Because of these negative connotations [of the Nazi camps], the term "concentration camp", originally itself a euphemism, has been replaced by newer euphemisms such as internment camp, resettlement camp, and detention facility, regardless of the actual circumstances of these camps, which vary a great deal.
Banks froze Japanese-American assets, stores refused service, and loyal citizens vandalized Nisei and Issei homes and businesses.
(836) The orders to relocate gave Japanese Americans almost no time to prepare. Families had to pack the few personal possessions they were allowed to take and to store or try and sell the rest of their property, including homes and businesses. Some had two weeks, others had two days, but it did not matter. Finding storage facilities was nearly impossible, and most families had to sell their possessions at ridiculously low prices.
"It is difficult to describe the feeling of despair and humiliation experienced," one man recalled, "as we watched the Caucasians coming to look over all our possessions and offering such nominal amounts knowing we had no recourse but to accept."
A twenty-six-room hotel was sold for $500; a pickup truck went for $25; farms sold for a fraction of what they were worth.
When denied a few additional days to harvest his strawberry crop, one bitter farmer plowed it under. The FBI promptly arrested him for sabotage.
Japanese-American families lost an estimated $810 million to $2 billion in property and possessions. As if having to dispose of a lifetime of possessions almost overnight was not bad enough, the process of internment produced a feeling of helplessness and isolation.
Remember, America was a much more racist country in the 1940s. After Pear Harbor a switch was flipped that transformed neighbors and even friends into enemy 'Japs'.
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