Living conditions

The "assembly centers" were hastily erected quarters located throughout the West Coast at fairgrounds, racetracks and other similar facilities. Conditions at these locations were appalling. People were housed in animal stalls and barracks with communal bathrooms and mess halls. Privacy was next to nonexistent. Most families lived in a 20-by-20-foot room separated from the next "apartment" by wood partitions that did not reach the ceiling. Shortages of food and deplorable sanitation were common. Overcrowding, uncertainty, and stress created tension in the "assembly centers," even as the demoralized camp inmates tried to improve living conditions.

World War II (215)
Temporary Assembly Centers (175)
Living conditions (364)


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364 items
Kanji Sahara Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-448-8)
vh Kanji Sahara Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-448-8)
Living in Santa Anita near families from the same prewar area
Bob Suzuki Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-452-3)
vh Bob Suzuki Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-452-3)
Childhood memories of the Portland Assembly center and Minidoka concentration camp
Ben Takeshita Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-467-5)
vh Ben Takeshita Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-467-5)
Memories of the day of mass removal and first impressions of the Tanforan Assembly Center
Tom Matsuoka Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-47-25)
vh Tom Matsuoka Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-47-25)
Joining family at the Pinedale Assembly Center, California: "So doggone hot..."