This project presents the hidden history of Italian-Americans during the Second World War. The inspiration for this website came from the fact that this history is unacknowledged in public school curriculums and by the general public. This is due to the most defining moments of Italian-America’s collective experience being kept classified by the US Government from 1941 to 2001. After the release of the landmark Report to Congress by the United States Department of Justice in November of 2001, a curriculum teaching the full history of the Internment of Americans of Japanese, German and Italian ancestry was created by a team of scholars and advisors from all three cultures.
Working together, they assembled the full history of the World War 2 Interments into a 17 lesson curriculum that meets the state educational standards for history & social studies in California. This curriculum has been available for almost 2 decades, but it has not been adopted by public schools in the United States. So we now offer this history to all students and parents, so they can learn how to research the finer points of American history.
Our research fills in the gaps of knowledge with additional fact-checked data pulled from primary/original source documents, national & state archives, presidential libraries and internee coalitions. Much of this information was unavailable when the original report was compiled. The result is an expose that can provide additional perspective to the internments of the Second World War.
America’s public school students need to know how to search for facts. Fact-checking is a skill every person should develop and use when researching any issue, whether scientific, historical or politics. Nothing replaces an evidence-based education.
Public education is no place for political spin, half-truths and shoddy research. Disinformation is the poison that breaks society apart, and it must be challenged with evidence-based information at all times. This is why we support the concept of free-speech and open debate with civility.
We developed our four-part report, the Wartime Internment Project, to serve two purposes:
- It is designed to educate anyone in the details of this particular event in Italian-American history.
- It is an example of how various primary sources and technologies can be searched to assemble a detailed narrative that tells an accurate story.
This report is designed to be read sequentially. Supporting documentation and references are included. All documentation is from primary/original sources, and from fact-checked secondary documentation where necessary.
The Wartime Interment Project
For an introduction to the topic, please watch this documentary from the History Channel:
The History Channel’s Arthur Kent presents the documentary “Italian American Internment: The Detainment of Italian Americans During World War II” with detailed commentary by Gloria Ricci Lothrop, a historian at Cal State Northridge, and Researcher/Curator Rose Scherini of Una Storia Segreta. This documentary includes interviews with many surviving internees, as well as extensive documentation of how the US Government used Executive Order 9066 to strip the civil rights away from over 600,000 Americans of Italian