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71st Anniversary: Roosevelt’s Concentration Camps

Written by Gary North on April 1, 2013

On April 1, 1942, California announced the order for the arrest and deportation of Japanese citizens in California. They were sent into internment camps — read: concentration camps in Idaho. Here are photos and an accompanying account. Here are other photos.

We all know this story. President Roosevelt signed an executive order on February 19, 1942, authorizing the program. Congress never voted on this. The program was implemented by Secretary of War Henry Stimpson. The only major figure in Washington to oppose this was J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI.

The prisoners were released in early 1945. They were given $10 and a train ticket back home. But they had no homes to go to. Most of their homes had been sold, along with their possessions and businesses, at bargain basement auctions in 1942.

This executive order stayed on the books until February 19, 1976, when Gerald Ford rescinded it. In 1982, the American government issued a formal apology. It made token reparations to survivors of $20,000 each.

This is the airbrushed version. This part of the story could not be hidden from the public. It got into American history textbooks.

The suppressed version is worse.


The hard-core version is this: the U.S. government had several governments in South America round up Japanese residents, who were then shipped to the U.S. The government put them in concentration camps. These camps received no publicity. One of them was in Crystal City, Texas.

This was kidnapping, pure and simple.

This story is so horrifying that the history textbooks never mention it. You will see no show about it on the History Channel. You can read about it here.

These people were sent to Japan after the war.

In 1945, delegates to the Mexico City Conference on the Problems of War and Peace agreed that “any person whose deportation was necessary for reasons of security of the continent” should be prevented from “further residing in this hemisphere if such residence should be prejudicial to the future security or welfare of the Americas.” In the United States, President Harry Truman issued a Presidential Proclamation in September that authorized the removal from the Western Hemisphere of enemy aliens “who are within the territory of the United States without admission under the immigration laws.”[9] Most of the Japanese Latin Americans, therefore, were forced to leave.

Between November 1945 and June 1946, more than 900 Japanese Peruvians repatriated to Japan.

That’s just part of it. The U.S. government insisted that about 5,000 Germans also be rounded up by Latin American governments and shipped here. Some of them were Jews. Then the government used them to trade for incarcerated Americans in Nazi Germany.

What’s that? You say you don’t recall reading about this in your high school U.S. history textbook? Or your college history textbook? Or in grad school when you earned your Ph.D in American history? Well, neither did I.

Did the beloved Franklin Roosevelt do this? His government did. So, down the memory hole went that story.

I wrote about it in 2001. A few sites did pick it up. The History Channel didn’t.

If it were not for the Internet, no one would remember the story.

I don’t think the government could get away with this again. The Internet would blow the cover off the story. Anyone who argues that things are getting worse for liberty in America does not know the story of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Continue Reading on www.gunssavelife.com

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48 thoughts on “71st Anniversary: Roosevelt’s Concentration Camps

  1. There were German and Italian camps too but we don't see these in the news.

  2. This is why every president (with a few notable exceptions) since Lincoln dreams of being a "wartime president": they get to act like emperors and ignore the will of the people.

  3. ditto Danno! Millions of Jews could have been save if AMERICA had stopped listening to the 'ROOSEVELT DEMOCRATS" who did not want to go to war!! SHAME ON THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!

  4. Millions of Jews could have been saved if the ROOSEVELT DEMOCRATS had entered the war to win instead of listening to the PROGRESSIVES of their time! SHAME ON THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES!

  5. I knew a woman of Japanese ancestry who had been shipped to an internment camp in 1942 along with her family. They were ALL United States Citizens, she and her siblings born here her parents naturalized. They were fervent American patriots and devout Christians. She rarely talked of the experience and never lost her love of country and pride of being a natural born American. When she did speak of the camps she would only allow that it was wartime, so long ago and a different time. After the war she went to college, met and married a divinity student and later minister also of Japanese descent, and raised a family of proud Americans one of whom became a good friend of mine. These people – this family – were and are better Constitution-abiding Americans than most who today sit in Washington DC.

