Examples follow of the legal rationale for the evacuation of the Japanese during World War II, accounts of the internment, and statements by or about people -- generally not of Japanese descent -- who opposed the government's concentration camp policy. The materials also trace the struggle by camp survivors for vindication and reparations.
Executive Order 9066 introduces the argument justifying relocation [Document 1]. 1 General DeWitt, commander of the West Coast Command, gives the military rationale for evacuation [Document 2]. Excerpts from a wartime Congressional investigation charge relocation officials with failing to elicit proper displays of loyalty from internees [Document 3]. Confirmation of the bad taste left by the use and potential re-employment of concentration camps (the latter made possible under the Internal Security Act of 1950) is suggested in the Kleindienst letter of 1969 [Document 4].
Organized resistance to evacuation, including legal action, began in the Japanese American community, accompanied by efforts to improve conditions and treatment under internment. Landmark dissents in the Supreme Court challenged the hysteria of the period [Document 5]. An account of the internment experience constitutes Document 6. The internment of Karl Yoneda and the position of the Communist Party are the concerns of Documents 7 and 8. Socialist and civil libertarian Norman Thomas was an outspoken opponent of the relocation [Document 9]. So too was the editor and writer Carey McWilliams, a foremost commentator on racism, labor and the rights of Asian Americans [Documents 10 and 11].
Quaker George Knox Roth worked doggedly in Los Angeles against the evacuation; he paid a heavy price [Document 12]. The endeavors of the Methodist pastor Herbert V. Nicholson, an early proponent of federal reparations for the survivors, are sketched in Document 13. The Pittsburgh Courier, a leading African- American paper, reported favorably on a Japanese American's vision of cooperation against racism [Document 14]. The Black scholar and leader W.E.B. DuBois spoke out insistently against the