Remembering the Holocaust and other instances of intolerance is so important. I believe that we can make a difference in our world. We need to let people around us know that we will not allow it to happen again.

Anytime we devalue any human being - make看someone a scapegoat for problems in our society - injustice, inhumanity, intolerance and cruelty can happen.

It can happen again. Look at the Japanese-American camps in America after Pearl Harbor. Then 9-11 happened and anyone looking the slightest bit "suspicious" had their rights as a human taken from them.看 When fear, propaganda, and ignorance are combined we are all in danger of repeating history.

Pam Eason Elliot Elementary School Texas USA


I am Pam Eason - a fifth grade teacher in Irving, Texas.
In 1999, I started teaching Social Studies to over 100 fifth graders. For the last two years I have been teaching Reading, Language Arts and Social Studies to 50 fifth grade students.

I think from the start, I was meant to teach geography and social studies. My mother said that I was always on the move and I actually teethed on maps!

My看mother came from a farm in Dermott, Arkansas. During World War II, the government land next to the farm was cleared and a concentration camp was built. The government called it an "internment camp". Over 10,000 Japanese-Americans were kept there.看Half of these were women and children. Almost all of the children were born in the United States and were American citizens.

After the war, the property came up for sale and my family purchased it. Most of the property was turned into farm land but many of the structures remained. My father was in the military and we were stationed in many places when I was growing up. When we were in the United States we visited the "farm" in the summers and for special events. The buildings deteriorated and the jeeps and watch towers began to rust. There was'nt a great deal of barbed wire to deal with since it was'nt necessary during the War. There were only a handful of Japanese-Americans in rural Arkansas before the war, so if anyone left the camp, they would be seen and returned easily. Also, the land is perfect for rice farming - for a reason -看this is bayou country.看Four of the most deadly snakes in the U.S.看made their home in the land that surrounded the camp.看看

In the 1950's and 1960's there was not much left of the camp. While my cousins and siblings were playing chase and hide-and-seek around what was left of the camp, I would walk around and imagine what it must have been like for the people看who had lived in the huts. How did they feel about being forced to leave their homes? So many of the mothers had sons fighting in the war - fighting on our side! As a child, I did not understand any of this.


Dachau Concentration Camp

From 1968 until 1983 I lived mostly in Europe. I traveled a great deal in both Eastern and Western Europe. When I visited the concentration camps, such as Dachau, my看hope and prayer was看that people would remember the horror of hatred, intolerance, and injustice.

I realize that after the war no one - least of all the Japanese-Americans - wanted to compare the U.S. concentration camps with the horror of看Hitler's camps. So people kept quiet.看
Another thing that I have learned over the years, it is not healthy or helpful to keep quiet! 看

In the 70's and 80's, I knew that the Japanese-American experiences in internment camps were being published and finally talked about. The National Park Service was saving some of the land where the western camps had been看看and placing memorial statues for visitors to view.

Nothing was being said about the two camps in Arkansas. Students in Arkansas were not even aware that internment camps were part of their history. Part of the problem was population. Most Japanese-Americans had returned to their homes in the west or east. Jerome's population is 75 people. The land is rural - to say the least! No one but my family seemed to know. Even the veterans that had been stationed at the camps were from other places in the States.看In my frustration,看I started collecting artifacts and information about the camps. My family in Arkansas was doing the same thing.看Over the years Japanese and Japanese-Americans have made trips "searching" for camps. My family tries to help but now only a few buildings stand.

In the past看15 years看there看has been看an effort by the state of Arkansas, several Japanese-American organizations, several civil rights organizations, and several colleges to compile information.

With the help of a multimillion dollar grant, these organizations are preparing curriculum, traveling exhibits,看 videos, and television specials to educate students and the world concerning this important time in American history.

The momentum is building - it is an exciting time.
My wish - my dream is看that this kind of injustice看will never happen again.


Over 700 Japanese Americans came back to Arkansas to visit the Jerome Camp site. Many of these were children or teenagers at the Camps. Using GPS, satellite images, and old government maps, I was able to take many of the Japanese Americans to the exact place where their block and building was once located. There is little left: an old smokestack from the hospital and a new memorial that the family tends.


Photos: Japanese American internment camps.

Life Interrupted- website about the Japanese American experience during WWII in Arkansas
Also:
http://www.pbs.org/childofcamp/index.html
http://www.csuohio.edu/art_photos/map.html

Note the quote "he had polled the governors of 15 states west of the Mississippi River on proposals to send evacuees from Pacific Coast states. Nine (governors) replied, in effect: 蠟No Japanese wanted癩except in concentration camps.蠡
http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist8/evac16.html
http://www.sfmuseum.org/war/evactxt.html

Pictures of Jerome Camp - (taken by government - to show everyone how "good" the Japanese had it - and看to show that putting看the Japanese Americans away看was truly the best solution)
http://ark.cdlib.org/?relation=ark%3A%2F13030%2Ftf596nb4h0&mode=content&search=jerome&submit.x=17&submit.y=15
There are 520 pictures (you can keep pressing "Next"to see them all)

Family Album Project:
http://www.csuohio.edu/art_photos/famalbum/famalbum.html