Fifteen miles from the Kansas border, Prowers County Road 23½ comes to a dusty end, surrounded by sagebrush and prickly pear cacti and dead junipers. A place this newspaper called, eight decades ago, “as bleak a spot as one can find on the western plains.”
In one of the more shameful moments in American history, the federal government removed 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals from their homes on the West Coast between 1942 and 1945 and imprisoned 10,000 over that timespan in far southeast Colorado, at a concentration camp it euphemistically named the Granada Relocation Center.
The inmates called it Amache.
“No charges were leveled against us. No trial, no hearings,” recalled Bob Fuchigami, who was 11 years old when he was imprisoned there. “We were loyal, patriotic, law-abiding citizens.”
The story of Amache is one of despair, desolation and, for 121 inmates, death. But it’s also a story about what came next, about a generation who rebuilt their lives and even thrived, all the while keeping quiet about the trauma they carried. It’s a story of bigotry and hate worth revisiting as the U.S. witnesses a new spike in anti-Asian violence and Colorado congressmen move to make Amache part of the National Park Service, preserving the site for generations to come.
Full story via Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post
For Japanese Americans imprisoned at Amache internment camp, lifetimes of silence and undeserved shame
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