Let’s Hear Malkin Defend This One
When author Lisa Scottoline found out about a little-known historical incident that touched her family, she decided to use it for her next book, a legal thriller.
This is what’s left from your grandparents,” he said. Enclosed in tattered pink cardboard covers were enemy alien registration papers, issued by the federal government in February 1942 to Giuseppe and Maria Scottoline, natives of Ascoli Piceno in east-central Italy but residents of a West Philadelphia row house for the previous 29 years and nine months. The documents included thumbprints and grim-faced headshots..
She was stunned, Scottoline said, until her father explained a little-known footnote to the history of World War II: Nearly 700,000 Italians living in the United States were required to register as enemy aliens, and 10,000 were forcibly relocated away from the coastlines, put under curfew or interned in camps.
She knew, of course, about the more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese resident aliens in California who had been imprisoned without due process during the war. At the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she graduated cum laude, she had studied the U.S. Supreme Court’s Korematsu decision that ruled favorably on the roundups. But she was unaware that Italians and Germans had received similar treatment.
There’s a lot more to this fascinating story here.