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When the Wind Was a River: Aleut Evacuation in World War II cover
  • ISBN: 9780295974033
  • ISBN10: 0295974036

When the Wind Was a River: Aleut Evacuation in World War II

by Kohlhoff, Dean

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2003
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Description
World War II came to the North Pacific in June 1942. Alaska's Native people living on the Aleutian and Pribilof islands, the Aleuts, felt its impact as did no other American citizens in that region. Forty-two residents of Attu Island were captured and imprisoned in Japan and, in response to Japanese bombings of Dutch Harbor and invasions of Kiska Island, the American military evacuated the remaining 881 Aleuts from the islands to camps in southeastern Alaska. The story of the removal of the Aleuts is little known outside Alaska. Dean Kohlhoff delved extensively into civilian and government archives, as well as videotapes of Aleuts chronicling their wartime experiences, to compile this engrossing account of the evacuation. Personal accounts tell of life in the temporary camps, in which the makeshift accommodations arranged by the Department of the Interior failed to reflect the good intentions of some Interior officials. One visitor to the Funter Bay camp wrote, "I have no language at my command which can adequately describe what I saw....I have seen some tough places in my days in Alaska, but nothing to equal the situation in Funter". Upon their eventual return, the Aleuts found that their homes had been devastated by weather, fire, and both Japanese and American military operations, and they began the fight for reparation for loss of property and income that would affect them long after the war. Finally the Civil Rights Act of 1988, which awarded damage claims to Japanese Americans relocated during the war, led to restitution for the Aleuts, who Congress and the president agreed had been mistreated.
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