An updated version of the “The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of World War II” exhibit begins its tour at the Angel Island Immigration Museum in San Francisco Bay on October 1, 2022. There will be a panel presentation that day with guest speakers Lawrence Distasi, Italian American Studies Assn./Western Regional Chapter, Dr. Sigrid Toye, German American Internee Coalition and Grace Shimizu, Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project. You may remember the older exhibit, which toured the country years ago, including a summer’s long stay at Manzanar. If you can’t make the opening, the exhibit will be at the Museum until November 30th, 2022.
The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden History of WWII
Exhibit Documenting Treatment of Japanese, German & Italian Immigrants in the U.S. and seized from Latin America by the U.S. Government during World War II
2022 – 2023 Tour
First tour destination: Angel Island Immigration Museum
October 1, 2022 through November 30, 2022
Exhibition Opening Panel Presentation
In collaboration with the 5th Annual Nikkei Pilgrimage (11am-3:30pm)
Saturday October 1, 2022
Lawrence DiStasi, Italian American Studies Assn./Western Regional Chapter
Dr. Sigrid Toye, German American Internee Coalition
Grace Shimizu, Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Angel Island Immigration Museum will host the updated traveling exhibition, The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of WWII, from Oct. 1- Nov. 30, 2022. On Saturday, Oct. 1, presented in conjunction with the NichiBei Foundation’s 5th Annual Nikkei Pilgrimage, the exhibit panel presentation will feature speakers Lawrence DiStasi (author and former president of the Italian American Studies Assn./Western Regional Chapter), Dr. Sigrid Toye (author and board member of the German American Internee Coalition), and Grace Shimizu (director of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project).
The Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of WWII is a comparative and multicultural presentation of the little-known stories of over 31,000 German, Italian, and Japanese immigrants residing in the U.S. and seized from Latin America as “enemy aliens” during WWII. Through stunning photographs, oral history quotes, and narrative text, this exhibit examines the “enemy alien” experience of surveillance, forced removal, indefinite detention, and deportation, impacting families and communities across two continents.
This historic project first debuted in 2001 and explored the implementation of racism and xenophobia to U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Twenty years later, its lessons remain ever relevant today. The Enemy Alien Files reminds us of the fragile nature of our constitutional and human rights in times of international and domestic crisis as well as the human impact of government policies in the name of “national security.” This exhibit prompts audiences to draw lessons from the past to understand and respond to current day challenges to our democracy, liberty, and human dignity for all persons in the U.S.
The Enemy Alien Files exhibition is presented by The Enemy Alien Files Consortium, which includes the National Japanese American Historical Society, the Italian American Studies Association/Western Regional Chapter, the German American Internee Coalition, and the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project. It is supported in part by a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants program administered through the National Park Service.
Please let us know if you will be attending our exhibit’s opening panel event. (Hopefully, there will be space still available for the other Nikkei Pilgrimage activities.)