Letter from Enrica Pataracchia to her father Nello Pataracchia

Letter from Enrica Pataracchia to her father Nello Pataracchia during his internment at Camp Ripples in Fredericton, NB.

Enrica was only four years old when her father was arrested on June 10, 1940. According to government documents the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) searched the family home at 239 Park St. North in Hamilton on the day of his arrest and seized funds and a number of documents.

While interned Pataracchia, along with the other internees, was allowed to write three letters and four postcards per month. Letters could only be twenty-four lines in length while postcards were limited to eight lines. Exceptions to this limit were made for those who ran businesses and had to respond to letters from the Custodian of Enemy Property.* All camp letters had to be read by a censor before they could be mailed, and if some of the contents was deemed inappropriate, the offending material was blacked out with ink. The same applied to incoming mail. Internees were allowed to receive parcels sent by family members. These packages were searched thoroughly by camp guards before being distributed. Most often, the internees received foodstuffs and clothing. Pataracchia wrote to his wife and also wrote to the Custodian of Enemy Property asking to increase his wife's monthly allowance.

Pataracchia also received a number of letters from his young daughter who expressed distress over their separation, as well as affection for her father. In this letter she expresses her sadness at not being able to see her father for Christmas, yet she hopes that he will be released in time to celebrate New Year's. She also mentions the care package that her mother recently sent to him in camp.