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Tuesday, November 28, 2023
  The following article and photos are taken from the Windsor Daily Star issue of June 12th, 1940 when many Italians were taken into custody as enemy aliens. 40 Italians became prisoners of war and were held without evidence. The Italian community was subject to hostility, ostracism, persecution and scorn. Most politicians disassociated themselves from their own constituents. However, 7 months later the mayor of Windsor, Arthur J. Reaume, made a plea for tolerance, especially for the Italians in Windsor who “were having hell on earth”. He reminded people of their earlier contribution to the city: “Years past Windsor was lucky to have those Italians: They dug our sewers and did other hard
These photos are courtesy of
The Windsor Star

Click here for image gallery
  labour. Today they have lost their homes and their jobs and are persecuted by everybody”.
Police Move Quickly to Check Suspected Anti-British Elements
Largest Raiding Squad in City’s History Seizes Men, Firearms, Ammunition and Literature in General Roundup
June 12th, 1940 Windsor Daily Star

By Norman Hull.

A purge of Windsor's Italian population since Canada's declaration of war with the fascist country has resulted in the arrest of two score heads of households, suspected of being pro-Mussolini, and seizure of fire arms, ammunition and a large quantity of literature.

More than 100 police officers have

The Windsor Daily Star, June 12th, 1940 caption for the photo at the left read
" The alleged Mussolini supporter is trying to hide his face as he is led to jail."
Courtesy of the Windsor Star, P10816
  participated in the two-day drive against suspected anti-British elements in this district. The raids were the most extensive ever conducted in this city. The drive was launched simultaneously

in Windsor and other Canadian centres, shortly after Italy’s entry into the war.

Those arrested are housed at the police station and at the armouries under guard of the Essex Tank Regiment. How long they will be held there is not known…Despite the extensive scouring of the city for the past two days, authorities intimated today that the “cleanup” of all the subversive elements and suspected fifth columnists is far from finished. “This will be a daily occurrence until the whole situation is in hand” one official remarked when questioned about further arrests following yesterday’s police action.

The ink on newspaper headlines telling of Il Duce’s knife in the back decision was scarcely dry Monday before the “blitzkrieg” against his alleged Windsor followers was launched. Within a half hour after the raid order was received from Ottawa, Sergeant P.W. Davis, of the Royal Mounted Police; Inspector Phil Walter, of the provincial police and City Police Chief Claude Renaud had assembled more than 100 officers at city headquarters and were prepared for the drive. A number of Windsor businessmen also assisted police.

200 in Station
Motorized Unit
Taken to Armouries
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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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