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USFor Japanese Americans, the debate over what counts as a ‘concentration camp’ is familiar

15:42  20 june  2019
15:42  20 june  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Japanese American Groups Call Plan to Detain Migrants at Ex-Internment Site a ‘Gut Punch’

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Many Japanese - Americans use the terms ''relocation'' or ''internment'' camp , rather than concentration camp , in describing their confinement. Others, while concerned about its usage, were reluctant to interfere with Japanese - American efforts to represent their own history. '' As a Jew who is

Japanese internment camps were established during World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt through his Executive Order 9066. Enacted in reaction to Pearl Harbor and the ensuing war, the Japanese internment camps are now considered one of the most atrocious violations of American

For Japanese Americans, the debate over what counts as a ‘concentration camp’ is familiar© Cedar Attanasio/AP FILE--In this March 27, 2019, file photo, Central American migrants wait for food in a pen erected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to process a surge of migrant families and unaccompanied minors in El Paso, Texas. The U.S. government is working to open two new large tent facilities to temporarily detain up to 1,000 migrant parents and children near the southern border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a notice to potential contractors that it's seeking to build large tents in El Paso, Texas, and in South Texas that could house 500 people at a time. The notice says families would sleep on mats inside each tent. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)

The headline began appearing again, as it had so many times in decades past: “What Is A Concentration Camp?”

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Japanese were put in camps that were like concentration camps , But not as bad. way more privileged to certain necessities important to maintain successful life. For me as a American citizen i don't like the internment of the Japanese American one of the things about America that i don't

British concentration camps refers to internment camps operated by the British in South Africa during the Second Anglo-Boer War from 1900–1902.

The debate exploded this week after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) insisted that migrant detention facilities along the southern border fit the bill — a position she doubled down on Wednesday night. “We are calling these camps what they are because they fit squarely in an academic consensus and definition,” she wrote on Twitter.

For many critics, using the phrase today dilutes the horrors of Nazi concentration and death camps where millions of Jews were killed. Her supporters, though, argued that Ocasio-Cortez didn’t invoke Nazi Germany or genocide, and that instead she was only using bluntly correct language.

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For many historians, both sides of this week’s debate are familiar, mirroring disagreements that have raged for decades over whether Japanese American camps during World War II should be described as concentration camps. In both debates the question has been largely the same: What happens when words become inextricably linked in society’s collective memory with the same atrocity? Is it possible, as one scholar put it, to still use the words “concentration camp” without “trampling the memory” of Holocaust victims?

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The debate over the historical interpretation of the American camps was reignited recently by an exhibit at Ellis Island entitled “ America ’s Concentration Camps The camps were so nice that East Coast Japanese Americans unaffected by the West Coast “relocation” were clamoring to get in.

The roundup and internment of Japanese American citizens led to a few peaceful protests as well as several legal fights. On the same day as the Korematsu decision, in its ruling on Ex parte Endo, the Supreme Court skirted the constitutionality of internment as a policy but determined that the

To Andrea Pitzer, author of “One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps,” it is possible, as long as the context is right. And at the southern border today, she said she believes it is.

“Part of what the toll of the Holocaust did was to reset the bar [for atrocity] so that anything short of that wasn’t even in the same universe,” she told The Washington Post. But, she added, “what I can tell you is, across history, every single camp system has said, ‘We are not like those other camps. Also, these people are dangerous,’ or ‘these people deserve it.' Since the Nazi camps, since World War II, people don’t want to use ‘concentration camps’ because they don’t want to be associated with [Nazis.]”

That much was true in the years after World War II as monuments and museums began to memorialize the more than 110,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly sent to camps behind barbed-wire fences after the federal government labeled them a national security threat. In 1979, for example, a memorial plaque described the Tule Lake camp as a “concentration camp,” eliciting loud objections from the local community near the Oregon-California border. In a 1979 article titled, “What Makes a Concentration Camp?” the Los Angeles Times reported that the community surrounding the former camp did not want to be associated with the atrocities of the Holocaust. Some acknowledged that the conditions at the camp were bad but argued that it “was no Auschwitz or Dachau.”

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AOC says she will 'never apologize,' blasts GOP for focus on 'concentration camps' comparison Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., refused to apologize Wednesday for labeling migrant detention centers as "concentration camps." require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "I will never apologize for calling these camps what they are," she tweeted response to a call by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's, R-Calif., for her to apologize. "DHS ripped 1000s of children from their parents & put them in cages w inhumane conditions," she added.

A concentration camp is when, often during war, a large amount of people are imprisoned in a small area without adequate facilities. The word “ concentration camp ” is usually associated with the Nazi camps in Germany, among which the most infamous were Auschwitz, Belsen and Dachau.

Over the last month, I have posted articles about my grandfather and what happened to him during the The majority of those incarcerated were American citizens. When most people refer to where the According to the Merrian Webster dictionary, a concentration camp is a camp where persons

But for the detainees, who recalled the watch towers and the guards and the threat of being shot and killed if they tried to escape, “concentration camp” was not by any means a stretch.

“The term concentration camp is not inappropriate,” J.J. Enomoto told the Times. “It was far from a normal living situation. I’m sure our fellow Americans will not be hung up on semantics.”

Nearly 20 years later, Americans were still hung up. A 1998 Ellis Island exhibit drew outcry from the Jewish community and others after the Japanese American National Museum titled it, “America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience.” To the museum’s curators — and to many historians and leading Japanese American organizations today — “internment” or “relocation camps” were euphemisms for the reality of what Japanese Americans endured. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Supreme Court justices, the museum noted, had both referred to the Japanese American camps as concentration camps.

