Donald Trump has defended his proposal that Muslims should be denied entry into the United States by comparing his plan to the US government's detainment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. Trump, who appears to revel in controversy, said that banning all Muslims "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on" is warranted after the attacks by Islamist extremists in Paris and the shooting in San Bernardino, California"We are now at war," said Trump, defending his plan by comparing it with President Franklin D Roosevelt's decision to intern more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

One of the places where Japanese-American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated from 1942 to 1945 during World War II was the Manzanar War Relocation Centre near Independence, California. Today the former internment camp, which has been partially restored, is a national historic site, housing a museum.

Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
A sign is posted at the entrance to the Manzanar War Relocation CentreJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
vintage photograph is displayed at the Manzanar War Relocation CentreJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
A scale model of the Manzanar War Relocation CentreJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
A replica guard tower stands at Manzanar National Historic SiteJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
A replica of internment camp barracksJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
A monument honouring the dead stands in the cemeteryJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
The interior of a restored barracks where detainees would have livedRobyn Beck/AFP
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Pictures of people who were incarcerated at the Manzanar War Relocation Centre are displayed alongside family tagsJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Signs mark the former locations of barracksJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
A grave site is marked with stones in the cemeteryJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
A visitor looks at the names of the more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry who were incarcerated at camps like ManzanarRobyn Beck/AFP
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Graffiti left by a former Manzanar interneeRobyn Beck/AFP

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US government decided it had to sort out what it called the "Japanese Problem" on the west coast. In February 1942, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorising the designation of military zones within the US from which "any or all persons may be excluded". Although the order wasn't aimed at any specific group, it became the basis for the mass relocation and internment of around 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry. In March of that year, all persons of Japanese ancestry were ordered to report to civilian assembly centres. They were then moved into remote internment camps, or relocation centres, like the one at Manazanar.

Renowned American landscape photographer Ansel Adams visited the Manzanar War Relocation Centre in 1943 to document the harsh condition faced by American families, who were incarcerated there simply because they were of Japanese extraction. His photographs were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and were published in the book Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans. The book caused a great deal of controversy as it came out in 1944, when the US was still at war with Japan.

Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Rows of camp housing, covered with tarpaper, snow-covered mountains in the distanceAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Mr and Mrs Dennis ShimizuAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Mr and Mrs Henry J Tsurutani and baby BruceAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Tōyō Miyatake and his wife, seated in their living room looking at their daughter seated between them, with three boys seated on couchAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi and patient Toyoko IokiAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi and patient Tom KanoAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi shows baby Fukomoto to mother Frances Yokoyama in the maternity wardAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Babies in the orphanageAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
People standing outside Catholic churchAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Girl and volley ball, 1943Ansel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Mr Matsumoto sits with a group of young children on the steps of a buildingAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
People leaving Buddhist temple in winterAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Sumiko Shigematsu, foreman, supervises sewing machine girlsAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Man stands on top of bus loading luggage while a group of people gather to say farewell, guardhouse in the backgroundAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Editor Roy Takeno reading a copy of the Manzanar Free Press in front of the newspaper officeAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Books on Roy Takeno's deskAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Pictures and mementoes in the Yonemitsu family homeAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Baton practice, Florence KuwataAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
CT Hibino, artist, holding paintbrush and palette in front of large paintingAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
The Nakai family from left to right: Mitsu, Margaret with a baby on her lap, Jane and RoyAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Kiyo Yoshida, Lillian Wakatsuki and Yoshiko Yamasaki seated in a classroom during biology class at the high schoolAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Mrs Yaeko Nakamura looks at puzzles with her daughters, Louise and Joyce, with assistance from clerk, Fred MoriguchiAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Mrs Ryie Yoshizawa, instructor, standing in front of class of dressmaking studentsAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Farm workers harvesting crops in field, mountains in the backgroundAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Richard Kobayashi, farmer with cabbagesAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress
Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp
Wooden sign at entrance to the Manzanar War Relocation Centre with a car at the gatehouse in the backgroundAnsel Adams/US Library of Congress

The exclusion order was rescinded in January 1944, and Japanese-Americans began to leave the camps and return home. Manazanar closed on 21 November 1945, and the last Japanese internment camp in the US finally closed in 1946.

During the 1970s, Japanese-Americans launched a campaign to call for compensation. This campaign resulted in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which granted people who were interned $20,000 each, making a total of $1.2 billion (£793m) for surviving former detainees.