World War II Poetry
World War II was a gruesome time. Many people were captured and kept as prisoners of war just because they were soldiers on the enemy's side. The saddest part though is that innocent families, from children to elders, were kept in camps because of their race. The country feared they were still in conspiracy with their homeland which was the enemy. In extreme cases, like the Holocaust, the Germans were kept the Jews hostage and killed by the thousands all because they felt their race was inferior. (United) Each of these groups of people wrote heartwarming poems about their experiences, from the hate they faced to the conditions they lived in.
The Japanese interim camps during World War II trapped all the Japanese living in America during the time of the Pearl Harbor and World War II in fear that they were still trying to collaborate back home to Japan. During the time in these interment camps the Japanese wrote many poems. The adults, along with the children wrote poems about what they were experiencing and how they were feeling. (Japanese-American)
The children in the interment camps didn't understand what was going on in the world around them. They thought of themselves as a part of America just like the non-Japanese American citizens around them. They thought of these camps as just a new adventure. But it's far from that. As they grew up they began to understand where they were and why they were there. All of the Japanese-Americans received fierce hatred, from verbally get called insulting names to get their homes and cars trashed or burnt down. (Wakatsuki)
A Japanese adult at a Japanese interment camp wrote a poem called Barracks home. The author writes about the conditions of housing they lived in and the conditions around them. Their
new homes. How you can hear every sound from your neighbor. How dusty the floors are in the rooms. He says the war is what caused this and now they must conform to the routines and lifestyle. (Friedler)
A Japanese child in the Terezen concentration camp wrote a poem called At Terezen. It talks about the filth and dirt they had to live and sleep in. Also, it talked about the bugs that would bite them and they didn't even know what they were. It described the Terezen life as horrible and sadly they didn't even know when they'd be able to go home. (Friedler)
A Japanese child in a American Japanese interment camp wrote a poem called My plea. The poem was pleading to God that she can one day set her people free. She also pleaded that one day the world will be equal. Every race will be looked at the same and prejudice will be abolished. (Friedler)
The main themes in the poems from the Japanese in the internment camps is the ridicule they faced and the poor conditions they were forced to live in. The point of view of the poems ranges from young Japanese children to Japanese elderly showing that people of all ages were forced to live in these...