Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby onyirtodd » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:33 am

Dugald wrote:
Josef wrote: ................
I see that both Cell and Roxburgh make reference to political posturing. I am not familiar with Scottish politics and know nothing about this fellow Salmond or Conti. I do know a bit about politicians however, and I'm well aware they have a tendency to hook onto any group which might further their political aims.



Conti is a Roman Catholic of Italian extraction, now Archbishop of Glasgow. Salmond is a politician who has, as you suggest, a tendency to hook onto any group which might further his political aims.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Dugald » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:50 am

Ah, tousché Socceroo! Good point, certainly takes us a bit beyond the Mearnskirk Hospital. I count 95 people, including 29 Glaswegians, in your list.

You said earlier there were more than 700 Italians on Board the ship; let's say 750. Therefore out of 750 Italians, 12.6% were from Scotland and 3.8% were from Glasgow. (I'm assuming your list includes all, and only, the Scottish Italians lost). Wonder where all the rest were from. I don't think this 3.8% Glaswegian total represents a very strong argument for a Glasgow location for the memorial. i wonder for example, how many Italians lost came from London. I might be inclined to wager there were more English/Italians lost than Scottish/Italians... just based on the vast difference in populations. I wonder too, should London have their own memorial. Might i also express the wonder, in view of what Onyirtodd has added to the topic, whether London has the same political drive for such a memorial as Glasgow.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:32 am

I don't really see the connection to be honest with regards to the numbers and percentages being a factor on why there should or should not be a Memorial in Glasgow.

The fact of the matter is that it was a terrible tragedy. The way that the British Government treated the Italian population of the United Kingdom is a story that is yet to be fully told.

The connection to Glasgow for a memorial is strong. Getting back to your numbers - almost 30% of the Italian Internees who perished were Scottish residents. Residents who were fully integrated into a peaceful way of life in Scotland when the War broke out. Another St Andrews Cathedral connection, is that you will be no doubt aware that Glasgow has a much larger percentage of its population who are Roman Catholic than any other City on the mainland UK.

The survivors were brought back to the Clyde and taken to the Mearnskirk Hospital amongst others . The Clyde i understand is where many of the survivors were put back onto Ships and deported again, this time some were sent to Australia once they had suitably recovered.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Roxburgh » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:04 pm

Dugald wrote:You say this was a British tragedy. I can only agree with that. But can you give me one good reason why, out of Britain's countless WWII trgedies, that of the Andorra Star should receive special treatment in Glasgow? Shall we ignore the Athenia, the Lancastria, the Empress of Britain, the Royal Oak, the Exmouth, the Hood, the Prince of Wales, the Repulse, et al? No we can't reasonably be expected to build memorials for all of these disasters, that is why we build town, shire, and national memorials. Is there some reason why the Italian victims of the Andorra Star should receive special remembrance? I don't think so.


For me, this gets to the root of the issue. Britain lost around 450,000, mainly men, in WW2. Tragedies were everywhere and you cannot single each one out for special treatment. The Arandora Star was a tragedy but it was just one of many.

I disagree that the Italian community were treated appallingly. They were treated as enemy aliens and in accordance with accepted standards of the time. Just as Britain interned Italians and Germans, so the Germans interned British civilians.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Dugald » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:36 pm

Socceroo wrote:I don't really see the connection to be honest with regards to the numbers and percentages being a factor on why there should or should not be a Memorial in Glasgow.

The fact of the matter is that it was a terrible tragedy. The way that the British Government treated the Italian population of the United Kingdom is a story that is yet to be fully told.

The connection to Glasgow for a memorial is strong. Getting back to your numbers - almost 30% of the Italian Internees who perished were Scottish residents. Residents who were fully integrated into a peaceful way of life in Scotland when the War broke out. Another St Andrews Cathedral connection, is that you will be no doubt aware that Glasgow has a much larger percentage of its population who are Roman Catholic than any other City on the mainland UK.

The survivors were brought back to the Clyde and taken to the Mearnskirk Hospital amongst others . The Clyde i understand is where many of the survivors were put back onto Ships and deported again, this time some were sent to Australia once they had suitably recovered.


When I introduced this topic I had no idea that religion was, or could be, a part of it. Since becoming aware of this, I no longer wish to take part in the discussion. Cheers.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:38 pm

Roxburgh wrote:I disagree that the Italian community were treated appallingly. They were treated as enemy aliens and in accordance with accepted standards of the time. Just as Britain interned Italians and Germans, so the Germans interned British civilians.


So it's not appalling to detain people some of whom had been residents living this country for 20 - 30 years in makeshift internment Camps for Months on end? Separate them from their families. Fail to make adequate provision for them in terms of food or shelter, then put them on a Ship which was torpedoed and then deport the survivors once again ?
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby onyirtodd » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:48 pm

Socceroo wrote:
Roxburgh wrote:I disagree that the Italian community were treated appallingly. They were treated as enemy aliens and in accordance with accepted standards of the time. Just as Britain interned Italians and Germans, so the Germans interned British civilians.


