Topaz Internment Camp
The Topaz Internment Camp was a camp that illegally housed Japanese Americans and Japanese born immigrants from Japan. Shortly after the United States entry into World War II in 1939, about 120,000 Japanese born and Japanese Americans were forced to live their homes in West Coast California and Washington in 1942 as a result of Executive order 9066 signed by President Franklin Roosevelt. The camp located in Utah, opened on September 11, 1942 and was formerly known as the Central Utah Relocation Center. However, the name was abandoned after the realization was made that the acronym pronounced the word “cursed.” It was then renamed Topaz after a mountain that overlooked camp 9. The Japanese Americans with the immigrants were transported from San Francisco area to Delta, Utah by train. The camp processed over 11,000 humans during it period with a topmost population of about 8,300 people of Japanese descent. Schools and a hospital were the major structures of the camp. To shop outside the camp, a pass must be obtained by the individual or risk losing a life if found near the camp fence. Employment outside the camp will cause the individual to pay rent at the camp. To serve in the United States Army was through volunteering and question of their allegiance was demand despite the denial of their basic rights to be U.S. citizens. Where is the moral conscience? The camp closed on October 31, 1945 shortly after the end of World War II. George Murakami, an 85 year old survivor of camp Topaz recounted his ordeal while living in the camp as a teenager. He said “we got shot at in the tent city” and ultimately, a 63 year old James Waskasa was shot and killed by a guard just by standing near the fence. This is racism showing it ugly head in the lives of many. Many of them lost their personal properties including lands. Many died or suffered from lack of medical care. The incarceration of the Japanese Americans and the...
Cited: Topaz Camp. Topaz Museum. Web. October 29, 2014
Internment of Japanese Americans. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 24 October, 2014. Web. October 29, 2014
Topaz 70th Anniversary. The Salt Lake Tribune. 11 September, 2012. Web. October 29, 2014
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