What do you get when a deconstructionist joins the mafia ?

An offer you can't understand.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Enemies Within

The best book I've read so far on the subject of internment of Italians in Canada during WW2 is a collection of essays edited by Franca Iacovetta, Roberto Perin and Angelo Principe (U of T Press). They effectively demolish the case put forward by Antonino Mazza in his introduction to Duliani's "The City Without Women", in which Mazza claims that the Canadian State essentially created a crime against humanity by interning Italians during the war (Duliani in the "Women" justifies the action and goes out of his way to show how decently the internees were treated.)
Of the approximately 135,000 Italians in Canada during the War only 600 or so were interned, a few of whom were communists, 21 of whom were gangsters. Apparently the Vice-Consuls of Italy, acting on the behest of Mussolini had been actively promoting Fascism in Canada since about 1934 and found a number of true believers, among them a great many reactionaries in the Catholic Church and not all of whom were locked up in 1940.
Duliani himself worked in an editorial office with the head of the Canadian Fascist Party, Adriene Arcand. Of course, Quebec itself was opposed to the war against Fascism, since it was run by reactionary elements in the Church and the state (Maurice Duplessis's reactionary Unione Nationale Party would run that province through his coaltiion of businessmen and churchmen unitl the Quiet Revolution in the 1960's. Just as Spanish fascist dictator General Franco would run Spain for decades after WW2.)
There is no doubt whatsoever that Italian Fascism was alive and well and being nurtured by not only the Catholic Church and the Italian Vice-Consuls, but by the Toronto-based British-Canadian "Empire Club" and people like Lady Eaton and Guelph's internation opera star Edward Johnson and his son-in-law and future right wing premier of Ontario George Drew.
The internment of less than six hundred Italian fascists was far from the extreme measure described by Mazzo, and the redress campaign that led to an apology from Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to the Italian community at large a few decades ago was entirely a Tory propaganda move and buried the role conservatives and Italians played in the nurturing of fascism.
Farley Mowat, the Canadian author, who fought in the Canadian Infantry during the two years it took to liberate Italy, wrote in his searing indictment of the glorification of war And No Birds Sang, pg 4 "French British and US politicians and industrialist...connived at the growth and spread of fascism, concealing their real admiration for it beneath the public explanation that it was the only trust worthy "bulwark against communism."
In Canada the support for fascism was not only the policy of Quebec and much of the conservative party and right wing "Liberals" linked to the Empire Club, but is the one area of hypocrisy Mulroney should have apologized to Italian-Canadians for, since, besides a few moderate liberals, the only people who publicly opposed fascism in Canada were the communists and CCF.
It was only when Mussolini linked his future to Hitler's in June of 1940 that he fell out of favour with conservatives (except in Quebec, where fascism and anti-Semitism were still the order of the day.)
And as Mowat makes abundantly clear in his book My Father's Son, Canadians as a whole thought the war was a great thing because it put an end to the poverty of the Depression: their interest in fighting fascism was extremely limited, which accounts for some of the bizarre positions taken by then Prime Minister MacKenzie King, whose profoundly astute, pre-polling ability to straddle the centre of Canadian politics and then ride his national coalition of moderate and reactionary elements through thick and thin.
And let's face it, Nazism lost the war, fascism is alive and well to his day, and being used as a bulwark against terrorism. The lies go on.

Calarco Family

I was passed this geneaology info regarding Domenic Sciaronne's (Joe Veroni's) wife - Maria Calarco's - family.

Her father:
DOMENICO CALARCO was born in Laganadi, and died in Seneca Falls NY.
He married DOMENICA CATALANO; she was born in Calanna,(4 miles from Laganadi) and died in Seneca Falls.
Domenico moved from Laganadi to S.Alessio (2 miles) abt 1888.

Domenico arrived in USA with ship “Burgundia” in 1898 to work on Lattimer mines (PA) with his son Francesco and others people from Laganadi.
In 1902-1908 he arrived in USA with his sons Antonino , Fortunato, Guglielmo and daughter Mary - who was to married Francesco Lazzaro at the time.

