Griffith Park’s little-known history as a prison camp for Japanese, German, Italian immigrants

May 04, 2023 397

At the northern end of Griffith Park, the Travel Town Museum showcases old trains and locomotives. Few people are aware that a much darker history lives on this spot, where Japanese, German and Italian immigrants were unjustly imprisoned during World War II, often on baseless suspicions of being “potentially dangerous enemy aliens.”

Now, that history is being recognized at Travel Town with a plaque telling the stories of the prisoners, including Rafu Shimpo newspaper typesetter Katsuo Nagai and Italian fisherman Ralph Averga.

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