidoka
* Gila River
* Poston
* Jerome
* Rohwer

War Relocation Authority Photographs
The Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley and the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. are the primary repositories for WRA photographs. The Library has posted many of these photographs on their web page. The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive, of which the photographs are a part, also contains other documents relating to the relocation.

Historic Places of America’s Diverse Culture
The National Register of Historic Places online itinerary Places Reflecting America’s Diverse Cultures highlights the historic places and stories of America’s diverse cultural heritage.  This itinerary seeks to share the contributions various peoples have made in creating American culture and history.

National Park Service - Museum Management Program
The Museum Management Program has a lesson plan focusing on the Manzanar National Historic Site in their Teaching with Museum Collections series: Traveling Beads: American Indian Currency.

A More Perfect Union
The Smithsonian Institution web page provides a multi-media tour of an exhibit at the Museum of American History in Washington on the Japanese relocation.

National Archives and Records Administration
The Education Department at the Archives developed a lesson plan featuring documents and photographs related to Japanese relocation during World War II.

Japanese American National Museum
This Los Angeles museum web page contains a useful chronology of the relocation program. It also includes two digital exhibits. The first contains letters written by young people interned in the camps. The second includes drawings by a young artist showing the assembly centers and camps where he was relocated.

Library of Congress: Built in America (HABS/HAER)
The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections document architecture, engineering, and design in the United States through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies, including sites related to Asian-Pacific American history and culture. Searches on keywords like "Japanese," "World War II," or "Manzanar" will provide information on an array of associated sites. Most of the site records have publication-quality drawings, photographs and historical data.

Library of Congress: American Memory Collection
Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar are featured as part of the American Memory Collection. In 1943, Ansel Adams (1902-1984), America's best-known photographer, documented the Manzanar War Relocation Center. Adams's Manzanar work is a departure from his signature style of landscape photography, and includes not only numerous portraits, but also views of daily life, agricultural scenes, and sports and leisure activities.

Ellis Island National Monument
Although Ellis Island served a multitude of purposes, it served primarily as a detention center during World War II for "alien enemies," those considered to be inadmissable, and others. By 1946, approximately 7000 German, Italian, and Japanese people (aliens and citizens) were detained at Ellis Island during the War. For more information, please visit the park's website.

For Further Reading
Students and teachers interested in learning more about the relocation centers might want to look at the following books. Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. and James B. Houston (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2002) is a powerful autobiographical account of the experiences of a seven-year old girl evacuated to Manzanar with her family. A Historical Reader: Japanese-American Internment (Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2000) includes a series of essays, primary source materials, and first hand accounts. Behind Barbed Wire: The Imprisonment of Japanese-Americans During World War II (New York: Dutton, 1982) and Nisei Regiment by R. Conrad Stein (Chicago: Children's Press, 1985) are interesting non-fiction books written for young people.

For information on the treatment of others catagorized as "enemy aliens" during World War II, see Arnold Krammer, Undue Process: The Untold Story of America’s German Alien Internees (London, Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997); and Stephen Fox, The Unknown Internment: An Oral History of the Relocation of Italian Americans during World War II (Boston: Twayne, 1990).


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