Dear Miss Breed: Letters from Camp

Clara Breed
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Gift of Ms. Elizabeth Y. Yamada, Japanese American National Museum (93.75.21D)

Mar. 31, 1943
Dear Clara Breed,
I have wanted so long to write you and tell you how much I appreciate your articles in professional journals about the Japanese. I too am very close to them and know so many of them well, even from infancy. There is so little understanding of them among the public at large, so much antagonism. And even among library people there are so many who hold the same attitude as the public. It is most distressing!!! Letters I receive from some of them would break your heart with their attempt to take it all on the chin, though one can read between the lines how very hard it is. Only the very few who have known them well seem to think of them as normal Americans. Others talk as if they were some strange breed of animal, with language difficulties and everything else. Do you know that in Tanforan, where the Bay people are, the soil is so poor that nothing will grow? And those people are such nature lovers that they have resorted to paper flowers, even for funerals? My Nobuo whom I have known ever since he was born, 25 years ago, wrote me that these are unbelievably beautiful, but he felt keenly the irony of placing those people in such a place. He says that they have real flowers on the casket, but paper ones for the rest. People say they are pampered!!! Nobuo has volunteered. He says that if he is called, he will go to the gate and pass out and in, out and in, out and in, like Zola's Dreyfus, when he was released from prison.
Well, I had better not get started on this. I know too much about it. With all my love for these people, I have a cousin in Manila, a prisoner, as far as we know. The last we heard was through a man who came on the Gripsholm and knew her. When he left, June 1942, she was well.
I read everything you write with so much pleasure.
Nanette Morgan

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