  6. Our current President isn't above doing the same thing to Christians or anyone else he decides is a threat to his regime. Anyone remember how Stalin removed his problem citizens? It would be prudent not to give up your Bible or your firearms .

  7. Gloria P. Sterling says:

    Roosevelt also refused to let a certain boat filled with Jews to land on our shores and be helped and they all perished.

  8. Hamburg-Amerika Line's SS St. Louis … a disgusting tragedy.

  9. http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rl

    Here you go Gloria, some good reading and the only place in the USA that did this.

  10. msjallen says:

    Although this was a horrible thing that they did we may need to use some method to round up our enemy within our land and ship them back home and I am not just talking about the illegals but the people belonging to the satanic religion of Islam. They are most dangerous because they have a great desire to bring America down and take over our government with -0's blessing.

  11. nobodysfool says:

    RE: "If it were not for the Internet, no one would remember the story.

    I don’t think the government could get away with this again. The Internet would blow the cover off the story."

    And that is exactly why the government wants to take control of the Internet. I believe they are voting on that bill this week or very soon. As soon as they are able to monitor every single tidbit, they will arrest "subversives" such as Christians, vets, hunters, etc. As soon as they have their FEMA camps full of these "subversives", the captives will start to mysteriously die off. It ain't gonna be pretty, people. I hope someone is awake……

  12. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Why would a Christian put Christians in a prison camp? You guys are scary dumb!

  13. JJ_Swiontek says:

    They mean to subdue us. Those who resist, they mean to try and kill.

  14. See you at camp -FEMA camp, that is !

  15. Obama is a Christian just as much as pigs fly. I don't think it's dumb to be afraid of a communist. Their history shows they kill without provocation. If you think not, you're just dumb.

  16. eyesopen says:

    Yes, why would a "Christian" put Christians in a prison camp????????? Why would a "Christian" do some of the things that has already been done against other Christians????????

  17. You have got to get your head out of obama's but and soon you will find out that , that was NOT Pa'tah you were eating– he wears a ring that is inscribed with 'praise allah on it — he is a muslim -not a 'christian'

  18. Apparently you haven't been keeping up with the news. I know a muslim when I see one as i have traveled extensively in the Middle East. Swear it on the bible, Obummer is a MUSLIM, not a christian as he so claims. He's as loyal to Islam as a dog is to his master. Wake up America, don't be stupid….

  19. …and You are just DUMB. Wake up and pay attention!

  20. Anyone that matches the D.H.S. definition of a " threat " to the Un-American Obama Administration will be placed in a F.E.M.A. " re-education " camp where their way of thinking will be " adjusted " OR they will be permanently removed from society, with extreme prejudice, and their usable organs and tissues will be harvested and sold to the highest bidder. Their remaining remains will simply be disposed of by the most economical means. " Threats " include but are not limited to: Returning War Veterans – Families that have a vegetable garden – Grandmas that do home canning and store food – households that "horde" food & water & necessities in the event of an earthquake or hurricane – Citizens that actually think they have Free Speach and " talk down " the repressive Government, etc. Thanks Obama " Low Informatiion " Voters.

  21. Bill Smith says:

    He claims the right to kill anyone he deems to be a “terrorist” anywhere here or abroad, with his beloved drones. Why would’nt he also use assasinations by CIA or maffia hit men? Prison camps are very mild alternatives in his mind.

  22. http://scplweb.santacruzpl.org/history/ww2/storia

    Italian Americans rounded by the thousands, never compensated

  23. Swine Flu doesn't count……8>)

  24. I don't know how reliable is the source of this material, the Densho Encyclopedia, but even granting the source to be reliable and objective, this resultant blog is not. The Japanese were in internment camps, not concentration camps; concentration camps, for example, do not have internee sports teams.

    And the writer and the people posting comments are assumedly too young to have actually experienced the effect of the devastation of Pearl Harbor on the American people, or to appreciate the undeniable fact that the "sneaky" enemy was of a specific ethnicity, an ethnicity known for its cruelty in wartime as evidence by the countless atrocities it committed in its war with China.

