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Author Topic: Dorothea Langeís Censored Photographs of FDRís Japanese Concentration Camps  (Read 2623 times)

Schewe

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Found this post and since I have visited Manzanar Internment Camp I found this interesting...Dorothea Langeís Censored Photographs of FDRís Japanese Concentration Camps The military seized her photographs, quietly depositing them in the National Archives, where they remained mostly unseen and unpublished until 2006.

Not the best time in American history...I hope we don't repeat it.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Then again, we always had Ansel Adams' ones.

Schewe

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Then again, we always had Ansel Adams' ones.

And your point is what? That it didn't matter that Dorothea Langeís images were censored because we had Adam's images?

Got anything useful or construct to add here on LuLa?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 06:06:02 PM by Schewe »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Your post, for those uninitiated, implies that somehow the truth about the camps has been censored all these years. While it is regrettable that her photographs were, the truth wasn't. That was my point.

N80

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Your post, for those uninitiated, implies that somehow the truth about the camps has been censored all these years. While it is regrettable that her photographs were, the truth wasn't. That was my point.

And which makes Schewe's response rude and unacceptable.
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate

Schewe

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Your post, for those uninitiated, implies that somehow the truth about the camps has been censored all these years.

Well if that was your impression maybe you might have spent more that 8 words explaining your point. I never implied anything regarding anything. The line in italics is a quote from the web site, not my words. My intent was to alert photographers to an important cache of previously unseen Dorothea Lange photographs.

I've visited Manzanar and there is no hiding what the government did to Japanese citizens. The National Park Service has done a wonderful job of preserving a lot of information, photographs and documents. I invite anybody in the Eastern Sierra mountains going North on RT 395 from Death Valley to Mono Lake to take out the time to go visit it.
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pcgpcg

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Then again, we always had Ansel Adams' ones.
And I can see why those weren't censored. There is quite a contrast between Dorothea Lange's photos and Ansel Adams'. The former is an essay of people being rounded up and sent somewhere, while the latter in comparison makes it look like everyone is on vacation having a great time.  Which was closer to the truth?

I'd be interested in learning what motivated Ansel Adams when he took his photos.

I've visited what's left of the camp - very sobering. Fear does awful things to people and history seems to show that actions motivated by fear should be seriously questioned.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:37:10 AM by pcgpcg »
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davidgp

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Found this post and since I have visited Manzanar Internment Camp I found this interesting...Dorothea Langeís Censored Photographs of FDRís Japanese Concentration Camps The military seized her photographs, quietly depositing them in the National Archives, where they remained mostly unseen and unpublished until 2006.

Not the best time in American history...I hope we don't repeat it.

Many thanks for the link, I was unaware of this work, although they tell a regrettable history, the work of Dorothea is beautiful.

Since people are mentioning the work of Adams, he had other objective in mind when he did his photographs, as he stated in his letter to congress: "The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment....All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use."

Petrus

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I though those were American concentration camps, not Japanese.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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I though those were American concentration camps, not Japanese.
They were, as the "FDR's" makes clear.

Thanks, Jeff, for the link. I have seen Adams' photos many times but I was unaware of Lange's. They are very moving.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes    (A sampler of my new book is on my website.)
http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website (Server is back up). New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org

JNB_Rare

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Also in Canada: Banished and Beyond Tears

On 22 September 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney rose in the House of Commons to apologize on behalf of the Canadian government for the wrongs it committed against Japanese Canadians during wartime. The apology came with symbolic redress payments to individuals and to community funds. But the most enduring accomplishment of the Japanese campaign for redress was the abolition of the War Measures Act, which had provided the legal basis for the removal of the Japanese from their homes.

stamper

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I have read about US troops, who were gay, being interred in a pink stockade immediately after serving in WW2.  :'( :(

Rob C

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I have read about US troops, who were gay, being interred in a pink stockade immediately after serving in WW2.  :'( :(

Stamper, pay attention. Nobody in the entire world was "gay" before the 60s. Millions were happy, though, but that's another perversion subverted and stolen from the straight lexicon.

;-)

Rob

RSL

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Thanks for the link, Jeff. As was her custom, Dorothea did wonderful work with those photographs.

It's interesting stuff about an event in our history we'd rather forget. I was twelve when Manzanar opened, and I remember (vaguely) what things were like then. There was no national outcry about Manzanar. The very effective tactical strike on Pearl Harbor was dubbed by Roosevelt a "sneak attack," and we were losing ground rapidly in the Pacific. The Japanese were being made to appear monsters. Even in my seventh-grade school there were cartoons showing Japanese as slobbering murderers. Of course some of the stuff the Japanese had done in China (see the rape of Nanking) and now were doing in the Pacific made those cartoons seem reasonable.

