Although writing can help decipher history, it’s our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Concentration Camps in North American during WWII


While this event is most commonly called the internment of Japanese Americans, in fact there were several different types of camps involved. The best known facilities were the Assembly Centers run by the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA), and the Relocation Centers run by the War Relocation Authority (WRA), which are generally (but unofficially) referred to as "internment camps." The Department of Justice (DOJ) operated camps officially called Internment Camps, which were used to detain those suspected of actual crimes or "enemy sympathies." German American internment and Italian American internment camps also existed, sometimes sharing facilities with the Japanese Americans. The WCCA and WRA facilities were the largest and the most public. The WCCA Assembly Centers were temporary facilities that were first set up in horse racing tracks, fairgrounds and other large public meeting places to assemble and organize internees before they were transported to WRA Relocation Centers by truck, bus or train. The WRA Relocation Centers were camps that housed persons removed from the exclusion zone after March 1942, or until they were able to relocate elsewhere in America outside the exclusion zone.

Civilian Assembly Centers

Relocation Centers- Also referred as Internment Camps

Justice Department detention camps

These camps often held German and Italian detainees in addition to Japanese Americans:

US Army facilities

These camps often held German and Italian detainees in addition to Japanese Americans:


In addition 2,264 persons of Japanese ancestry taken from 12 Latin American countries by the U.S. State and Justice Departments were held at the Department of Justice Camps. Approximately two-thirds of these persons were Japanese Peruvians. There has been some speculation that the United States intended to use them in hostage exchanges with Japan, a plot in part facilitated by local prejudice against Japanese communities in various South American countries. After the war, Peru refused to accept the return of the Japanese Peruvians they had acquiesced to interning in American camps; of this group, some were transferred to Japan, some were granted American citizenship, and a small minority of approximately 100 managed to achieve repatriation into Peru by asserting special circumstances, such as marriage to a non-Japanese Peruvian. Three hundred of the Japanese Peruvians who fought deportation in the courts were allowed to settle in the United States, and were granted American citizenship in 1953.


Japanese Canadian internment refers to the confinement of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia during World War II. The internment began in December 1941, following the attack by the Japanese air force on the American base at Pearl HarborHawaii because the Japanese were worried that this was a threat. The Japanese Canadians in Florida were questioned, and had nothing to do with the attack of the Japaneseon Pearl Harbor, but still the Japanese Canadians on the coastlines were sent away to camps. Many children were brought up in these camps. But what is stranger, is that the government had promised the Japanese that they would get their land back when they had come back from 'shelters'. After the Japanese came back from the camps, their land was sold off cheaply at auctions, some land currently worth millions. Many of the families sent away lost most of their personal belongings, as they could only take as much of their belongings as they could carry. They did not know that they were going to prison camps, and did not know that they were not being sent away for their safety at all.
Despite widespread fear within the populace during World War II, historical evidence shows that Canadian military authorities and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police put little credence in the notion of a Japanese invasion. It is now clear that Japanese Canadians were not a threat to national security.[1] Following the war, and the defeat of Japan, internees were given the choice of deportation or transfer to other parts of Canada. Public protests eventually caused the repeal of the legislation and a Royal Commission was appointed in 1947 to examine the confiscation of property. In 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney gave a formal apology and announced the details of compensation to the affected citizens.

Camp locations

  • Camps and relocation centres elsewhere in Canada
  • 1 comment:

    1. Aloha,
      Great site !
      just for your info my new books American Samurais - WWII Camps is in print right now. See my website Mahalo, Pierre Moulin


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    Even though I am from Kansas, I enjoy venturing into other worlds from around the globe which is why my writing focuses on diversity. With fluid accessibility to modern media and traveling opportunities, my Midwestern world can expand and explore beyond my own backyard. In addition to studying cultures, I take pleasure in studying history. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, over our society’s past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

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