Camp, when you hear the word you think of hot dogs, mashmellows, fires, and tents. Unfortunately during WWII the word camp triggered two words, internment, and concentration. Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps. Those who were deemed "not superior" by the Nazis were placed in concentration camps. Does this mean America was on the same level of Germany? Did the imprisoners even stop to think what the effects of their actions would be?
The reason of imprisonment was different for both sides. Both Hitler and Roosevelt felt it was necessary to imprison those people at that time. Hitler desired a "superior" race. A pure, blonde haired, blue eyed, German race. Roosevelt needed to be sure all security secrets were safe. He did this by gathering the Japanese to were he could watch them.
Not only were the reasons of imprisonment different, but so were the methods of doing so. First, Hitler moved families from their homes and into a ghetto. Then, with little or no warning he would have the Gestapo raid the ghettos. Anyone who refused to comply with the Germans or resisted at all were shot on the spot. The luck, or unlucky who survived were either left for the next raid or taken to camps. In the other hemisphere Roosevelt was sending type of eviction letters. The letters were sent to Japanese Americans and stated that they must be ready to leave at a certain date. The Japanese Americans were also urged to sell their belongings before they left.
Once brought to the camps they both faced hardships. People of the concentration camps were forced to live in unsanitary conditions. They received little food and what they did get never kept them full. They were put to work in labor areas around the camp or at nearby factories. Despite their hard work they were not paid for what they did. perhaps it was the constant fear that they could be shot at any time that kept them going.
The camp conditions for the Japanese Americans were better than in concentration camps but not acceptable. They received food everyday but just enough to survive. They were able to work hard labor for low wages. They also received medical attention but just enough so epidemics wouldn't spread. They were housed with other families, often in one room. The conditions of the camp were decent but not overly acceptable.
In both cases conditions could have been worse, as hard as that is to believe. Although the concentration camps were a higher extreme than the internment camps they both left a mark on history. No matter how big the mark left on history was it can't be greater than the mark left on the hearts of the people that lived it first hand. People's human rights were violated and should have never happened. Could there have been alternatives to the route the captors took? We are able to look back now and say that they were wrong but, you probably had to be there.