Remember When Italian-Americans Were ‘Enemy Aliens?’

Feb 23, 2018 4025

BY: Cari Spivack

Clara and Guido Bronzini came to the United States from a town near Pisa, Italy, in the late 1920s, after World War I devastated Italy. There were no crops, no jobs, no future. And the Fascists were gaining power. Al Bronzini remembers his mother telling him that Fascists came to her house when she was a teenager.

“My grandfather, her father, he refused to fly the Fascist flag,” he recalls. “So they tortured my grandfather.” Clara and Guido left Italy as soon as they could. They settled in an Italian community in Oakland. Guido opened a fruit market called the Banana Depot. He worked hard and earned a good income. They bought a house. Then, a refrigerator to replace the icebox, and a brand-new four-door Pontiac. Finally, they got a top-of-the-line Philco radio.

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