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Taken: Oregonians Arrested after Pearl Harbor

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How Were They Selected?

The "A-B-C" Custodial Detention List

The names compiled by the FBI, DoJ, and ONI were evaluated according to the degree of their possible danger "to the peace and security" of the United States. The ONI and the Special Defense Unit of DoJ created an "A-B-C" classification system to rank these degrees of perceived "dangerousness."

An individual’s membership in an organization listed in the "A" category was sufficient to place him/her on a what was called a "Custodial Detention" list for later arrest. For German nationals the Justice Department identified ten Nazi-affiliated organizations, including the German American Bund. The DoJ listed twelve Japanese organizations such as the Black Dragon Society (Kokuryu Kai) and Fatherland Society (Sokoku Kai).

The "B" category listed organizations considered "less dangerous" as a "potential threat to the internal security of the United States" and included such organizations as the Japanese Association of America (Nihonjin Kai), Konko Church (Konkokyo), and Japanese language schools.

The "C" category identified organizations with some ties to Japan, such as Japanese businesses in the U.S. or cultural groups like Japanese flower-arranging associations or judo clubs.

Despite the existence of the A-B-C list, whose purpose was to rank alien residents into groups based on potential disloyalty, the authorities ordered the arrest of all persons on the Custodial Detention List regardless of their alphabetical classification following the Pearl Harbor attack. Under the Alien Enemies Act, all German, Italian, and Japanese nationals could be arrested, undergo a personal hearing, and be interned for an unspecified time period.

Based on this original

Santa Fe camp, College of Horticulture
uploaded by Oregon_Nikkei
Santa Fe internment inmates. College of Horticulture, 1944. ONLC 1752, Gift of Yasui Family Collection More »


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