After Great Calabrian Earthquake of 1908 arrived his wife Domenica with latest sons


1. MARIA "MARY" CALARCO, born 1879, Laganadi; died Aft. 1940, ? Guelph CDN.
She married 1897 in S.Alessio Francesco Lazzaro from Calanna . (They had a son named Domenic- Dommy - Tommy - Tom Veroni of Guelph.) After (unknow date and place) she was married with "your" Domenico Sciarrone from Calanna. They had Rosina Sciarrone, married on Guelph with Salvatore Sorbara from S.Giorgio (Their daughter Mary married Frank Silvestro, nephew of Tony Silvestro, one of "the old dons of Ontario".) and Eugenia “Jennie” Sciarrone, born in Guelph 1914 and died in Orilla 2002; she married Martin Zamin on 1947. THEY ALSO HAD TWO SONS NAMED FRANK, one of whom was born in Ottawa in 1910 and died there a few months later. The other Frank (Veroni) became a doctor and moved to Ohio. They also had a son named Joseph Domenic (Veroni)who became well known in Guelph sports circles. Several other children died in childhood.

2. GIUSEPPE "JOSEPH" CALARCO, born in Laganadi; died in Seneca Falls. He married in Seneca Falls Francesca Corigliano from Laganadi
3. FRANCESCO CALARCO, born in Laganadi; died 1918 in Seneca Falls for Spanish influenza. He married Giulia Caputo
4. FORTUNATO "CHARLES" CALARCO, born in Laganadi; died ? Toronto. Married Anna Colella in Toronto. (Charles was one of the men who sued Rocco Perri after the death of Bessie Starkman.)
5. ANTONINO "ANTHONY" CALARCO, born 1889, S.Alessio; died Aft. 1940, ? Canada. He married on Rochester FLORA CORIGLIANO. She was born in, Laganadi and died 1918 in Seneca Falls for Spanish Influenza. After FLORA, ANTONINO moved to Canada and he married in Toronto ROSA GATTUSO, born in Varapodio (CALABRIA)
6. GUGLIELMO "WILLIAM" CALARCO, born in S.Alessio; died ? Canada
7. ELISABETTA "ELIZABETH" CALARCO, she was born in S.Alessio and she died in Seneca Falls; She married in America RAFFAELE "RALPH" SINICROPI, from S.Alessio.
8. DOMENICO CALARCO, born in, S.Alessio; died Aft. 1940, ? Seneca Falls.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Some reading

Sorry for not posting in a while, I work as a landscaper, and the season is in full swing, and it's not been easy to want to post, especially given how brutally hot it has been getting. Anyway. Vol. Two is in progress... I have sold over 500 copies of Vol One since February, mostly through the Bookshelf in Guelph, and my own sales.

I have just read Mario Duliani's The City Without Women, his account of being interred during the Second World War in Petawawa Ont. He makes a few references to the gangsters in the camp, of whom Rocco Perri was the most powerful,but by and large he concerns himself with other issues.
There is some controversy over Duliani's book, and over his real or imagined fascist sympathies (not present in the book), but by and large, it is the work of a gifted writer, with a genuine eye for the human condition. I highly recommend it. And it has just been re-released by Mosaic Press. (It was written during the forty months of his internment from 1940 on, and published after the War.)
Volume Two of Legends, will delve into the reasons and the lives of the Morgeti who were interred. Most notable of those was Tony Silvestro, who, after the death/disappearance of Rocco Perri in 1944 emerged as one of the three dons of Ontario.
A number of other Morgeti were also interred, as well as some other non-mob Guelphites.
Duliani's book is a very human look at life in a camp of nothing but men.
The other book I just read was The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano, a book that the father of modern organized crime in North America created through a series of interviews. Quite revealing in the breadth and depth of the details, Luciano's rise, along with his partnership with Meyer Lansky, the master money-launderer, coincides with the events of Vol Two of Legends, and help explain the reasons for the rise of Jewish-Sicilian organized crime, and the conflict with heroin dealer Vito Genovese, an early member of the 'outfit" whom Luciano clearly despised.
Since Silvestro became one of the largest heroin dealers in Canada through his alliance with Buffalo's 'outfit' boss Stefano Maggadino, The Last Testament is particularly valuable in providing some of that background.