what happened to the japanese people that questioned their internment?


during the Japanese internment in WWI, the people being interned were not allowed to question their internment. what were some of the consequences that came if someone was to question their internment?

2 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a point where those who want to equate American internment camps and the German concentration camps have a very hard time. Many Japanese did question their internment, and several of them filed suit over the matter.

    At least initially, internees were not allowed to leave the camps. Even if an internee were able to get beyond the barbed wire fences around the camps, he would have faced the problem of having several hundred miles of hostile countryside, in a nation in which his actions would have branded him an outlaw, to find any hope of safety. Throughout the war, internees largely avoided direct confrontation, because they realized that it would be senseless.

    Instead, internees sued for their freedom. This is where the contrast between German concentration camps and American internment camps was stark. In a German camp, a prisoner would be allowed to write mail only by the grace of the camp commandant, and this was simply not allowed. In American interment camps, but internees were allowed to mail papers initiating lawsuits to the nearest United States District Court. We know that there were allowed to do this because many of them started lawsuits. Some brought lawsuits; others merely defied various aspects of internment, getting themselves arrested and then appealing. Four of these cases reached the United States Supreme Court:

    Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81 (1943)

    Yasui v. United States, 320 U.S. 115 (1943)

    Ex parte Endo, 323 U.S. 283 (1944).

    Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944)

    In all four cases, the Supreme Court ruled against the internees, but the remarkable fact remains that the internees were allowed to go to court, to take their cases before the highest court in the nation, and to there have their claims put before the Justices. This was a tribute to the independent judiciary in the United States. There are, of course, no comparable records in Nazi Germany, because there was no independent judiciary there. One of the first things Hitler did upon taking power in Germany was to strip the judiciary of anything approaching independence. By the time he ordered the camps set up, the idea of a camp inmate actually suing for his freedom was laughable. For protests far more insignificant, inmates were regularly executed.

    The United States cannot hold itself up as a sterling example. In fact, the Supreme Court rulings in the Korematsu and the Hirabayashi cases are still good law. The rulings, however, and the spirit behind them have fallen into such disrepute that, at least until the September 11 terrorist attacks, it seemed unimaginable that the United States would ever stoop to such depths of racism again.

    In the early 1980s, a history professor researching these cases uncovered critical documents. In the weeks before the internment programs was put into place, the FBI and the military investigated the situation in the Japanese-American communities in California. In court, the Department of Justice argued that military necessity required the exclusion of anyone of Japanese ancestry from certain areas. The documents showed that the United States government, in particular the Solicitor General, the government attorney who argued the government's case in the Supreme Court, knew what the hidden documents said, and deliberately lied to the Supreme Court. Based on the discovery of this new evidence, the convictions of those Japanese-Americans were expunged.

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  • tuffy
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Court cases went as far as the SCOTUS, but the decisions backed the federal government. Nothing happened to the people who brought the cases, they remained in their internment camp.

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