- Contributed by
- People in story:
- The Italian Community
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- Contributed on:
- 24 October 2004
Many aspects of World War 2 are ever present with us through the media eg films, documentation etc.
However one aspect and one people have never been included in any films or books for that matter, and these people lived here in Britain. These people were the greatest immigrant asset that the british people have ever known (at least in recent times). These people were not integrated into the community by some government office. These were the people who were at the receiving end of racist torture. For them there were no government handouts nor did they take jobs "ear marked" for the indigineous population. Infact they created job opportunities. How were these people repayed for this service?
During World War 2 they were "round up" in the middle of the night, sent away from theirfamilies who(in many cases spoke little English), their businesses destroyed,
and in the case of the Arandora Star ship sent to Canada with a skeleton crew and no red cross. On the way the ship was bombed and hundreds lost their lives.
At home the police turned a blind eye as the "mob" looted and detroyed their homes and shops.
These people were the Italians!
They had left their sun kissed landed, their spacious homes to make their fortunes.
Unlike the Irish these people, they did not ask for any special provisions eg. Catholic State schools. They would have made their own way in Education.
They were NO threat to anyone.
Nowadays the British people are trully impressed with Tuscany, where many of these people came from. Then it was a case of "Dirty Tally". The German soldiers prisoners of War were treated much better.
After the war not one of these maltreated individuals ever complained to the British Government nor asked anyone for compensation for waht happened.
Moreover, the vast majority did not support Mussolini and their relatives in Italy.......... Partisans hid escaped allied soldiers from the Nazis. My own grandparents did this. Many people were shot, (in my village of origin,) in Northern Tuscany by Nazi soldiers.
What are they doing now? Well, if we look at the Italian surnames in the Arts, Business and Commerce in Scotland we will found that they outweigh all others in proportion to the numbers in the community.
To name just a few.... Tom Conti, Daniella Nardini, Archbishop Conti, Sergio Casci etc etc
There is one Catholic Private School in the West of Scotland. The Catholic population here is approx. 50% of the total population. Italians are less than 5%. Yet in the school 30% of the pupils are from Italian descent.
In short, the successes of the Italian Community in Scotland far outweigh any other group per capita.
All of what I have said and more now exists on the net. Try searching ship Arandora Star eg.
Go on give us a "new" War film or documentary.
Later, if the BBC does not take up this challenge I will pass this information onto the RAI.
Thanks for reading.
PS Should you weish me to recount an actual story then I could do on request.
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