Saturday, May 28, 2016

WW2 Internment Camp Survivor?

I have been seeing a number of these recently.  Were the experiences of the Japanese Internment Camp Survivors in the US really comparable to the Holocaust Survivors during WW2?  Or perhaps the Korean Comfort women?  And what exactly was the survival rate for these sufferers?  How did it compare with something like Batu Lintang camp?  Before I go further, I should note that my children went to Japanese public schools when I lived in Japan, so I have a particular attraction to Japan and the Japanese.

Certainly I don't think that gathering up the Japanese immigrants to the US during WW2 was particularly useful, nor was it a particularly nice thing to do.  But on the other hand, most of the world was inconvenienced during those years and millions of civilians were slaughtered.  These internees were certainly not given comfortable accommodations, yet on the other hand, what they got exceeded what they would have had as peasants in most of the world at this time:  food, housing, medicine and education. There is nothing that would compare with what my in-laws experienced in Taiwan at that time.

But what bothers me is that the first link was a race baiting polemic against Trump.  No, I don't like Trump, but it is because he is crude, rather erratic and often doesn't seem particularly well informed on what he comments on.  At the same time, the Trump movement is agitated about illegal immigrants coming to the US to feast on welfare benefits, trample the laws, trash the culture, raise deadbeat children, ignore all health related controls, rage against everything and make a mess of things.  In spite of this, I am still happy to give charity as long as they stay at home, because I can fund an entire village for the same cost as one illegal immigrant that makes it into this country.  Hopefully any Japanese reader of this will not be insulted when I say that I respect Japanese immigrants infinitely more because they came here to work and contribute lawfully, to raise respectable, well-educated families, and to become model citizens, while still remembering their culture.  These are pretty much identical values to what I hold.  Yet everything their parents - and my parents - stood for is exactly negated in the mad rush to bring in illegal immigrants.  By cursing those who are upset about illegal immigration, they - whether Caucasian or Japanese - simply curse their heritage.


Ursula said...

Yes, immigration. I suppose I am an immigrant. Or an emigrant. Ex pat. Whatever. No doubt, mostly I am ignoRANT. To my chagrin, since I don't hold British citizenship yet have lived here most my adult life, I am not allowed to vote. Not even on 23 June EU referendum. So much for Aristotle's "zoon politicon".

Luckily, however the referendum will pan out, it won't affect the Angel since he holds dual citizenship and therefore will be "welcome" in the UK and any country belonging to the European Union. Not, of course, that the super hyped BREXIT will happen.

I can't claim that I fully understand your post. All I know is that "immigration" , whether in the US, the UK and parts of Europe, being currently blamed for all ills. In the scheme of things "immigrants" are a pebble in the pond. If that.

Interesting to hear about your links with Japan. "Voelkerverstaendigung". Good.


Looney said...

The post may not have been intended to be comprehensible. At the moment I am technically not an immigrant, even though I am regularly referred to as "foreigner" in Chinese by those who I live with.

Now I am reading an article on Brexit. It looks like once upon a time the 'conservatives' wanted to join the EU, but the leftists did not. It looks like those roles are reversing now. Surely they allow everyone to vote in the UK, whether citizen/noncitizen, dead or alive? That is how we do it here!

Rummuser said...

While I was born in the state where I now live, my parents were immigrants who went back to their home state. I returned here after having lived in many other states of India and I speak both my mother tongue and the language of the state where I live. There are elements in our state who think immigrants are a nuisance whereas there is a scholl of thought that they contribute to the economy of the state. The self and the other problem will never go away no matter where one lives.

Inklings said...

My sister-in-law's family was in an internment camp and lost their home and her dad's business in California. I thought it was a horrible thing they went through, yet they decided to stay in Utah and her dad began a new business and did very well for himself. They are wonderful people, but they really did have a very rough time in the camp, and I am sure felt much despair there.

Looney said...

@Rummuser, there are certainly many kinds of immigrants. California seems to be a conglomeration of every kind!

Looney said...

@Inklings, sounds like there is a lot I could learn about the history of this event from them.