Study Up for ‘Think’: Uncovering A Dark Past | KERA News

Study Up for ‘Think’: Uncovering A Dark Past

Jan 29, 2015

Crystal City was once home to the only internment camp in Texas. Known as the "quiet passage," immigrants from Germany, Italy and Japan would settle in the small town during WWII.  

At 1 p.m., Think host Krys Boyd will talk with Jan Jarboe Russell, whose new book is The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II.

In an interview with NPR, Russell talks about the impact Crystal City 's internment camp had on thousands of Japanese American immigrants who were detained during WWII.  Many of them were sent to their country of origin in exchange for American prisoners who were detained behind enemy lines.

Russell talks about President Roosevelt's decision to set up a division within the department of state called the "Special War Problems Division," aware that Americans would be trapped behind enemy lines during the war.

Russell outs the division as a secret trade exchange, a negotiation made with innocent lives caught in the middle. The trade for well-known or educated prisoners of war: those imprisoned at the internment camps. 

Listen to Think Monday through Thursday at noon and 9 p.m. on KERA 90.1  or stream the show live.