Japanese Internment/Relocation Camp - Gila River, Arizona

Part of the Gila River Relocation Camp (circa 1944)
--- During World War II all people of Japanese ancestry living on the West coast (over 110,000 people) were required to leave their homes and enter government run relocation camps.  Most of the internees were, in fact, American citizens.  These camps were located in a number of remote areas across the West where the "prisoners" would be less likely to make a successful escape.  Families were kept in the facilities until after the war ended and some remained as late as 1946.  To this day the program's legality and necessity are hotly debated topics.

Students of History on the Move V will have the opportunity to visit the site of the Gila River Relocation camp between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.  This particular camp was one of the largest in the system.  Today little remains of the site and you have to know which desert roads to follow to locate it, but the power of this historic place, coupled with its isolated desert location, is thought provoking. 

-- R. Carriker

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