Friday, November 13, 2009

World War II

Japanese bombing Dutch Harbor.

The tradition of making saxs was lost after World War II. In June of 1942 the Unangax chief of Attu Island told the cost card that Japanese would be coming to their islands. No one listened to him. The Japanese took and killed many Unangax people, including the chief of Attu, who died a few years later in a Japanese camp. On other Aleutian Islands, the people were taken away by the U.S. Government, only allowed to take one bag and were brought onto a ship. They were taken to an isolated internment camp in southeast Alaska. The buildings were all old and run down. There were no walls in the building. There was no good water or food, and their human waste was along the beach, where the children would play. Many Aleuts died at this camp, many got very sick, and a few different diseases were going around. They had no medical care. They had no idea how long they would be at this terrible camp. They were treated very badly by the government, and they didn't even do anything to deserve it. Just a few miles away from the Aleut camp, was a camp for Nazi prisoners. Their living conditions were much better, no one was sick, they had healthy food and water. After two years of being at the camp, most Aleuts were finally able to return home. Others were not allowed to go home because the U.S. government forbid them form going back to their islands. This horrible experience that the Aleuts had to go through, is a huge part of why some of their traditional ways are lost.

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