Christmas in Minidoka, 1943

When Japanese Americans were removed from their homes by presidential order in 1942, they were sent to a number of concentration camps for the duration of World War Two.  One was Minidoka, located near the town of Hunt, Idaho.  Taken by the War Relocation Authority, this picture comes with a cheerful caption: “Through kind donations from thoughtful friends all over the United States, a happy and merry Christmas will be possible for the children of Hunt. Thousands of presents have been sent in day after day.”  Let’s hope that at least a few of the friends sending presents were the prisoners’ white neighbors.

In this photo, it looks like the older women of the camp were responsible for much of the present sorting.  Did the two on the right bring aprons with them when they were taken from their homes? A variety of headgear is on display—a snood, a hat, and a Rosie-the Riveter style scarf.  We can see a clear contrast between the younger woman center left and her older colleagues.  She has short hair, while most of the older women have long hair done up in buns. She also wears a bright print, while the older women are in somber colors.

Don’t you wonder what the gifts were?   

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1 Response to Christmas in Minidoka, 1943

  1. Bob Moeller says:

    They look like books or board games to me.

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