"THE WARTIME VIOLATION OF ITALIAN AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES ACT"
(Historical Documented Fact)
"Una Storia Segreta"
The "Secret Story" of Wartime Restrictions on Italians in the U.S. by the
National Italian American News Bureau, Washington, D.C.
The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is an
historically documented fact, but few people are aware that thousands of
Italians living in the United States at the time suffered similar violations
of their civil rights. For example:
* Shortly after the United States declared war on Italy in 1941, the
federal government classified 600,000 Italians living in the United States
as "internal enemies" and forced thousands of them who were living on the
east and west coasts to relocate to "safe" inland zones.
* From February through June 1942, the United States imposed
restrictions on 100,000 Italians living in California. They could travel no
more than five miles from their homes, had to adhere to curfews, and were
forbidden to own guns, cameras, and short-wave radios.
* Recent scholarship indicates that these restrictions also were
imposed on 500,000 Italians living on the east coast, who were required to
register and carry identification cards as well as to report all job
* Italians, also were prevented from visiting their sons in the US
military who were assigned to military installations. (During World War II,
more than 500,000 Americans of Italian descent served in the U.S. armed
forces, constituting one of the largest segments of the US army that
numbered about 12 million.)
* The restrictions caused many to lose their jobs and limited the
freedom of movement of thousands of others, including Giuspppe Di Maggio who
could not visit the San Francisco restaurant owned by his son, Joe DiMaggio.
* During the same period, the mayors of two of America's largest
cities were Italian American: Angelo Rossi of San Francisco and Fiorello La
Guardia of New York. Both were sons of Italian immigrants.
Una Storia Segreta Exhibit in Washington, D.C.-House Rayburn Building.
Source of Article: Senior News, Brielle, New Jersey
Vol. 11 Issue 6 October 1997
* * * * *
Links to confirm Documentation of abovementioned historical events.
The Wartime violation of Italian American Civil Liberties
U.S. Department of Justice-Civil Rights Division
The Wartime Violation of Italian American Civil Liberties Act hearing before
the Subcommittee on the constitution of the committee on the Judiciary House
Transcribed by Miriam Medina
RETURN to ETHNIC Main
RETURN to BROOKLYN Main