Country: KENYA
EAST AFRICA ITALY POW INTERNEES 1940-1947 BY WEISBECKER ** NEW EDITION WALTER G. WEISBECKER *** CAMP MAIL OF ITALIAN PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIAN INTERNEES IN EAST AFRICA 1940-1947 *** NEW LIMITED EDITION over 130 illustrations in black & white, spiral bound. 166 pages 8 x 11 - Filled with very useful information complemented by a good 6-page INDEX. Plus a NEW 26-page ADDENDA & UPDATE to the 1981 edition of which only 100 copies had been printed. This research covers POW, Internee and Evacuee Camps in ETHIOPIA, SOMALIA, KENYA, SUDAN, TANGANYIKA, ERITREA, UGANDA, RHODESIA, BRITISH SOMALILAND. The lay-out of the original work has been improved where possible and this reprint is printed on high quality, extra white paper from short fibre pulp from eucalyptus trees, chlorine free. THIS IS A MUST HAVE bibliophile publication. ****** FROM THE Foreword to the New Millennium Edition A native of Seattle, Walter G. Weisbecker was a highly respected senior official of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome. He made Italy his home after meeting his future wife Antonietta. Walter was also a recognised authority on the Italian presence in East Africa, particularly Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, with many of his articles being published by leading stamp and postal history magazines in Europe and in the United States. He contacted me in 1980, shortly after the publication of my book on the Italian Prisoners of War in Africa during World War II. Walter told me frankly that he could write a much more exhaustive work on the subject and I did not miss the opportunity to tell him that if ever he needed a publisher I was more than willing to be both his publisher and editor. From this initial conversation that could so easily have generated negative vibes, in fact a very constructive friendship was born. The book that you are holding in your hands was published in less than six months, in mid-1981, and before that year ended Walter had been showered with silver medals at international exhibitions such as Tokyo 81 and WIPA 81. These accolades were buttressed by a series of very favourable reviews and Walter told me that he felt a great sense of achievement. He won silver medals the following year at the First World Philatelic Literature Exhibition in Milan and in Chicago. Walter exhibited his collection at a stamp exhibition in my hometown, Pavia, and won a gold medal. Stuart Rossiter described his collection as one of the top three and probably the best of the three . The best compliment Walter paid to me was his seeking my input on quite a few articles he was writing for Italian and English magazines. His book starts by reproducing some of the relevant articles from the 1929 International (Geneva) Convention on the Treatment of P.O.W.s, followed by a an informative account of the background of the campaign. Chapter I starts with the first East African civilian internment camps in Southern Rhodesia, Kenya and elsewhere in September 1939. It continues with the Italian declaration of War on 10 June 1940 and the enlargement of the camps to take Italians as well as Germans. The Italian invasion of Sudan, British Somaliland and Kenya prompted the British to retaliate early in 1941 and by October camps were needed for 65,000 Italian P.O.W.s. Eventually there were some 200,000 P.O.W.s to accommodate and camps were sited in Sudan, British Somaliland, Italian East Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, Nyasaland, Northern and Southern Rhodesia. The early civilian internment camps at Salisbury and Hartley are dealt with in Chapter II and are followed by the P.O.W./civilian internment camps 1941-1942, the definitive camps, the evacuee and refugee camps from 1942. Postal stationery, much of it captured from the Italians and overprinted and adapted by the British, fills Chapter VI, and is followed by the handstamps, censor markings and labels divided under the East African and the Middle East Commands. There are over ninety covers illustrated and they help to bring this book to life. On the whole, Weisbecker makes this complex subject appear uncomplicated, largely through his skill in organising and presenting the fruits of his research. A six-page index is primarily keyed to camp names and locations. In reviewing Weisbecker s book for The London Philatelist, Stuart Rossiter wrote that it is perhaps ironic that the first comprehensive book in English on this subject should be from an American pen and that it should be published by the author of a briefer work on the same subject as recently as last year. However it is a good combination. Robson Lowe wrote a very positive review for The Philatelist and described the book as a model of the humanity of postal history . Robbie noted that he rarely picked up a volume which contained more interesting information in the text of a time when he was alive. After moving to the other side of the Atlantic, in 1983, I looked forward to continuing my correspondence with Walter, but then, most unexpectedly Antonietta wrote to me with the most sad news of Walter s death. I felt I had lost a true friend. The 1981 edition of Weisbecker s work was out of print in a matter of months, and in later years many collectors contacted me with the hope of obtaining copies. However, only now the opportunity has presented itself to produce a new limited edition. In most instances the illustrations have been improved upon, and borrowing from my personal collection some new and significant illustrations and updates have been added. This 26-page addenda gives more than a glimpse at what a learning experience collecting postal history is. The publication of this new edition is a tribute to a major postal historian whose work is still very much valid and cannot be ignored by the new generation of scholars. I have continued to collect Prisoners Of War postal history material and I have managed to add considerably to my research files. Therefore, I would like to invite collectors to contact me with any supplementary information that can shed new light. In fact, I am planning to publish a new edition in Italian and English of my book that was mentioned earlier. GIORGIO MIGLIAVACCA
Item Id #: 010473