PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — In the midst of World War II, hundreds of East Multnomah County residents were removed from their homes to Minidoka, in Idaho, one of 10 internment camps where Japanese-Americans were held.
The fear was those residents would be instigators of sabotage or espionage, even though two-thirds were legalized American citizens and half were younger than 18. Their resemblance to the enemy made them targets for suspicion and hate.
Yet despite those unthinkable conditions, filled with hardship and mistrust, let alone the brutal high desert climate that plagued Minidoka, those confined to the camp, or conscripted for labor, persevered.
Those stories, which have long been swept under the rug, were uncovered and shared by Gresham Historian Gwenda McCall. “Minidoka: 80 years of Unspoken Memories” is an hour-long video, produced in support by the Gresham Historical Society and shared to YouTube, that presents more than 225 photos and interviews with survivors of the camp.
The focus is squarely placed upon the people of Japanese ancestry and what they faced. It originated as a public lecture by McCall, given in May 2022 during the 80th anniversary of the incarceration of all people with 1/16th or more Japanese ancestry.
The Portland Tribune and its parent company Pamplin Media Group are KOIN 6 News media partners