Guido Deiro |
World War II
Guido Deiro performing for Italian Prisoners of War, Los Angeles 1945
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Although Guido left his homeland in 1908 at twenty-two years of age, and became a United States citizen in 1928, he held warm memories of Italy in his heart. During World War II, when soldiers and officers of the Italian Army were captured by the Allies and transported as Prisoners of War to camps and stockades in Southern California, Guido visited them, conversed in Italian (even after forty years in the United States, Guido considered English a "foreign" language), and entertained them by playing Italian folk songs and other repertoire. Perhaps Guido identified with the soldiers, as he had also served in the Italian Armed Forces when he was a young man. Guido played dozens of gratis concerts for incarcerated Italian POWs to uplift their spirits.