WWII Interment Camps   


The Internment Camps:

The story of the internment of the Japanese Americans has become well known.

 I came across a site with copies of 1942 News-letters for Camp Harmony in Washington State. It gives an interesting perspective on life in an internment camp

Here in New Jersey, Seabrook Farms took advantage of the potential labor pool at the Japanese Internment camps and recruited people to voluntarily move here to live and work. (This is not the first time that Seabrook Farms has been a major part of the history of NJ and the rest of the country. Follow the link to read more about Seabrook Farms)

An offer for resettlement:

"Gentlemen, what have you to lose? You are not making any progress by remaining in camp--I say come out and see it for yourself. We'll pay your transportation . . . "

These were the challenging words of the employment manager from Seabrook Farms in New Jersey spoken at the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas in mid-April, 1944. He was the personal representative of the late Charles F. Seabrook, founder of the world's largest frozen foods industry


An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites

by the National Park Service

A terrific online book account

Indefinite Leave Passes for those that would swear to the Loyalty Oath
    ...One of the largest single sponsors, Seabrook Farms, was also one of the largest producers of frozen vegetables in the country. The company, experiencing a labor shortage due to the war, had a history of hiring minorities and setting them up in ethnically segregated villages. About 2,500 evacuees went to Seabrook Farms' New Jersey plant. They worked 12-hour days, at 35 cents to 50 cents an hour, with 1 day off every 2 weeks. They lived in concrete block buildings, not much better than the relocation center barracks, and had to provide for their own food and cooking (Seabrook 1995).

A Granddaughter's thoughts:

Seabrook Farms 1945... Thai Garment Workers 1995
by Jenni "Emiko" Kuida

A great find: a summary and the hour long radio documentary online:
Seabrook at War: A Radio Documentary.
 Narrated by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

for more information:

Seabrook Educational & Cultural Center

NJ Digital History Collection:

Less well known is the fact that Germans and Italians were, also, interned, but at a much, much smaller percentage of the population, then the Japanese.    

The most extensive resource on the internet about German internments is at
                                World War II - The internment of German American civilians

         `WWII Violations of German American Civil Liberties by the US Government

A brief statement from The Handbook of Texas gives an overview of the more extensive groups of people that were involved in the internments.  WORLD WAR II INTERNMENT CAMPS


Click on the chart above to go to a most interesting page about the numbers of Germans, Japanese and Italians arrested and interned.

Ellis Island, New York Harbor, New York

See The History of Internment for the policies and events leading to their incarceration. Plans were made as early as October 1941 to roundup and intern persons of German heritage from the states of New York and New Jersey. It was estimated that 600 per month from New York and 200 per month from New Jersey would be arrested and then locked up in Ellis Island.

Along with a series of articles about internments at Ellis Island,
                                                                I found mention of a German Internment Camp at Gloucester City NJ.

I am trying to track down more information about this topic, please contact me, if you have any knowledge or any suggestions for getting information.

The following information was sent to me by Patrick Ward - Thanks for the information.

Saw you request for information regarding "German Internment Camp at Gloucester City NJ"
This site still exist.
In its early days it served as an immigration station for the Philadelphia area.
It is better known as the former US Coast Guard Base.
The Coast Guard move to Philadelphia in the late 1980s' and the site was given to the Gloucester City NJ  which is now up for redevelopment.

Building will remain. 





See page 36



3. Properties Associated with Detention

Temporary Detention Stations

Immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Justice Department began arresting

“dangerous” enemy aliens residing in the United States.104 Approximately 2,000 Issei were held

in temporary detention stations, operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

from December 7, 1941 until late January of 1942. Most were long-time U.S. residents,

prohibited by law from becoming citizens. Many of the language teachers, clergy, and newspaper

editors targeted for arrest were leaders in their communities.

According to the INS, enemy aliens were held at 20 temporary detention facilities leased or

borrowed from other federal agencies: Chicago, Illinois; Pittsburgh and Nanticoke, Pennsylvania;

Tampa and Miami, Florida; Syracuse and Niagara Falls, New York; Cleveland and Cincinnati,

Ohio; Houston, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Salt Lake

City, Utah; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; Tujunga (Tuna Canyon) and Los Angeles

(Terminal Island), California; Hartford, Connecticut; and Baltimore, Maryland. Eight existing

INS detention facilities held what may have been a significant number of enemy aliens: San

Francisco, San Pedro, and San Ysidro, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan;

Gloucester City, New Jersey; Ellis Island, New York; and Seattle, Washington.105





105 According to the INS History, Genealogy, and Education website (uscis.gov/graphics/aboutus/history/eacamps):

“Nearly all INS stations had some detention space for routine use during World War II. Districts also had standing

contracts with local, state, or Federal agencies for the routine or occasional use of additional detention space. Any or

all of these facilities might have held an alien classified as an enemy alien at one time or another during World War