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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Author To Speak Memorial Day At World War II Museum In Eldred



Memorial Day
May 25, 2015 – Jan Jarboe Russell Guest Speaker

On Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 the Eldred WWII Museum will welcome Jan Jarboe Russell, author of “The Train to Crystal City”; FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and Americas Only Family Internment Camp During WWII.

The author will speak at 2:00 p.m. in Mitchell Paige Hall at the Museum. The book tells the dramatic and never before told story of a secret FDR Approved American Internment Camp in Texas during WWII, where thousands of families – many US citizens – were incarcerated.

During WWII, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during World War II, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quite passage.” During the course of the war, hundreds or prisoners in Crystal City, including their American-born children, were exchanged for other more important Americans – diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians and missionaries — behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

Focusing her story on two American-born teenage girls who were interned, author Jan Jarboe Russell uncovers the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families’ subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the Unites States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history that has long been kept quiet, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.

For more information, please visit the following website: www.janjarboerussell.com

Copies of the book will be available for sale after the presentation. Admission is free and the public is invited.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

There were over 30 internment camps, not just Crystal City.

Over 127,000 Japanese-American
Families were held in these concentration camps. Their homes and businesses were taken from them just for being Japanese.

Here is a sample list, but not a complete list:
DETENTION CAMPS

Permanent detention camps that held internees from March, 1942 until their closing in 1945 and 1946.

Amache (Granada), Colorado Opened August 24, 1942. Closed October 15, 1945. Peak population 7318. Origin of prisoners: Nothern California coast, West Sacramento Valley, Northern San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles. 31 Japanese Americans from Amache volunteered and lost their lives in World War II. 120 died here between August 27, 1942 and October 14, 1945. In April, 1944, 36 draft resisters were sent to Tucson, AZ Federal Prison.
Gila River, Arizona Opened July 20, 1942. Closed November 10, 1945. Peak Population 13,348. Origin of prisoners: Sacramento Delta, Fresno County, Los Angeles area. Divided into Canal Camp and Butte Camp. Over 1100 citizens from both camps served in the U.S. Armed Services. The names of 23 war dead are engraved on a plaque here. The State of Arizona accredited the schools in both camps. 97 students graduated from Canal High School in 1944. Nearly 1000 prisoners worked in the 8000 acres of farmland around Canal Camp, growing vegetables and raising livestock.2

Heart Mountain, Wyoming Opened August 12, 1942. Closed November 10, 1945. Peak population 10,767. Origin of prisoners: Santa Clara County, Los Angeles, Central Washington. In November, 1942, Japanese American hospital workers walked out because of pay discrimination between Japanese American and Caucasian American workers. In July, 1944, 63 prisoners who had resisted the draft were convicted and sentenced to 3 years in prison. The camp was made up of 468 buildings, divided into 20 blocks. Each block had 2 laundry-toilet buildings. Each building had 6 rooms each. Rooms ranged in size from 16' x 20' to 20' x 24'. There were 200 administrative employees, 124 soldiers, and 3 officers. Military police were stationed in 9 guard towers, equipped with high beam search lights, and surrounded by barbed wire fencing around the camp.
Jerome, Arkansas Opened October 6, 1942. Closed June 30, 1944. Peak population 8497. Origin of prisoners: Central San Joaquin Valley, San Pedro Bay area. After the Japanese Americans in Jerome were moved to Rohwer and other camps or relocated to the east in June, 1944, Jerome was used to hold German POWs.

Manzanar, California Opened March 21, 1942. Closed November 21, 1945. Peak population 10,046. Origin of prisoners: Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, San Joaquin County, Bainbridge Island, Washington. It was the first of the ten camps to open -- initially as a processing center.

Minidoka, Idaho Opened August 10, 1942. Closed October 28, 1945. Peak population 9397. Origin of prisoners: Seattle and Pierce County, Washington, Portland and Northwestern Oregon. 73 Minidoka prisoners died in military service.

Poston (aka Colorado River), Arizona Opened May 8, 1942. Closed November 28, 1945. Peak population 17,814. Origin of prisoners: Southern California, Kern County, Fresno, Monterey Bay Area, Sacramento County, Southern Arizona. 24 Japanese Americans held at Poston later lost their lives in World War II. Poston was divided into three separate camps -- I, II, and III.

Rohwer, Arkansas Opened September 18, 1942. Closed November 30, 1945. Peak population 8475. Origin of prisoners: Los Angeles and Stockton.

Topaz (aka Central Utah), Utah Opened September 11, 1942. Closed October 31, 1945. Peak population 8130. Origin of prisoners: San Francisco Bay Area.

Tule Lake, California Opened May 27, 1942. Closed March 20, 1946. Peak population 18,789. Origin of prisoners: Sacramento area, Southwestern Oregon, and Western Washington; later, segregated internees were brought in from all West Coast states and Hawaii. One of the most turbulent camps -- prisoners held frequent protest demonstrations and strikes.