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BART station exhibit examines local history of Japanese American internment

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Q: I know you’re taking some heat over a response to a reader’s comments related to the incarceration of Japanese Americans.

It occurred to me that you may not be aware that BART has been very active in making sure this shameful chapter in our history is remembered. Here’s more information: www.bart.gov/news/articles/2020/news20200122

James Allison, BART Media Relations Manager

A: At its San Bruno Station, BART has a long-term arts exhibit that examines the local history and impacts of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.

The Tanforan Assembly Center Exhibit focuses on Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and its impacts. The executive order authorized the incarceration of over 120,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan.

The San Bruno Station is built at the site of the former Tanforan Racetrack which was converted into one of the “assembly centers” where Japanese Americans were forced to live for several months prior to transfer to the detention camps.

The station includes a collection of pictures and displays of the racetrack’s transformation into ​a detention facility. A memorial is also being built at the site. For more information, see https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/02/11/peninsula-celebrates-groundbreaking-of-new-japanese-american-internment-memorial-at-san-bruno-bart-station/

Q: I’m proud to say that my church in Palo Alto, the First Congregational Church, took care of the property and businesses of its three Japanese American families while they were interned in a prison camp. When the families returned, their property was turned back over to them in good shape.

People who come to this country should not be blamed for the actions taken by the governments and people of the countries they left (unless the people here were personally involved in those actions and came here to hide out and escape punishment – as was the case with many Nazi war criminals!).

Carol Zink, Redwood City

A: This work by your church was admirable. Some other Americans also tried to preserve and protect the property of Japanese Americans interned at the camps, but far too many lost their property.

Q: I can recommend a fantastic novel that details the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. It is “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. The stories of the affected families is one that needs to be told.



Q: I know you’re taking some heat over a response to a reader’s comments related to the incarceration of Japanese Americans.

It occurred to me that you may not be aware that BART has been very active in making sure this shameful chapter in our history is remembered. Here’s more information: www.bart.gov/news/articles/2020/news20200122

James Allison, BART Media Relations Manager

A: At its San Bruno Station, BART has a long-term arts exhibit that examines the local history and impacts of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.

The Tanforan Assembly Center Exhibit focuses on Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and its impacts. The executive order authorized the incarceration of over 120,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan.

The San Bruno Station is built at the site of the former Tanforan Racetrack which was converted into one of the “assembly centers” where Japanese Americans were forced to live for several months prior to transfer to the detention camps.

The station includes a collection of pictures and displays of the racetrack’s transformation into ​a detention facility. A memorial is also being built at the site. For more information, see https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/02/11/peninsula-celebrates-groundbreaking-of-new-japanese-american-internment-memorial-at-san-bruno-bart-station/

Q: I’m proud to say that my church in Palo Alto, the First Congregational Church, took care of the property and businesses of its three Japanese American families while they were interned in a prison camp. When the families returned, their property was turned back over to them in good shape.

People who come to this country should not be blamed for the actions taken by the governments and people of the countries they left (unless the people here were personally involved in those actions and came here to hide out and escape punishment – as was the case with many Nazi war criminals!).

Carol Zink, Redwood City

A: This work by your church was admirable. Some other Americans also tried to preserve and protect the property of Japanese Americans interned at the camps, but far too many lost their property.

Q: I can recommend a fantastic novel that details the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. It is “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. The stories of the affected families is one that needs to be told.

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