Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I did an interview in Berkeley with Norm Hirose who had a unique journey during World War II. From Berkeley, Norm’s family was removed and incarcerated at Topaz. When his parents decided to be repatriated to Japan, Norm renounced his US citizenship so that he would remain with his family. While waiting to be transferred to Tule Lake with his family, Norm was drafted in the US Army, and because he didn’t want to go to prison, decided to fill out the necessary paperwork. Then his father became ill, canceling the family’s transfer to Tule Lake. The government then decided to separate Norm from his family and transferred Norm, who had renounced his U.S. citizenship to the Santa Fe Department of Justice internment camp. After being released from Santa Fe after the war, Norm was inducted into US military service, where he served in Japan. In summary, Norm answered No-No in the loyalty questionnaire, renounced his citizenship, served time in an internment camp as an enemy alien, and then served in the US Army in Japan making this one of the more unusual journeys that I’ve heard.