Sunday, September 11, 2016

Documentary Review: Japanese American Incarceration: 1942-1945

This is a documentary about the National Park Service efforts to preserve the stories of the Japanese incarceration during WWII.  The documentary focusing mostly on Manzanar in California east of Kings Canyon, but also presents Tule Lake in Northern California, Minidoka in Idaho and Heart Mountain in Idaho.  Some of the camps preserved are from the efforts of local organizations while others are directed by the national Park service.
WWII was a very difficult time in our history.  The relocation camps were created by executive order from President Roosevelt.  It wasn't until President Reagan that an official apology came from the United States for our having denied these people their civil rights.
This film informed me of a website, which collects stories of those who lived int he relocation camps.  The efforts of this group are not to forget the stories of the people.  It points out that one of the major hurdles was at the end of the war and the people went back to their cities, having lost all, and being given only $25.  The struggle just began for many of these families.
There were a total of 10 relocation camps, where 110,000 Japanese American citizens were interred.  I was disappointed not more was said of Topaz Mountain in Utah.  I have visited this camp.  However it is not very well preserved (or wasn't when I visited.)

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