How Bay Area Italians Were Treated as 'Enemy Aliens' During WWII

Mar 29, 2024 1667

BY: Pauline Bartolone

During a casual Christmas celebration with her 90-year-old grandmother last year, Becca Gularte, a self-proclaimed history buff and third-generation Californian, was rocked by a family story she had never heard before. In 1942, her grandma Laura Gularte, then an elementary school kid in Santa Cruz, was forced to leave her coastal home because her dad was an Italian citizen. 

Becca was taken aback. She peppered Laura with questions. “‘Why did you have to move across town? What do you mean it was because you were Italians?’” Becca remembers. “We had all heard so much about Japanese internment growing up. We were all just so surprised that this had happened to this whole other population.” 

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