Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Sue Kunitomi Embrey
Narrator: Sue Kunitomi Embrey
Interviewer: John Allen
Date: November 6, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-esue-02-0015

SE: Well, in the beginning there were no barbed-wire fences. There were sentries that were walking around the boundary line. But after the camp was built, thirty-six blocks of barracks, they put a five-strand barbed-wire fence all around the residential area of the camp. There were eight guard towers, one in each corner and... that's four, and then four in the middle, which is about halfway. Each of them were occupied by an American soldier and a searchlight at night, and a rifle, or machine gun, I guess, with live ammunition. They guarded the camp by day and by night, and at night they would turn the searchlights on and whenever anybody opened the door of their barrack to go somewhere, go out, the searchlights would follow. I remember going out one day, one night, and the searchlights followed me all the way to the latrine. When I came out from the latrine it followed me all the way back to my room. And I think everyone remembers those searchlights in every camp. Now, I had heard that some of the camps, they had both the barbed-wire fence and the searchlights and the guard houses, the guard towers removed after about a year, but I don't... Manzanar was not because we were in a restrictive zone. And so the security was quite tight.

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