Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Roger Daniels Interview
Narrator: Roger Daniels
Interviewers: Frank Abe (primary); Frank Chin (secondary)
Location: Heart Mountain, Wyoming
Date: May 20, 1995
Densho ID: denshovh-droger-01-0002

RD: But the organized resistance at Heart Mountain has to be differentiated from the resistance that took place in 1942. The war was not over, but clearly the United States was over the hump, large numbers of Japanese Americans had already been released from camp to work, to go to college, and to do something, and to do other kinds of things. Some had joined MIS, there were volunteers for the army starting in 1943, but when the draft was instituted -- and this was after the so-called "loyalty tests," -- there were some people initially in Heart Mountain, later at Poston and a few other camps, there was a, there were a minority of people who said they did not think it was appropriate to apply Selective Service procedures to persons who were behind barbed wire and deprived of large amounts of their normal constitutional rights to life, liberty, etcetera. These have been confused by some people with persons who had said "no-no" on the so-called "loyalty questionnaires," questions 27 and 28, but these were people who had said, "yes-yes" because people who said -- at least males of draft age who said "no-no" were not subject to the draft, so these were people who had already attested their loyalty to the United States, had already said that they were not in a state of allegiance to the Emperor of Japan. But they did protest, and they said, "We shall not go, we will not go," and some of them actually refused to get on the buses to take them for their draft physicals. Even the Selective Service system understood that it wasn't right to give people draft physicals inside of concentration camps, although this meant that the Japanese American draft resisters as opposed to other kinds of draft resisters had to decide to resist the draft before they knew whether they were going to pass their physicals or not, whereas most people could take a physical, then go back home and wait to see the result and then get a call for induction. There were, of course, other American protesters, Jehovah's Witnesses for instance, some of whom even refused to register for the draft.