[1] thousands of Japanese Americans. Lt. General[1] thousands of Japanese Americans. Lt. General

1 “Japanese
American Relocation and Internment Camps.” Atomic Heritage Foundation.
July 20, 2016. Accessed January 04, 2018.
https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/japanese-american-relocation-and-internment-camps.

2 History.com
Staff. “Japanese Internment Camps.” History.com. 2009. Accessed
January 04, 2018.
http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/japanese-american-relocation.

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3 “A
Brief History of Japanese American Relocation During World War II (U.S.
National Park Service).” National Parks Service. Accessed January 04,
2018. https://www.nps.gov/articles/historyinternment.htm.

In response to the uncertainty that was ultimately caused
by December 7th, 1941, President
Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which authorized the internment of
thousands of Japanese Americans. Lt.
General John L. DeWitt, who was the commander of the Western Defense Command
and the U.S. 4th Army, made it a point to show that he believed this was the best
policy in order to protect the United States. Congress took his statements into
consideration and made the decision to pass the order, following the general’s
words, “A Jap’s a Jap. They
are a dangerous element, whether loyal or not.” The Executive Order 9066 stated
that the West Coast was to be split up into several military zones that
contained camps for Japanese-Americans.1 These
camps were located in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and
Arkansas.2
Since eighty percent of
Japanese-Americans lived along the West Coast, they did not have to travel far
and wide. Lt. DeWitt also
suggested that they should remove German and Italian “aliens” in addition to
the Japanese.3 U.S. leaders were also
concerned about these European countries, but the Japanese posed the more imminent
threat. The internment camps were put together haphazardly and quickly, since
the U.S. wanted to be rid of these “aliens” as soon as possible. On February
25th, 1942, the U.S. Navy began the first major deportations of
Japanese-Americans near the Port of Los Angeles. The Japanese were only given a
short period of time to pack their belongings and start the move to the camps. Overall,
the internment camps consisted of brutal conditions and prison-like cells that
whole families had to live in. The Japanese were thrown into these camps
without warning and had their worlds turned upside down with the new living
conditions they faced. One man, Yamato
Ichihashi, who was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1878, moved to the United States
when he was sixteen years old. He held a high position in the history
department at Stanford University and was a professor when internment began in
1942. He described the conditions in his series of “blue books”: