Why Anti-Italian Sentiment Feverishly Spread as America Entered WWII

Buried in the pages of U.S. history, we explore the nation's treatment of citizens and immigrants in wartime.

By: Erin Blakemore, History Channel

Why America Targeted Italian-Americans During World War II

Over 600,000 “enemy aliens” were singled out during the early days of the war.

Louis Berizzi was in his pajamas when FBI agentsburstinto his Manhattan apartment and arrested him. As his daughter, Lucetta, and the rest of the family watched, wiping the sleep from their eyes, he hurried into clothing and was taken away.

Soon after, FBI agents questioned Lucetta, too. Why did she speak such good Italian? Had her father engaged in suspicious activities? Was she a traitor? She was released without being charged, but soon after suffered the consequences of the anti-Italian sentiment that had spread like wildfire since the United States entered World War II.

Continue reading the full story at History.com.


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