Backlash cancels Lambertville, NJ auction of Japanese internment camp items

 A watercolor by an unknown artist of a Japanese-American internment camp. Credit Rago Arts & Auction Center

A watercolor by an unknown artist of a Japanese-American internment camp. Credit Rago Arts & Auction Center

Protests by Japanese-American groups have led an East Coast auction house to cancel a sale of 450 photos and artifacts from World War II internment camps.

The San Jose Mercury News reports Thursday that thousands of Japanese-Americans, groups and sympathizers posted their opposition to the sale on social media and the auction house’s Facebook page.

The Rago Auction House in Lambertville, New Jersey has declined to identify the owner of the collection or say how it came into that person’s possession.

The collection includes 63 photos of people of Japanese descent who were imprisoned over fears they were spies and dozens of arts and crafts they made.

Democratic Rep. Mike Honda of California who was interned in a camp, says the artifacts belong with the families or in museums.

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