World War 2
Japanese Internment Camps

How many Japanese-Americans died or survived or escaped the internment camps?

User Avatar
Wiki User
September 13, 2011 2:05AM

The internment camps were started after the attack on Pearl Harbor and America and Canada (blood running high from the horrors of it all) were later accused of racism against the Japanese that had become American or Canadian citizens and most were born in these countries.

It was not only the Americans, but Canada who made a grave error in putting Japanese citizens of the U.S. and Canada into Internment camps. To this day it's a blight on the history of both countries and the numbers of dead will never be known for sure. For the most part the Japanese lived in squalor, tight quarters, some died from disease, heat, cold, others were shot for disputes against the reasons they were interred and others were shot for trying to escape. It wasn't like concentration camps, but that's up for grabs as well.

Over a 9 month period 22,000 Japanese-Canadians were taken from their homes and scattered throughout B.C. By Oct./42 the Cdn. Gov't had set up 8 internment camps in Interior, B.C. Kaslo, New Denver, Tashme, Roseberry, Slocan City, Lemon Creek, Sandon and Greenwood. Tashme was named after the 3 leading BC's security commissions: T Alor, SHirras and MEad.

The Japanese were treated like slaves and because of a shortage of farmers during WW2 they were forced out to work in road camps to go to beet camps and be with their families. Like Americans, Canadians punished the Japanese for a crime they didn't commit. They saw the Japanese people as "not white" or "Japanese spies." The Japanese were stripped of their rights, issued special clothing, humiliated, thrown behind barb wire fences and were forced to do manual labor.

Many Japanese families were forced to live in cramped quarters with 10 other families sharing one stove. Some camps such as Slocan city; did have the resources to house that many people coming into the camps. Japanese were placed in tents until houses were erected, but the houses were rickety and extremely cold during the harsh winters.Canada sold all the Japanese' world possessions. In 1943 the Cdn., "Custodian of Aliens" liquidated these worlding possesions without the owner's permission. The "Custodian of Aliens" auctioned off their contents, homes and property.

In 1988 the first Japanese Internment Camp, Canadian Japanese were compensated for all that they had endured during the war. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed a compensation package giving $21,000 for each internee's survivor. In total 12 million dollars were paid out.

American Japanese Internment Camps were not any better. These camps were in: Central Utah (Topaz), Colorado River (Poston, AZ), Gila River (Rivers, AZ), Granada (Amache, CO), Heart Mountain WY, Jerome (Denson, AK), Manzanar, CA, Minidoka, CA, Rohwer, AK, Tule Lake (Newell, CA). JUST DEPT. CAMPS: Santa fe, NM, Bismarck, ND, Crystal City, TX, Missoula, MT. CITIZEN ISOLATION CAMPS: Moab, UT, Leupp, AZ, Puyallup, WA, Marysville, CA, Tanforan, CA, Turlock, CA, Salina, CA, Tulare, CA, Pomona, CA, Manzanar, CA, Portland, OR, Sacramento, CA, STockton, CA, Merced, CA, Fresno, CA, Santa Anita, CA, Mayer, CA, Pinedale, CA.

TAG & NUMBERS:This order gave the military free reign to designate military areas and to remove any persons considered a danger. Though theoretically Executive Order 9066 could be used to remove German and Italian Americans only the Japanese community was forced to undergo mass evacuation and imprisonment.

By June 1942 more than 110,000 Japanese (more than 70% of them American citizens) had been forced from their homes into temporary assembly centers. These assembly centers such as Camp Harmony were ramshackle affairs built at racetracks and fairgrounds. From the assembly centers the Japanese were moved to 10 concentration camps scattered in the more inhospitable desert regions of the West.

In 1988 the U.S. Gov't passed legistlation and awarded $20,000 to each of the surviving internees (60,000 in all.)

The kicker to all this is: The American Gov't was short on fighting men so they TOLD the Japanese men in the Internment Camps that if they would fight in the war they could leave the camps with their families. The same applied to the Canadian Gov't. Of course these young Japanese men had no other alternative and although raging within they became some of the most highly decorated soldiers in the war.

Let's hope this mistake is never made again!

Marcy