    Hatred of the Japanese, who were killing Americans, was impassioned. I remember a newsreel showing a Japanese soldier, who had been hit by a flame thrower and was burning and writhing on the ground, that had the theater audience cheering and applauding the death of a deadly enemy.

    Under those circumstances, every member of that alien ethnicity was suspect (there were stories of Japanese in Hawaii using crop rows to direct attacking Japanese planes to Pearl Harbor). This was a war to the death, and it was safer and wiser to err on the side of caution, rather than to suffer defeat because of neglecting a potentially fatal risk.

    The fact that it turned out to be unnecessary to intern the Japanese, in clear violation of their cvil rights, is highly regrettable, and nothing can ever make up for that treatment, but that internment has to be evaluated in the consuming angst of that time.

    I have no doubt that if America were ever in a deadly, open war with Islam, resulting in mass military and civilian deaths, that all Muslims would be a suspected threat, and it would therefore be circumspect to do something about that perceived threat, very likely with the full approval of those writing here.

  25. GreenPepper says:

    But the people in these concentration camps were not meant for extermination. And I kind of agree with Roosevelt. You know how much of a fanatic the Japanese are at that time and may create havoc inside the country. It was unfortunate but I think it was necessary at the time for security reasons.

  26. GreenPepper says:

    Yes, I read about that. I think it needed guts and compassion to have let that boat dock and the refugees taken in. Now this country is taking in all kinds of parasitic illegals. From lack of guts????

  27. GreenPepper says:

    agbjr. I agree with you wholeheartedly. But at that time nobody knew who was and who isn't. I think it was necessary for the security of the country. As long as they were not starved, abused, etc. that was a necessary precaution. And the consequence of war. For in some countries in the Pacific, some Japanese came as waiters, etc and when the war broke out, they turned out to be officers in the military.

  28. GreenPepper says:

    GWY..Our current president isn't above spending as much as he can as long as he can and dictating what he can (like executive orders, remember?) and trashing this country, like the illegals, for his own advancement and benefit. Remember the Hispanics given a lot of recognition at his inaugaration? Most abusive president.

  29. GreenPepper says:

    EER. I agree with you 100%. But do you think present president and administration would have the guts to do that? He does not even have the guts to deport the illegals.

  30. GreenPepper says:

    Let bygones be bygones. It was unfortunate and regretable but acts during war times, for the security of the country, unless utterly unjustifiable should be uncompensable.

  31. And I agree with you as well. It is true about how Japanese spies infiltrated places such as Singapore and Hong Kong pretending to be waiters, gardeners, houseboys, etc, all the while laying the groundwork for invasion. That is probably why my friend's mother said it was just a long ago and different time. On December 8, 1941, my great aunt cleared her house of anything and everything "Made in Japan". She put it in a trash barrel at the curb with a sign, "Come and get your junk Tojo!" For the rest of her life if you gave her a gift labeled "Japan" she threw it back in you face and told you to get out. Again, it was a different time, it was war.

  32. GreenPepper says:

    I hope someone is awake and vigilant too. But nobody seems to be doing that with the illegals. So don't keep your hopes up that there would be somebody in power that will look out for this country and the people. They will all be looking out for themselves only. Like what they are doing now. Very important who we choose to put in power.

  33. bondservant says:

    The US helped to create the environment in which the Japanese would, in turn, "fight back." Then used lots of propaganda to teach us to hate another people, rather than those running their governments.

    Just as we have done in the Middle East.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    Censorship is alive and well. Can't post a reply about Roosevelt's interning japanese Americas during WW2. Can't mention the Bataan Death March or the treatment of American POW's, starved to look like skeletons when rescued by American forces. I know this won't be up long. But we who were there remember and we will make sure those atrocities are never forgotten. Yes Roosevelt was right. I applaud his actions.

  35. Lincoln was no great emancipater. There was a gulag in New York. If some one printed an article contrary to Lincoln's beilefs, Lincoln would send the troops in to destroy the presses and sent the printer to the gulag.

