Scope and Content of Collection
Language of Material:
SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: Willard E. Schmidt Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2007.09.01
(1 linear foot)
Date (inclusive): 1942-1945 (bulk 1944)
Abstract: The Willard Schmidt collection documents some of the administrative duties of Willard Schmidt, the Chief of Internal Security
for the War Relocation Authority and the Tule Lake Internment/ Segregation Camp. This collection contains administrative records
and photos pertaining to the Tule Lake Internment/ Segregation center.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions
also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational
Willard E. Schmidt Papers, MSS-2007-09-01, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.
Collection processed and encoded by Russell Rader in 2007.
Willard Schmidt was the National Chief of Internal Security for the War Relocation Authority. In February of 1944 he was assigned
to the Tule Lake Internment Center to act as its Chief of Internal Security and to assist in its transformation from an internment
center into a segregation camp. Following executive 9066, the War Relocation Authority constructed 11 internment centers between
1942 and 1946 in order to segregate and house approximately 110,000 Japanese-American men, women and children. In 1943 the
War Relocation Authority and Selective Service produced a two question "loyalty questionnaire" for Japanese internees to fill
out. The questionnaire identified who might be considered appropriate for the armed services or repatriation outside the centers,
and who might be considered a possible threat to national security. The questions proved confusing and those who answered
"no" to both were removed from their respective internment centers and sent to the Tule Lake high-security segregation camp.
Internal security for the internment centers was maintained by a special police force composed largely of able-bodied evacuee
residents and headed by a non-evacuee chief as well as a few non-evacuee assistants. Larger issues of misdemeanors and other
similar offenses were ordinarily handled by the Project Director or by a judicial commission made up of evacuee residents.
Tule Lake segregation center housed over 18,000 internees between 1942 and 1946. In addition to a heavily fortified perimeter
Tule Lake was further isolated by the inclusion of a full battalion of soldiers accompanied by tanks. Tule Lake experienced
a turbulent history including strikes, protests and an declaration of martial law which lasted from November 14th, 1943 until
October 15, 1943. During martial law, over 350 dissidents were sent to the stockade and 1,200 internees were sent to Department
of Justice internment camps.
John M. Flaherty Collection of Japanese Internment Records, MSS-2006-05-02, San José State University Library, Special Collections
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection documents many aspects of Willard Schmidt's duties as the Chief of Internal Security for the Tule Lake Internment/
Segregation Camp from 1943-1945. It contains "release from stockade" requests, Advisory and Co-coordinating committee meeting
minutes, various memoranda and reports, photos of internees and officers, as well as copies of interment camp newspapers.
This collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Administrative Papers 1942-1945; Series II. Center Newspapers 1942-1944.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- Tulelake (Calif.)
Tule Lake Relocation Center
United States -- War Relocation Authority