Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview
Narrators: Fred Korematsu, Kathryn Korematsu
Interviewers: Lorraine Bannai (primary); Tetsuden Kashima (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 14, 1996
Densho ID: denshovh-kfred_g-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

LB: How did you reach your decision to violate the internment order?

FK: Well, I actually didn't make a decision; it was more or less forced on me by me being arrested and so forth. I felt that, that, you know, that, "Hey, this is wrong," and that I was an American, and they were doing this to me. And I went along with the rest until, if there was any possibilities of... if there were an opportunity for me. I knew I was going to go to court. I didn't know how I was gonna attack it, because I didn't have any of these legal experience behind me. But I was, I was determined that my rights were violated, and making me an "enemy alien" was wrong. And so, back of my mind, I didn't have -- at that time -- I didn't have any of my friends or my relatives or my family alongside of me to make this decision. So therefore it was quite difficult for me at that time. So it was a slow decision until I met Mr. Besig, and that changed everything.

LB: After the military orders were posted requiring the family to report for the assembly center...

FK: Yes.

LB: ...did you actually decide at some point that you weren't going to go?

FK: Yes.

LB: How did you reach that decision?

FK: Because, mainly because I had a Caucasian girlfriend, and we were going steady for almost three years. And I assumed that she wouldn't be able, they wouldn't accept her in relocation center with the other Asians and myself. Therefore, I decided maybe the best thing to do is to try to leave the state, get into Nevada if possible before the evacuation occurs. So that was my intent, and it never happened.

LB: Did you discuss your decision to stay and violate the orders with anybody?

FK: No, I didn't. No, I didn't discuss it at that time, that I was gonna do that.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1996 Densho. All Rights Reserved.