November 14, 2014

Internment camps in Canada

Righting Canada's Wrongs: Italian Canadian Internment in the Second World War
by Pamela Hickman & Jean Smith Cavalluzzo

After Italy allied with Germany at the beginning of World War II, Canada immediately declared that all Canadians of Italian descent were enemy aliens. Any Italian Canadian suspected of being a security risk was to be interned. Italian Fascists were especially condemned, leading to a witch hunt similar to that which occurred in the United States, when Communists were rounded up. Unlike Japanese Canadians, where entire families were interned, only Italian men were imprisoned. However, since they were often the sole bread winner of their families, their absence led to great poverty among their wives and children.

A well-written and informative text, with many photographs, historical documents, and first-person accounts. An important book.

Righting Canada's Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Internment in the Second World War
by Pamela Hickman & Masako Fukawa

Many books have been written about the internment of Japanese Canadians; those geared to children are often in fiction or picture book format. That's why this book is both important and notable. Important because it doesn't shy away from describing the extreme suffering endured by the Japanese-Canadian families and notable because it reveals many details that are not widely known.

Highly recommended.

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