On February 19, 1942, just a couple months after the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order to deport and incarcerate all Japanese-Americans. Thousands of people, many of whom were born in the US, were forced to abandon their houses, businesses, farms, and possessions. They were loaded into busses with only as many things as they can carry with no knowledge of where they’re going and how long they’re staying there.A photographer Dorothea Lange who is probably best known for her photo titled Migrant Mother was hired by the US government to document the evacuation. The photographer perfectly captured the devastating moments of Japanese-Americans leaving their old lives behind and entering into the unknown. However, the military wasn’t happy with Lange’s opposing opinion of the internment camps. The photographs were seized from her and only made public in 2006. Today we finally have the opportunity to look back at this particular moment in history and see for our selves how the lives of Japanese-Americans were changed forever.
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It can’t possibly have happened here?
And, it can’t possibly happen again?
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . .” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn
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