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Where there Fascists in Alberta or not?  Was their arrest and internment legitimate?  Based on memories of the elderly people who lived the experience, the majority of Fascist party members probably only saw it as an Italian society that connected them with their homeland.  A few, the honorary consuls Rebaudengo, Colbertaldo  and Victor Losa, as well as Father Fabris probably were committed to the Italian government and its agenda.  This could be said for many, including businessmen in the US and Canada who saw Mussolini making Italy into a modern nation.  It was the declaration of war that changed all of that.  Rudolph Michetti, when interviewed by Richard Watts in 1984, suggested that there were some sinister motives.  Watts notes that Mr. Michetti had not been embittered by the experience and quotes him as follows:

"They were fascists; they wanted Mussolini to come and run the country. . . there was one guy, he got me into fascism when I was only 17 and then smartened up, but I told him he should give it up or he would never get out of the camp."

He looked at me and said, "Look 'Dolpho, the time is coming and when it does I'm not going to let anyone else have the privilege; I'm going to put you up against a wall and shoot you."

Michetti starts laughing.  "They said first they were going to kill everything English from a mouse up, but then they said an English mouse was too big to be left alive and they would start killing from English worms and go up." 1

Was this black internment camp humour or did it have some reality?  Who knows, in the early stages of the war, the outcome was uncertain.

For further information of Italian community involvement in Fascism in other parts of Canada, please see the Canadian Overview and checkout the entry on Internment.


Related Links

  • Book Excerpt: Antonella Fanella discusses the impact of the rise of Mussolini in Italy on Italians in Calgary.


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