So it's not appalling to detain people some of whom had been residents living this country for 20 - 30 years in makeshift internment Camps for Months on end? Separate them from their families. Fail to make adequate provision for them in terms of food or shelter, then put them on a Ship which was torpedoed and then deport the survivors once again ?


I'm sure the U boat Captain had these very deprivations in mind when he decided to sink the ship they were on. Better to drown at sea than be separated from your family.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:50 pm

Dugald wrote:
When I introduced this topic I had no idea that religion was, or could be, a part of it. Since becoming aware of this, I no longer wish to take part in the discussion. Cheers.


Yeah funnily enough Dugald most Italians i understand are Catholics. And St Andrews Cathedral is a Roman Catholic place of worship and as a non Catholic who has visited it on more than one occasion i found it a very welcoming place to all Glaswegians. Oh and Archibishop Conti is Roman Catholic the last time i checked.

Did it not occur to you when you made the initial posting on this subject about a Catholic Archbishop promoting the idea of a memorial garden next to the Roman Catholic Cathedral for Italians that their might just be a wee bit of religion attached to the subject? And what is wrong with that? The internees were left with each other, their faith and little all else.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Roxburgh » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:52 pm

Socceroo wrote:
Roxburgh wrote:I disagree that the Italian community were treated appallingly. They were treated as enemy aliens and in accordance with accepted standards of the time. Just as Britain interned Italians and Germans, so the Germans interned British civilians.


So it's not appalling to detain people some of whom had been residents living this country for 20 - 30 years in makeshift internment Camps for Months on end? Separate them from their families. Fail to make adequate provision for them in terms of food or shelter, then put them on a Ship which was torpedoed and then deport the survivors once again ?


Like I said, they were treated in accordance with the accepted standards of the time. The fact that they were living in the country for 20-30 years is not relevant to the discussion. The fact that they were Italian citizens and that Britain was at war with Italy is relevant. Internees of all nationalities were put in camps. I suggest you google and read some of the historical accounts. The British government made some attempt to provide for its citizens who were interned. Did the Italian government do the same? It is a tragedy that the ship was torpedoed but I doubt that this was the intent of the government when they put the internees on it.

Seriously, you have to think yourself into what was going on in 1940 when making a historical judgement on this subject.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Roxburgh » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:54 pm

Dugald wrote:When I introduced this topic I had no idea that religion was, or could be, a part of it. Since becoming aware of this, I no longer wish to take part in the discussion. Cheers.


Please don't leave the discussion Dugald. I, for one, value your contribution.

Religion is not relevant to the historical aspect of this discussion.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:00 pm

Roxburgh wrote:I suggest you google and read some of the historical accounts. The British government made some attempt to provide for its citizens who were interned. Did the Italian government do the same?


I have done a little bit of research on the subject and by and large it throws up recollections similar to this one :

We travelled under military escort, by train, eventually arriving at Ascot. Situated on the outskirts of the town and surrounded by pine trees, it was the winter quarters camp for Bertram Mills Circus. We were housed in various buildings and elephant houses.

Administration appears to be non-existant and no provisions were made to feed us. We had not eaten since leaving Liverpool. It was very hot and we were made to strip naked and lined up in rows for a roll call. Several of the older internees fainted.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby crusty_bint » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:05 pm

http://www.bluestarline.org/arandora.html

no-ones asking any of you to pay for it so what the hell is the problem? The people killed on this ship were not the ones out fighting for the Fascists, they were civs like us, some of whom were actually refugees fleeing persecution, just to get caught in the cross-fire again. Their nationality, or the time and circumstances in which the disaster happened make it no less of a tragedy and I can;t believe anyone would take umbridge with such a proposal to memorialise and honour the dead.

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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Roxburgh » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:13 pm

Socceroo wrote:I have done a little bit of research on the subject and by and large it throws up recollections similar to this one :


Or this one:

Eventually the internees left Altmar and were sent by train to Germany. They were in a cattle wagon and it was very uncomfortable with most of them getting swollen legs. People were crying, and some were hysterical, particularly the British Jewesses, who thought that they were being sent to the gas chambers.

They were different times and different standards.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:26 pm

Roxburgh i agree that they were different times and different standards, of course they were.

The fact that Nazi Germany committed seemingly incalculable atrocities does not make it okay for the British Government to have treated Civilians in the manner that they did. I do not think for a minute there is any comparison between Nazi Germany and Britain during the War.

None the less the Italians were appallingly treated, sometimes inhumanely.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Lucky Poet » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:14 pm

I fail to see the problem here. Remembrance isn't a finite resource: commemorating one group doesn't mean that any others matter less...
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