A Tragedy of Democracy

Although the camps were consciously designed for keeping inmates in long-term custody, the War Department and the WRA swiftly agreed that the phrase “concentration camps” would be strictly forbidden as too negative (and embarrassing) and agreed instead to refer to these facilities by the euphemism “reception centers” or “relocation centers.” Meanwhile, to evade the implications of detaining American citizens, the army coined the official term “nonaliens” to describe the Nisei’s status. (Greg Robinson)

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