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Traveling Exhibit Tells Little-Known Story of German-American Civilian Internment in the United States during World War II on Sept. 6, 2006 at the University of Minnesota, Crookston
August 28, 2006

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu); Jim Carlson, UMC library services, 218-281-8404 (jamcarls@umn.edu)


CROOKSTON, MN (August 28, 2006) – A traveling exhibit, portraying the little-known story of some 15,000 German-American civilians interned by the U.S. government in camps around the country during World War II, will be at the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) campus on Wed., Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the UMC Student Center. The multimedia presentation housed aboard a mobile museum called TRACES’ BUS-eum will be accompanied by a facilitated community conversation at noon in the Prairie Room located in the Student Center.
 
Using ten narrative panels, an NBC “Dateline” documentary and a 1945 U.S. government color film, the exhibit details this significant historical event – possibly one of the our country’s least-known WWII sub-chapters, according to museum coordinators. This exhibit is especially relevant as Minnesota and North Dakota had internment detention centers, and the tour provides the opportunity to examine and discuss the legacy of the WWII “enemy alien” internment program.
 
The exhibit’s goals include presenting this history to a wide audience and stimulating penetrating questions on the part of visitors to the exhibit including:
 
> whether ethnic background or ideology are justifiable grounds for gathering people and placing in camps or imprisoning suspects based on who they are or what they believe, as opposed to their actions.
 
> does a given society “owe” due process only to its citizens or also to legal non-citizen residents?
 
There will an opportunity to engage in a community conversation about these issues, and others raised by the exhibit, during the noon hour discussion. To learn more about this exhibit, see www.TRACES.org. The exhibit’s texts and photos of the exhibit can be previewed at that web site; reading the narrative in advance will make the experience richer.
 
This event is part of Constitution Day activities at UMC and sponsored by the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) Concerts and Lecturesand the UMC Library.
 
The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) delivers more than 24 different undergraduate degree programs in agriculture; arts, humanities, and social sciences; business; math, science, and technology; and natural resources. UMC is dedicated to helping students and the region aim higher, reach further, and dream big dreams. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.