Prisoner of war mail, addressed to Ida Pataracchia from Nello Pataracchia

Prisoner of war mail, addressed to Ida Pataracchia from her husband Nello Pataracchia, dated October 21, 1942.

Pataracchia 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. He was interned at Camp Petawawa and Camp Fredericton.

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. Camp letters written in Italian were translated into English before being read by a censor. 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.

This letter from Nello to his wife is written in Italian. Sent from Fredericton, NB, Nello speaks about having just recieved a letter from Rosanna, states that he is doing well and hopes that the family is doing well and also speaks about a request his children made regarding a piano.