thehotgates (thehotgates) wrote in little_details,

Discrimination Against Italian-Americans in WWII

Setting: My MMC is an airman in WWII who is captured by the Germans. I've read that the Germans treated their American POWs pretty well ...much better than the Japanese did, anyway. He's going to be  captured on the Eastern front, which was worse than the Western front, and I haven't decided on a specific Stalag for him to be imprisioned at, but I doubt that makes a difference. He's not going to be apart of anything like the Great Escape, so in that respect I should be fine.

My friend pointed out to me that there was an increase in discrimination against Italian-Americans during the war, though it wasn't as bad as the racism against the Japanese-Americans. How pronounced was this discrimination in the states and would his heritage make life in the POW camp more difficult? He's not a first generation American and he doesn't have an accent, so there isn't much marking him as an Italian other than his last name. 

Also, California was pretty anti-Japanese during the war. I don't know if this translates to anti-Italian sentiments as well. Would the close proximity of Oregon to California effect how pronounced the discrimination would be?

I've Google searched German Treatment of American POWs in WWII but haven't come up with anything specific to Italian-Americans and I've also searched for things along the lines of Italian-American Discrimination in the US only to come up with mafia references and "Italian stallions".

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