Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County


Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Oct. 6, 1945. p. 5

SOLDIERS PROTEST ACTION AGAINST JAPANESE

To the Editor:

On behalf of many of the enlisted men stationed at Camp McQuaide, I am directing this letter to you to protest the action taken by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce against the Japanese, former residents of this locality who upon their release from the relocation centers are endeavoring to return to their homes.

We find it manifestly impossible to sit passively back and accept without vigorous protest the action taken by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce in voting by a four to one ratio to exclude or to attempt to exclude the Japanese from this community and to refuse them employment if they dare to return. We cannot believe that the action taken by the chamber of commerce reflects the desires of the majority of the residents of the Pajaro valley. We cannot believe that it is the intent of the majority of the citizens of this community to exclude the returning Japanese, thereby openly violating the federal authority that says that the Japanese shall be permitted to return to their former homes. If we believed that such were the case we would have to ask ourselves whether or not the very principles for which we fought two wars in one generation were still in operation.

We are not unaware of the reasons why many are eager and determined to prevent, if possible, the Japanese from returning. That is to say that we know that former Japanese properties have been turned to good profit during the absence of their owners. Nor are we so isolated at Camp McQuaide that we have not been minutely informed as to the patently unscrupulous measures that have been employed by certain of the citizenry to make a returned Japanese glad to quit the community after he courageously faced the open hostility that he well knew awaited him at his return.

Certainly there can be no one so poorly informed that he is not acquainted with the heroic war record of the Nisei, the sons of those very Japanese who are welcomed back with physical violence against their persons or the destruction of their property. Many Japanese have sons buried somewhere in Europe or if not dead, suffering from injuries incurred in line of duty in the army of the United States. Battle casualties among the Nisei combat units were among the highest in the war.

We unanimously condemn those individuals or groups of individuals who for whatever motive seek to prevent the return of the Japanese to their homes, and who openly discriminate against them through boycott or less peaceful measures. We hold that the acts of violence that have been committed against various of the returning Japanese to be inimical to the very principles on which this country was established. We do not find it possible to remain silent in the presence of such flagrant injustice.

We unanimously condemn those business establishments that brazenly flaunt their bigotry and bias by placing signs in their windows which say "ALL JAPS BACK TO JAPAN."

We have determined to make our views known in regard to the returning Japanese. We hope that you will find it within your editorial policy to publish this letter so that the residents of Pajaro valley may know how we feel about the Japanese.

The men whose names appear below have read and approve the contents of this letter.

Sgt. Sydney J. Ruffner, Sgt. Thomas A. Hewiston, Cpl. Dalton F. Crates, Sgt. Carroll R. Siverson, Cpl. Edward M. Carter, PFC Bernard B. Blier, Cpl. George I. Sperry, PFC Peter E. Kaus, Cpl. Elias M. Habif, Cpl. John Grzeskowski, M/Sgt. John F. Endicott, Sgt. George H. Roe, Sgt. Sydney J. Edwards, Sgt. Kurt Schroers, Cpl. Bob Morris, Sgt. Harold Scharnhorst, S/Sgt. Otto A. Stengel, Sgt. Thurman Kivette, Cpl. Richard Brammer, Cpl. R. J. Healy, Cpl. E. R. Fox, Cpl. George E. W. McLear, Sgt. Max A. Abramowitz, Sgt. Floyd W. Wyatt, Cpl. James E. Deal, Pvt. Roy J. McDaniel, T/4 Paul Wasserman.

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.