Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Chizuko Norton Interview
Narrator: Chizuko Norton
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 27, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-nchizuko-01-0029

CN: Yes, with all the demonstrations as well as -- well, not just the demonstrations. Well, I think a couple people were murdered and people were being hit over the head, the demonstrators against those who weren't demonstrating. And so we were, Mr. Best slapped a curfew on us, and so all the more, the chaos and fighting broke out. And we were informed that the newsreel people were at Tule Lake filming all this and that we did -- we were on, on the newsreel. You know, years ago when you go to a movie, they would run ads on what the new films would be, and then you would always have a newsreel of all the up-to-date news. And I guess we were on and I'm sure we were. We, I remember getting a letter from a friend who had left the camp saying, "What's the matter with you people?" And, "Are you people safe?" Because it made it sound as if all of us were in this turmoil. Well, we were, but not physically.

AI: So in those days, being on the newsreel was a very major exposure nationwide.

CN: Yes, it was and certainly nothing to be proud of. And it was during this time, during when we were, the curfew was instituted that it was New Year's Eve, that we were told because it was New Year's Eve, we would be able to stay out until midnight. My two friends and I thought it would be lots of fun to jump around in the snow that was... and there was lots of snow in Tule Lake, and there was just huge amounts of it along the barb-wire fence. And so, forgetting that we shouldn't get so close, we were jumping and stomping around when the MPs came and picked us up. And really we had to go before -- I was going to say the magistrate -- whoever the soldier was. He sat at a table at one side and the three of us were being interrogated as we sat on the other side. And we kept saying, "But Mr. Best said it was all right, that we would get to stay out until midnight." Well, he did not believe us. And there were two guards or soldiers with bayonets on either side of him, and we were quite intimidated. Anyway, we were released, (after) they found out that we were indeed telling the truth. And what really got us mad was not that we were picked up, but he didn't even have the courtesy to apologize.

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