Museum of the City of San Francisco
By Subject
By Year
The Gift Shop

Stories of Improper Treatment Branded False, ‘Unhealthy’

The Army sought today to halt the spread of “false rumors” that Japanese alien and citizen evacuees were provided improper living conditions in assembly centers.

Colonel Karl R. Bendetsen, assistant chief of staff of the Civil Affairs Division, said such rumors were spread by both Japanese and non-Japanese.

Criticis Assailed

“These persons speaking without factual knowledge, often are [motivated] by unhealthy reasons,” Colonel Bendetsen said.

He said many assembly centers were still under construction and some were not operating yet at top efficiency, since adequate facilities are constructed before the arrival of evacuees, and improvements are made later.

Colonel Bendetsen scoffed at a “third hand” report that lavatory facilities at the Santa Anita assembly center were “limited and inadequate” and at reports that evacuees were not being fed proper foods.

Fed Army Ration B

He said the Santa Anita center was built with lavatory facilities for upwards of 50,000 persons and that less than 15,000 were housed there.

Colonel Bendetsen said evacuees were being fed Army Ration B, a balanced diet consisting largely of canned foods and rice prepared by Japanese cooks, until it will be possible to feed them fresh meats, fruits and vegetables.

Plans to have American citizens of Greek birth or extraction take over West Coast fishing and agricultural industries being evacuated by enemy aliens will be discussed at a series of conferences this week.

The San Francisco News
April 13, 1942

Go to the Japanese Internment page.

Return to the top of the page.