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Internee macrame shopping bag

Date made: C1940

Description: Red and green internee made macrame shopping bag with wooden handles. Made by an Italian internee from Ramsey camp. A child's size version of the bags which he made to sell, given to donor.

The donor's grandmother gave her a packet of 20 cigarettes (she had two sons, one was in Burma and one in North Africa) to give to the Italian internee on the donor's final visit to the farm where the internees worked because the authorities could not charge a child for fraternisation and the grandmother hoped someone else would do the same thing for her sons in a similar situation. The internee gave the donor the shopping bag on her final visit and showed her a photograph he kept in his wallet of his own child. Donor described herself at the time as looking like Shirley Temple and being very talkative so a reason why the internee took to her. She used the bag until the age of 10 and always treasured it.

Background: The Isle of Man played an important role as a centre for internment of Germans, Austrians and Italians in the Second World War. Italian-made craftwork is more common than German. The Italians, as predominantly economic rather than political migrants to Britain, found it harder to demonstrate anti-fascist credentials. Thus they tended to be held on the Island for longer than the Germans.

Measurements: overall: 29 x 20 cm

Materials: cotton, wood

Object name: Bag

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2003-0081



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