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Graduate School of Education News

GSE professor helps WWII Nisei soldiers 'break their silence'

GSEProfessor of Education Linda Tamura has just published a book of great local interest: a chronicle of Nisei soldiers from World War II. "Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River" hit shelves just last month.

Nisei soldiers are Japanese Americans who served in World War II on European front lines. The soldiers, says the book's publisher, "were from Hood River, Oregon, where their families were landowners and fruit growers. Town leaders, including veterans' groups, attempted to prevent their return after the war and stripped their names from the local war memorial.

"All of the soldiers were American citizens, but their parents were Japanese immigrants and had been imprisoned in camps as a consequence of Executive Order 9066. The racist homecoming reception that the Hood River Japanese American soldiers received was decried across the nation."

Tamura grew up in Hood River and put the book together from numerous oral histories, letters and even documents from the veterans' group that led the exclusionary campaign when the soldiers returned from abroad.

Watch the book's trailer