February 12, 1943
As a result of the handling of my affairs by your agents, I lost my business, my bank account, my house furniture, my stocks, my law books and office furniture, numerous personal items and documents, to say nothing of an extremely valuable stamp collection and my share of the accumulated profits of the law firm in which I was a partner. Your agents permitted by former partner, A.G. Cameron to take possession of all the above assets on the flimsiest pretext imaginable and, so far as I am aware, made no attempt to protect my interest or assets.
E.V. Fabri, internee, letter to G.G. Beckett, February 12, 1943, Library and Archives Canada
June 22, 1943
The Allied bombing of Sicily and Sardinia begins.
July 09, 1943
The Allies invade Sicily.
July 24, 1943
Members of the fascist government hold a vote to return constitutional authority to King Vittorio Emanuele III. This effectively ends Benito Mussolini's rule. The next day the King names Marshall Pietro Badolgio prime minister. Mussolini is arrested by the carabiniere (Italian military police).
September 03, 1943
The Allies invade the Italian mainland at Reggio di Calabria. An armistice is signed between Italy and the Allies ending Italy's involvement in the war.
September 10, 1943
German forces occupy Rome.
September 12, 1943
German paratroopers rescue Benito Mussolini from imprisonment at San Grasso in the Apennine mountains.
September 18, 1943
It was a surprise indeed that after three years since my internment and ruination caused me by it, through the government’s blunder in interning and ruining an innocent man whose only fault it was to have been born in Italy, but to have lived an exemplary life since his good fortune of having been granted the privilege of settling in Canada, and of loving this country and serving her as any true and loyal adopted son should, I should be asked to pay a sum of money that I do not possess, for anything that I am not responsible or service not rendered.
My business did not require any administration nor any investigation by your office, since I was struggling to keep it going under adverse and hard conditions of the depression years. I was just beginning to see the silver linings amongst the clouds of the tragic depression years when this had to happen to me. Then you should know that after my internment, with no definite acknowledge of the time such internment would last or anybody to look after my business, on August 13th 1940 it was auctioned off and all I owned in the world then went to smoke $1350 were realized out of a business worth $10,000. Now at my age, 58, with no trade or experience other than making soft drinks, which was my only trade, I am trying to eke out my existence at $22.60 per week as caretaker at a moving picture show with a wife and a child of 10 years of age to keep. This is the “squarest” deal that I have ever had in my life.
Still, I hold no grudge or feel any bitterness against anyone. I know I was one of the victims of circumstances. But I feel that at least the government which alone is responsible for my plight and of my family’s should leave me alone and try not to add insult to injury. Therefore, being not in a position to pay this money I feel that I do not owe anything to your office since I repeat, there was nothing to investigate nor to administer in my business.
I hope and trust that this will suffice to convince you of my predicament, assuring you that any and all of my statements can stand full investigation.
Vincenzo Piccininni, internee, letter to Custodian of Enemy Property, September 18, 1943, Library and Archives Canada
September 23, 1943
The German-backed Italian Social Republic is established at Salò, Lombardy with Benito Mussolini as its leader. It lasts until April 1945.
October 01, 1943
Neopolitans successfully oust the German military from Naples.
October 13, 1943
The Italian government declares war against Germany.
November 05, 1943
The Italian air force bombs the Vatican in order to destroy its radio station. The fascist government believes that the Vatican radio station was sending coded messages to the Allies. The Vatican is neutral during World War II.