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Searching for SubversivesThe Story of Italian Internment in Wartime America$
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Mary Elizabeth Basile Chopas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469634340

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469634340.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Bocce behind Barbed Wire

Bocce behind Barbed Wire

Checks on Government Power in the Camps

Chapter:
(p.106) Chapter Four Bocce behind Barbed Wire
Source:
Searching for Subversives
Author(s):

Mary Elizabeth

Basile Chopas

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469634340.003.0005

Chapter 4 is a social history of the daily lives of the internees in INS camps and Army camps. It shows how many internees developed a sense of powerlessness as requests for a reevaluation of their situation went unanswered. The United States chose to extend prisoner of war protections in the 1929 Geneva Convention to enemy aliens in internment camps, allowing them to refer to the convention’s guarantees of safe and humane treatment and a good standard of living to redress complaints. This chapter shows how the internees exercised agency by finding ways to prove that they could be loyal American citizens, particularly by exhibiting a good work ethic. Although the balance of power still weighed heavily in favor of the government, the personal letters of internees tell a story of resiliency in the bleak setting of internment.

Keywords:   social history, INS camps, army camps, prisoner of war protections, 1929 Geneva Convention, internment camps, convention’s guarantees, agency, loyal American citizens, resiliency

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