Internment sounds like a boring unpaid summer job. But actually, it’s a euphemism for being held prisoner by your own government — usually with a lot of other people who look like you or share your religious or political beliefs — even though you haven’t committed a crime.

No trial, no lawyer. Just a military officer with a gun in your face. Internment.

This is a real thing governments do. They decide that some of their citizens are dirty or greedy or have scary ideas or might share sensitive information with some other government, and then they find and imprison those people. But they don’t call the prisons “prisons.” They call them “camps.”


When people do horrible things to each other, they often use dull, vague, or misleading words to try to hide what they’ve done. Don’t let them succeed.