Photograph of officer escorting Italian Canadians into police headquarters, June 10, 1940

AP Wirephoto (silver gelatin) of officer escorting Italian Canadians into police headquarters in Montreal, June 10, 1940.

In a speech given in Rome on the evening of June 10, 1940, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini informed listeners that formal declarations of war had been sent to the governments of England and France. Within half an hour of Mussolini’s declaration, Canadian police at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels were mobilized and began arresting individuals across the country. Suspects were taken from their place of work, and homes were ransacked by police in an attempt to find evidence.

Once in police custody, Italian Canadians were taken to local jails to await transfer to internment camps. Many had no idea why they found themselves in this situation. They were not told what was going to happen to them.

These photographs would have been circulated for newspaper use.