Fort Lincoln (Bismarck) (detention facility)


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US Gov Name Fort Lincoln Internment Camp
Facility Type Department of Justice Internment Camp
Administrative Agency U.S. Department of Justice
Location Bismarck, North Dakota (46.8000 lat, -100.7833 lng)
Date Opened December 7, 1941
Date Closed March 6, 1946
Population Description Held Japanese and German nationals; German and Italian seamen; and Japanese American "renunciants," those who had given up their U.S. citizenship.
General Description Located in Morton County, 5 miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota, on a U.S. Army base.
Peak Population 1,518 (1942-02-01)
National Park Service Info
  • Originally a U.S. Army post, this camp held German and Italian seamen captured in U.S. waters when the war started in Europe in 1939. It was turned over to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 7, 1941.
  • On February 14, 1945, 650 "renunciants" were sent from the War Relocation Authority (WRA) Tule Lake segregation center and from the internment camps at Santa Fe, New Mexico. Another one hundred arrived in July. Over half of them were deported to Japan later that year.
  • John Christgau's "Enemies": World War II Alien Internment (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1985; Lincoln, Nebraska: Authors Choice Press, 2001) tells the story of several internees held at Ft. Lincoln, including Kibei renunciant Hiro Tanaka.
  • John Tateishi's oral history compilation And Justice For All: An Oral History of the Japanese American Detention Camps (New York: Random House, 1984; Foreword Roger Daniels, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999) includes a brief account by Ft. Lincoln inmate Iwato Itow.