Home » The USA has a new national park with a very dark and particular history

The USA has a new national park with a very dark and particular history

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The USA has a new national park with a very dark and particular history

It’s official. The United States has a new National Park, the Amache Historic Site near Granada, Colorado. Although it does not have nature that can compete with the most famous parks in the USA, come lo Yosemite o Yellowstonehas a very particular history.

During the years immediately following the USA’s entry into the Second World War, one of the 10 incarceration centers established by the United States was built in Amache. War Relocation Authority. At the time the site was called Granada Relocation Center and inside it several Americans of Japanese origin were imprisoned, the majority of whom grew up in California, and were considered guilty of espionage and collusion with the enemy.

Most of these people, in truth, were later discovered to have been imprisoned solely because they were of Asian origin, so much so that some they didn’t even speak Japanese and they had no close relatives in the Land of the Rising Sun. Over 10,000 people were held thus imprisoned for several years in truly extreme conditions, from 1942 to 1945, and at its peak the Amache incarceration center was considered the 10th most populous city in Colorado.

As happened in Germany, in relation to the Nazi concentration camps, the local administrators in mutual agreement with the federal government have decided to protect the remains of this prison camp, precisely to remember this unpleasant story of American history.

The forced incarceration of thousands of citizens is considered one of the 5 worst choices made by American Presidents, in which they have, among other things, abused their executive powers.

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To understand the horrors that have spread within these centers, just remember generalized racism that the jailers demonstrated towards the prisoners or the number of violence committed against women. Some young women were even forced to publicly undress, to demonstrate that they were not carrying weapons under their clothes.

“As a nation, we have a duty to address the mistakes of our past to build a more just and equitable future,” the Interior Minister said in a statement Deb Haaland, taking up a concept expressed by the parliamentary commission wanted by Carter presidency at the beginning of the eighties. “It is hoped that the establishment of Amache National Historical Park will help achieve this goal by preserving and honoring this painful chapter in our history.”

With the closure of the center in 1945, most of the prisons in Amache were removed or demolished, in a hasty attempt to forget the widespread hatred that had been directed towards Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hatred that indirectly contributed to creating the conditions that led to the conception and dropping of the atomic bomb.

As a strictly archaeological area, today the Park currently has the foundations of the old buildings, the old road network, the squat toilets of the women’s prisons, a cemetery, some propaganda monuments and a barracks, which hides within it a recreation room, a watchtower, several offices, disused weapons from the Second World War and a cistern.

Some elderly prisoners returned to Amache on the day of the park’s establishment, which coincides with Japanese Incarceration Remembrance Day during World War II, celebrated on February 19th each year. Historians, however, have also underlined how in these centers the Americans were not practicing a real genocide, but only imprisoning people who were then promised to be freed at the end of the conflict.

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Protagonist in this historical institution was the municipality of Granada, which for years had been calling on the federal government to build a memorial to remember this sad story. Fortunately, the Biden government has decided to do something more.

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