Japanese Relocation (ca 1943)
Narr. by Milton S. Eisenhower, director of the War Relocation Authority. An historical record of the transfer of Japanese residents from the Pacific Coast to the American Interior as carried out the the U.S. Army and the War Relocation Authority. 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them American citizens. Special attention given to possibility of sabotage & espionage.
“Japanese themselves cheerfully handled the enormous paperwork involved.” Alludes to the auctioning of personal property by government agencies and businessmen, saying that it “often involved financial sacrifice for the evacuees.” Narration says that evacuees “cooperated wholeheartedly,” noting that “the many loyal among them felt that this was a sacrifice that they could make in behalf of America’s war effort.”
Bus and private car caravans, shopkeepers’ stores, homes, restaurants, fishing boats are shown. Temporary quarters were in “assembly centers,” at race tracks , and fair grounds. San Anita (sp.?) race track , a community of 17,000.
Depicts camp life: cafeteria, church services, nursery schools, people engaged in war-related work (making camouflage nets for army). Building new quarters in the desert for the final movement to the relocation camps. Smiling Japanese people being carted off on trains. Medical facilities, Americanization classes, schools, internal government, barracks-style housing, irrigation projects in desert.
Some evacuees were “permitted” to become fieldhands in sugar beet fields under appropriate safeguards. Describes the goal of the relocation as achieved when “all adult hands” are engaged in “productive work on public land or in private employment.” And when “the disloyal have left this country for good.”
Relocation seen as a humane act “setting the standard for the rest of the world in the treatment of people who may have loyalties to an enemy nation, protecting ourselves without violating the principles of Christian decency.”
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