“We need to call them what they were,” the curator, Karen Ishizuka, told the New York Times in 1998.

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George Takei: US has concentration camps Some think Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went too far when she compared the detention of immigrants at the border to being put in "concentration camps" earlier this week. But actor and activist George Takei, who was sent to a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II with his family, backed up the New York Democrat's characterization. "I know what concentration camps are," Takei wrote on Twitter this Tuesday. "I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again." I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America.

Americans could take over the jobs the Japanese - Americans were doing and run the businesses Each surviving Japanese - American was offered ,000 as a form of restitution for our There was profound racism against the American Japanese both from the society and some government policies.

Most exiled West Coast Japanese Americans were first sent to short-term detention facilities run by the army that were euphemistically called “assembly centers.” After stays ranging from a few weeks to a few months, Japanese Americans were moved to ten concentration camps run by a newly

Although concentration camps existed long before the Nazis, most Americans by 1998 connected the phrase with Nazi Germany, as Georgetown University linguist Deborah Schiffrin wrote in a 2001 article. The definition of concentration camp had evolved, she wrote, to become “firmly entrenched” in the Jewish identity and story.

David A. Harris, head of the American Jewish Committee, argued to The Times in 1998 that the title of the Japanese-American exhibit “dilutes what we have come to understand as the meaning of concentration camps.'’

''Since the Second World War, these terms have taken on a specificity and a new level of meaning that deserves protection,'' Harris told the newspaper. ''A certain care needs to be exercised.''

Ultimately, the American Jewish Committee and Japanese American groups held meetings to reach an understanding. The exhibit’s title stayed, but with one long footnote on the flier, making clear that it was not an attempt to directly compare the Japanese-American camps to Nazi camps.

It included a definition that both groups could accept: “A concentration camp is a place where people are imprisoned not because of any crimes they have committed, but simply because of who they are.”

As part of her book, Pitzer adopted her own definition of concentration camps as she traced their history to the turn of the 20th century, during the Cuban War of Independence against Spain and the Second Boer War in South Africa against Great Britain. Pitzer defined them as “mass detention of civilians without trial, usually on the basis of some aspect of their identity.”

Protesters gather at Oklahoma base where kids will be held

Protesters gather at Oklahoma base where kids will be held Demonstrators including Japanese Americans who were detained as children by the U.S. government during World War II are speaking out against the Trump administration's plans to house migrant children at an Oklahoma Army base. 

Japanese - Americans taken to camps in the US during World War II; justification was to prevent ‘sabotage and espionage’. In 1982, a US congressional commission assessed the policy of incarceration as a “grave injustice” stemming from “racial prejudice, war hysteria, and failure of

The majority of those incarcerated were American citizens. According to the Merrian Webster dictionary, a concentration camp is “a camp where persons (as prisoners of war The definition of a concentration camp describes exactly what happened to the Japanese Americans during WWII

She said it’s “factually incorrect and reprehensible” to directly compare the detention of Latin American migrants to a camp like Auschwitz. But she said she felt confident applying the term “concentration camps” to those detained at the border because of the “detention-focused strategy” that greets them upon their arrival, even if they are exercising a legal right to seek asylum. They are typically detained “without regard to individual circumstances,” she said, “treating people as one mass, one group,” and “presenting them as a national security threat to the country and then using as punitive means as the system will allow to detain them.”

Others, however, take a view more akin to the one Harris took in 1998, believing that evoking concentration camps can lead to irresponsible or offensive analogies, even if none was intended — as in the case of Ocasio-Cortez.

Aaron David Miller, a distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington-based think tank, is among them. It can be dangerous, he told The Washington Post, to cross-compare the conditions and circumstances of the Holocaust, Japanese American incarceration and the detention of migrants at the border. In the case of the latter, he said he fears introducing the “concentration camp” language at all could be distracting, “letting the Trump administration off the hook” because people may immediately think of Nazi Germany and find the comparison absurd.

The issue is one of memory, not definitions, he argued.

“You can’t mess around with people’s memory. Genocide is not unique. But the attempted genocide of European Jewry was in fact unique. And I would disagree with the notion that somehow you can apply a word like ‘concentration camp’ [to migrant detention facilities], however horrific the Trump administration’s approach to migrants and immigration, particularly family separation,” said Miller, who worked as a Middle East analyst and negotiator for the State Department in both Democratic and Republican administrations. “It prevents people from listening, and has a chilling impact on the debate.”

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The camps were concentration camps , a place where they go to basically do hard labor all day. Many Japanese American families sold their homes and Although we cannot compare the horrors of the Nazi Concentration camps to the American "Relocation Centers", there are many similarities.

4. Japanese - Americans were mostly already confined to cities along the West Coast, from Los Angeles to Seattle. In general, the US emphasis was on the multiethnic and democratic nature of America as a rallying point. For Italians and others, WWII brought a new high in acceptance as

Today, various Japanese American organizations or former camp detainees such as actor and activist George Takei have been vocal in opposition to the migrant detention at the border, particularly of migrant children.

Organizations such as Densho, which educates the public and memorializes the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and Tsuru For Solidarity have held protests opposing the detention of child migrants at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. The site had been used to incarcerate Japanese Americans during World War II. It had also been used briefly during the Obama administration.

“We will fight back against this country’s plan to bring these concentration camps back at Fort Sill,” Tsuru For Solidarity said in a statement on Twitter.

On Tuesday, after Ocasio-Cortez’s concentration camp comments took off, Takei said: “I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again.”

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