Fascist shame

With so many revisionist historians about it's hardly surprising that Jim Gilchrist should try to apply a liberal coat of whitewash to Scotland's pre-war Italian community (feature, 25 June)

Rando Bertola may have joined his Fascista Club just to be sociable, but most of his fellow members were devoit supporters of the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, and could have been seen strutting about Glasgow and Edinburgh in their black uniforms and jackboots. We should remember that when the Anandora Star was sunk, in July 1940, Adolf Hitler and his fascist allies controlled Europe from the North Cape to the Straits of Gibraltar. In each of the countries they occupied, the Germans had no difficulty in recruiting willing collaborators.

If, as seemed likely, Britain had also been invaded, it's doubtful if Bertola and his fellow Italians would have offered much resistance. The British Government was completely justified in rounding up potential fifth columnists.

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If the Italians are looking for remorse or compensation they should apply to the German government. It was, after all, a U-boat that torpedoed the Anandora Star.


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