Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Personal Justice Denied: Public Hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment, 1981

Date Range: 1981
Content: 4,670 pages
Source Library: U.S. National Archives

Description

On February 19, 1942, ten weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 giving the Secretary of War and delegated military commanders the power to exclude any and all persons, citizens and aliens, from designated areas in order to provide security against sabotage, espionage and fifth column activity. Shortly thereafter, all American citizens of Japanese descent were prohibited from living, working or traveling on the West Coast of the United States. The same prohibition applied to the generation of Japanese immigrants who, pursuant to federal law and despite long residence in the United States, were not permitted to become American citizens. Initially, this exclusion was to be carried out by "voluntary" relocation. That policy inevitably failed, and these American citizens and their alien parents were removed by the Army, first to "assembly centers"—temporary quarters at racetracks and fairgrounds—and then to "relocation centers"—bleak barrack camps mostly in desolate areas of the West. The camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by military police. Departure was permitted only after a loyalty review on terms set, in consultation with the military, by the War Relocation Authority. Many of those removed from the West Coast were eventually allowed to leave the camps to join the Army, go to college, or to whatever private employment was available. For a larger number, however, the war years were spent behind barbed wire until the prohibition was lifted in December 1944.

This digital collection consists of testimony and documents from more than 750 witnesses: Japanese Americans and Aleuts who had lived through the events of WWII, former government officials who ran the internment program, public figures, internees, organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League, interested citizens, historians, and other professionals who had studied the subjects of the Commission's inquiry. Many of the transcripts are personal stories of experiences of evacuees. Documents include publications, reports, press releases, photographs, newspaper clippings, etc. related to the hearings.

The handwritten documents within Personal Justice Denied: Public Hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment, 1981 provide a wealth of information necessary for research in Asian and Asian American Studies, Law and Legal History, American Studies, Public Policy, Political Science, and Social History.

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