AN INTRODUCTION TO THE INTERNMENT CAMPS
AIKO HERZIG YOSHINAGO
Thanks to Sam Roberts who wrote about her on July 24, 2019 in the New York Times. It was a tribute and an obituary. Funny how a topic you’re thinking about – crops up often in the news.
Following Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt shortly after December 7, 1941 and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Aiko Yoshinaga and her family (and 120,000 other Japanese- Americans) were forced to move to internment camps “for their safety.” Two-thirds of the internees were American citizens. For the Yoshinga family, their camp was Manzanar, hundreds of miles from their home in Los Angeles. Ansel Adams photographed the desolate setting. Some of his photographs are featured in the early blog posts.
When she married John Alois Herzig, a former American paratrooper, they moved to Washington, DC where she joined the National Council for Japanese American Redress. In the course of conducting research in the National Archives, she found a document that refuted the government’s claim that the internments were necessary for national security. (Sound familiar?)
Her work contributed to the 1988 apology by President Reagan and the twenty thousand dollars awarded to each internee. A paltry sum when you think that people lost homes and businesses to say nothing of their freedom.
https://encyclopedia.densho.org/Aiko_Herzig-Yoshinaga/This site has lots of information and a photo of Mrs. Herzig-Yoshinga. The Densho Encyclopedia is a fount of information.