“We Had to Walk from the Train to the Camp”


"We had to walk from the train to the camp. My shoes got dusty. The white dust came up and settled on my shoes. I looked down at them and began to cry. Never before had my shoes been dusty. It was the first time I cried."


Burt reports this to be a verse by a nisei boy upon being sent to one of the American detention camps for the Japanese. It's not very good, and it surely was not perpetuated -- but, in context, it surely qualifies as a Folk piece! - RBW

Historical references

  • Jan 14, 1942 - President Roosevelt issues his Alien Registration proclamation, calling for the registration of foreigners. From there, it was only a short step to the detention of aliens. Roosevelt authorized sending Japanese immigrants to concentration camps on February 20


  1. Burt, p. 155, (no title) (1 short text)
  2. BI, Burt155


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Burt)
Keywords: clothes exile war
Found in: US