The psychological effects of the camps were devastating. At first, there was the apprehension of not knowing where we were going, what was to become of us, let alone the question of why we had to go. After three mindless years behind barbed wire fences and guard towers, cut off from society, our release came with the instructions that we were to “Avoid large groups of Japanese, avoid use of our language, to develop American habits, to behave in a manner reflecting all that is ‘good, reliable and honest in Japanese Americans’…” racism knows no bounds. A friend of mine said it all: “ after 40 years, we finally come out of the camps…” It must never happen again to any group of people.
— Lillian (Sugita) Nakano