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Colorado River Relocation Center - Poston: From the Perspective of the WRA Photos


The Colorado River Relocation Center (Poston) was one of the ten American concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. The center was located on the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) reservation in Arizona. It was in the desert 16 miles south of Parker, AZ.  It was opened in May 8, 1942 by the War Relocation Authority. Sixty two percent of the inmates were American Citizens. 

A website for the Poston Community has been developed by the Poston Community Alliance at www.postonpreservation.org.

The following photos were downloaded from the National Archives. The photos were taken by War Relocation Authority (WRA) photographers who were constrained by WRA rules. The photos could not be sad or too happy. A sad photo would make the camp image suffer. A too happy photo would make the administrators look like coddlers. An example of images being too sad are photos taken by Dorothea Lange which were impounded by the Army. Lange was subsequently fired from her job. Ref. Dinitia Smith, NY Times, Nov. 2006, Photographs of an Episode That Lives in Infamy Retrieved March 17, 2011.

The photos are in two albums sorted by date:

Poston Photo Album 1 >>

Poston Photo Album 2 >>

For those who would like more details about these images, go to the National Archives website at http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/BasicSearchForm.  Hit "Digital Copies" and set limit to 1000. Type in "Colorado River Relocation Center" and hit search.

Slides in this album 

Album Type

online exhibition

RoyKakuda — Last modified Sep 01 2018 1:34 p.m.

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