Japanese internment

PARALLELS FROM THE PAST: EXHIBIT ON INTERNMENT OF LOCAL JAPANESE-AMERICAN STUDENTS IN WWII EVOKES FEARS “IT COULD HAPPEN AGAIN,” SAYS HISTORIAN

 

By Chisato Iverson and Miriam Raftery

 

June 16, 2016 (La Mesa) –For Donna Neimeier at the La Mesa Historical Society, preparing an exhibit on Grossmont High School students forced into internment camps during World War II provided troubling memories from her own childhood.

“I was in first or second grade when all of this happened. I knew that my Japanese friends were gone…We didn’t know where they went,” she recalled.  After  her friends returned, she recalls, “They were very withdrawn and they never talked about it..”

Now she reflects, “Here I am, 75 years later, learning about this whole thing…I think with prejudice and the way we all feel about prejudice now, it’s something that is very upsetting to me personally, that it happened.”   The most important reason for the museum’s exhibit, she believes, is to teach people about the past, in hopes that it will never be repeated.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: GRACE KAMINAKA TSUIDA, JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMP SURVIVOR FROM GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Chisato Iversen

 

June 15, 2016 (La Mesa)-- Grace Kaminaka Tsuida, a student at Grossmont High School’s class of 1944, is a survivor of a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.  As part of an AP class project at Grossmont High School , students documented the experiences of Grossmont students who were interned.  Their stories are documented in  Japanese American AP US American Reports  and can be seen in a special exhibit at the La Mesa Historical Society during June. 

Grace Kaminaka Tsuida  was born  Sept. 9,1926 in Lemon Grove. She made friends easily, like other children, until after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when the U.S. government sent her family and others to an internment camp.  After their release, they were given an apology from the government, though it failed to acknowledge the humiliation and confusion they experience.  Now, 67 years later, Grace’s niece, Judy Miyamoto, helped arrange for Grace to finally receive her Grossmont High School Diploma.

Now 90 years old, Grace granted an exclusive interview with East County Magazine.   Please read her compelling story.