Archives in Context: Teachable Topics from the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project

The Camps

There were many different types of facilities in the United States used for the incarceration of different categories of people during WWII—from American citizens to prisoners of war. Approximately 11,000 people of Japanese descent, were actually interned following a recognized legal procedure and the forms of law. All of the latter were citizens of a nation against which the United States was at war, seized for reasons supposedly based on their behavior, and entitled to an individual hearing before a board. Whereas, the 120,000 Japanese American men, women, and children from the USA’s West Coast in the War Relocation Authority camps had no due process of law and this violation of civil and human rights was justified on the grounds of military necessity. This legal differentiation was the basis for the redress movement, which led to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, involving a governmental apology and $20,000 payment to more than 80,000 camp survivors. 

Facilities (see Map of Incarceration Camps above)

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