We look back on Manzanar now and shake our heads, but it's hard to judge history from a remote remove in time. I can't condone what we did at Manzanar, but I can tell you that people were angry. It wasn't fear, Paul, it was fury. Men were rushing to join the military and women were rushing into defense jobs. We were united in our anger and we were eager to strike back, but we didn't have the means to strike back effectively. Anger at the Japanese was what quickly brought our industrial giant out of its slumber and gave us the tools ultimately to fight WW II. So when you're ready to vent your regret over what we did at Manzanar, back away a bit and look at what the world was like then. You probably can't, because you weren't around then, but It ain't as simple as it sounds.

And Jeff, I think Slobodan may have jumped in too quickly, but I got the same implication from your post. Reading carefully it's clear that you didn't intend the implication, but it slipped in nonetheless.

And Stamper, I joined the military not all that long after WW II. As Rob says, there were no "gays" in those days. There was a guy in one unit I was in who, it turned out, was homosexual, though nobody knew that. One day a couple feds -- I'm not sure what agency, but I suspect FBI -- dropped in and had a long, secret chat with the guy in a closed room. He left with them and was never seen around the outfit again, but he didn't go to a stockade.

stamper

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And Stamper, I joined the military not all that long after WW II. As Rob says, there were no "gays" in those days. There was a guy in one unit I was in who, it turned out, was homosexual, though nobody knew that. One day a couple feds -- I'm not sure what agency, but I suspect FBI -- dropped in and had a long, secret chat with the guy in a closed room. He left with them and was never seen around the outfit again, but he didn't go to a stockade

Hair splitting? I was using modern vernacular that guys who are far younger than yourselfs would understand???

Petrus

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Is surely looks kind of racism to us that only the Japanese were put in camps, but not Germans and Italians, or later us Finns, for that matter.

About "gays": many if not most younger people miss the historical perspective about homosexuality. Now it is all over, meaning movies, paper, novels, TV, gay bars etc etc, part of normal variety of life. Not so some 70 years ago. The only mention of it you could find at that time was in medical textbooks, and maybe between the lines in some novels (which were likely to be banned and burned). Example: my father born in 1923 did military service in the war fighting Russians, studied to be a geophysicist later high school science teacher, married and had 3 children. It was not until early seventies that he realised he was "gay". He went to the barricades, was an important member of the national gay liberation society, and became much more loved as a teacher, as he could leave the unexplained stress behind him which had been with him all his life. Modern generation finds this hard to believe, but that is the way things were in rural Finland until the seventies, total lack of information or exposure to the phenomenon.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Is surely looks kind of racism to us that only the Japanese were put in camps, but not Germans and Italians, or later us Finns, for that matter...

Easily recognizable. One of the rationales was to protect them from revenge attacks. Whether that rationale makes sense or not is a different matter.

RSL

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Is surely looks kind of racism to us that only the Japanese were put in camps, but not Germans and Italians, or later us Finns, for that matter.

Well, Petrus, I can assure you that had the Finns attacked Pearl Harbor we'd have put all our Finns into a camp, even the Finnish kids who were my best friends in northern Michigan, my Finnish sister-in-law, and the Finn I almost married. Maybe that would have been "racism," but people would have been pissed enough to do it happily. Since you're only N/A old, you wouldn't understand.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 11:26:55 AM by RSL »
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JNB_Rare

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Is surely looks kind of racism to us that only the Japanese were put in camps, but not Germans and Italians, or later us Finns, for that matter.

I don't know about other countries, but internment camps in Canada were not restricted to Japanese-Canadians. In WWI there were 24 internment camps here, with migrants from Turkey, Austria, Germany, Austro-Hungary and the Ukraine, who had made Canada their home. In WWII, the first detainees were German civilians living in and visiting Canada, and German merchant seamen. Eventually the camps also held POW's from the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine.

Circumstances at the time were different, and we cannot change the past. But we can (hopefully) learn from it, if we know about it. The challenge is that history is often a bunch of 'alternative facts' (to borrow a phrase), and we seem to be living in a 'post-truth' era. A few years ago I read about a furor because there was a movement by some in Japan to remove the Japanese occupation of China from the country's history books, and school curriculum.  Japan is far from the only country to have seen such attempts at revisionist history.

BTW, your father was a courageous man.

N80

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In retrospect it seems pretty clear that the internment of Japanese Americans was wrong.Like Lincoln, FDR was ever the pragmatist and never one to let principles get in the way of the job at hand. It is ironic that they are both typically admired for their pragmatism except when it conflicts with the current standards.

But I also see Manzanar as a bit of a cause celebre when seen in the light of what was going on in the rest of the world at that time. This is not to diminish how wrong it was or how those people suffered. But compared to the Japanese occupation of China and what Hitler did in Poland, etc. it becomes a tiny historical footnote made large by famous photographers. There was no mass murder, no box cars and in fact, no real sense of ethnic superiority or cleansing. Pretty much just a bad decision driven by fear and an easily recognizable scapegoat.
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George

"What is truth?" Pontius  Pilate
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