  36. Good for you. I have a older friend who was in grade school in 1942 and the government agents came to her grade school and hauled off the little Nissei kids. I don't know how many times she mentioned this. One day I asked her how many of them were bayoneted on the way to camp, how many of them starved to death, how many times was her friend raped? Never heard about it again. My Dad has told me about the small town he was living in. The bars has signs on the doors, " No Dogs or Japs", I think the internment saved them. In the world view of 1941-1942 it maid perfect sense, in today's world it would be unmitigated evil.

  37. whitequeen54 says:

    My great-uncle helped build the camp at Tulelake, CA. Several years ago my sister asked our great-aunt if they had known what the camp was for. She said yes, but so soon after the Great Depression they were just happy to have the work.

  38. Mary K. Green says:

    I know that there were camps all over California. I am 76 yrs. old and I was 5 yrs.old on 12-07-41. I lived in an area that
    had Japanese Truck gardens, where they raised alot of the vegetables and fruits that were sold in the markets. I remember
    that they blocked off the main boulevard and paraded them up to Santa Anita race track, where they were stabled in the
    stalls. There was another one in Baldwin Park. I have had a vision in my mind of sitting on one side of a wire fencing and
    playing with japanese children through the fencing. They had another one in Palm Dale area in California. I remember the
    bleak hopeless expressions that were on their faces, with what little belongings they put on the car fenders and in the cars.

  39. Read what Eisenhower and Morganthau did to the German Prisoners of War incarcerated and millions starved to death post armistice.

  40. Ablevins says:

    But almost 1/3 of Hawaii residents were japanese but only 2000 were arrested
    only 12 were ever sent to the camps! The rest were released
    Why ? Becasue we knew who was a spy in Hawaii we FBI folloowed the for six months before the Pearl Harbor attack

  41. Thank you so much for your excellent post. in trying to educate people who were not alive at that time. Younger generations, seeing limitless government in every aspect of our lives, cannot understand the mindset of Americans after that ungodly attack – even if Roosevelt knew it was coming. We were in the fight of our lives and, unlike post WWII, we were in it to win it and truly a UNITED States.

  42. victorbarney says:

    Now it will be time for "anglo-saxon men" ONLY to follow suit! WATCH! i'm just saying…

  43. victorbarney says:

    Your "other" response may not be as fortunate as you perhaps, you being a women? I'm just saying…WATCH!

  44. Actually, the Japanese govt. was recruiting Japanese-Americans who had been raised here, offering them sweet deals to attend college, get nice housing- all set up, in Japan, years before the war. They were planning subterfuge and infiltration, division of families who were loyal Americans. U.S. govt's reaction of internment was horrific, unconstitutional and immoral, but not without good reason. Probably not without racial motivatiion as well, and shameful, but Imperial Japan was devious, genius and ruthless.
    Even the "untold" story has an untold story

  45. OMG msjallen… you are SO RIGHT!! We will definitely be doing this as Obama should be already instead of giving Amnesty to millions!!


  47. The Tea Party coward, Gary North, talks about the inhumanity inflicted on Japanese-Americans, during WWII. I wonder if he would probably have applauded the governmant, if he was alive then. So who knows? It's easy to assume, when it doesn't happen in your lifetime (was Gary North even alive then?)

  48. Where is your proof of this. We had a German camp East of Council Grove and these German prisoners hired out to the local farmers and ranchers helping to raise food and the county ad city hired them for public works projects. These German prisoners of war were well house and fed. They even became friends the locals. Information from the Council Grove Republican. I recall seeing several prison camps for Germans ad Japanese and there was no mistreatment of any of these people. The Japanese who were placed in prison camp though not mistreated there were mistreated due to having lost their homes and business' and never got them returned to them. The Germans were either repatriated or offered citizenship.

    I do not ever recall hearing anything that you say happened until Obama got into office. His atrocities against America and his lies and his various secretaries lying and destructive regulations destroying entire industries is enough for me to believe the history rewrite is also a lie.

    I'm 83 years old and was old enough to know first hand many things tat were going on in this USA all during the war years.