978-0-7425-0171-3 / 9780742501713

Schools behind Barbed Wire: The Untold Story of Wartime Internment and the Children of Arrested Enemy Aliens


Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield Publishers



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About the book:

Often overlooked in the infamous history of U.S. internment during World War II is the plight of internee children. Drawn from personal interviews and multiple primary source materials, Schools behind Barbed Wire is the first book to uncover this unique chapter in American history. Previous to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the children of German and Japanese nationals took their 'Americanness' for granted. Many were citizens, born on American soil. Many had worn Boy Scout uniforms, pledged allegiance to the flag, and even collected tin foil in order to do their 'bit' for the war effort. But all this changed with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Without warning their American identity was suspect and on the basis of their parents' nationality, they too were treated as enemies of the state and shipped off to remote internment camps such as the one located in Crystal City, TX. Schools behind Barbed Wire is the story of the boys and girls who grew up in the Crystal City internment camp and spent the war years attending one of its three internment camp schools. These children attended regular classes in math and English, joined clubs, and tried to go about 'normal' life in the most extraordinary of circumstances. For many, their wartime experiences were often the defining moments of their lives. Professor Karen L. Riley has meticulously recorded the struggles these children faced everyday in her new book Schools behind Barbed Wire. No account of World War II would be complete without the wartime stories of these children.

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