Santa Fe

Santa Fe

Topographical Map, 1952. Santa Fe, New Mexico. United States Geological Survey. Courtesy of the New Mexico State Library.

Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

Objects

 

Santa Fe Internment Camp (U.S. government official name) was located 2.5 miles west of the Santa Fe city center in northern New Mexico. This 80-acre site was acquired by the Department of Justice from the New Mexico State Penitentiary. The concentration camp went through three phases. Santa Fe was acquired in February 1942 and consisted initially of a CCC camp built to house 450 men. By March 1942, it was expanded to hold 1,400 men in wood and tan paper barracks. The camp first held 826 Japanese immigrants, who were distributed to the concentration camps administered by the War Relocation Authority by September 1942. The site was then used to hold German and Italian immigrants until February 1943. Santa Fe was again expanded and used to hold Japanese American men, including as many as 366 pro-Japan leaders from Tule Lake Segregation Center who had renounced their US citizenship. In March 1945, the former Tule Lake residents protested the confiscation of sweatshirts with the rising sun motif. The leaders of the protest were sent to the high security facility at Fort Stanton, New Mexico. A conflict erupted, and over 350 internees were isolated by the guards. Santa Fe was later used as a holding and processing facility for other camps. It was further expanded and held as many as 2,100 men by June 1945. The site closed in May 1946 and the property was sold off as surplus.