PRISONERS OF WAR: Behind Canadian Barbed Wire
During both world wars Canada operated camps for prisoners of war. In the First World War Canadian authorities rounded up, screened and imprisoned Canadian residents who did not possess Canadian citizenship and who were judged to be in sympathy with enemies of the British Empire. Twenty-four camps were operated across the country during the period 1914-1920 - yes 1920 two years after the end of the war!
When the Second World War broke out, Canada immediately imprisoned many persons in the same manner as during the First World War. Many internment camps, POW camps, and satellite work sites were opened across Canada. Twenty-six main camps operated primarily in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. The two largest camps holding 12,000 combatant POW each were located near Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, Alberta.
In 1940 German combatant prisoners 'invaded Canada' at the request of Britain. Between 1940 and 1944 over 40,000 German POW were kept on Canadian soil - behind Canadian barbed wire. Eventually all POW were repatriated to Britain then to war torn Germany or Austria.
'POW - Behind Canadian Barbed Wire' is based upon historical documentation and first hand accounts of both 'Alien' and German POW and includes material never before published. It is 265 pages in length and includes 24 photographs.
In the Medicine Hat camp #132, two POW were murdered by fellow prisoners. In 1946, five POW were sentenced to death and hanged at Lethbridge Provincial Jail.
'POW - Behind Canadian Barbed Wire' tells the stories of the camps of both wars together with the escape attempts, murders, trials and executions. In addition, coverage is given the POW camps in Britain and the USA together with the murders and executions which took place in those countries. The large camps which were operated under appalling conditions by the Allies after the end of the war in Europe are examined.
'POW - Behind Canadian Barbed Wire' includes a complete listing of the 137 POW deaths, causes, dates of death and initial burial locations in Canada. The book has 24 photos related to sites in Canada and Britain. Also included are exclusive views of funeral ceremonies and burials in the Medicine Hat POW camp. The bibliography lists extensive reference sources including books, articles, interviews, videos, Internet links and CD-ROM resources.
'PRISONERS OF WAR - Behind Canadian Barbed Wire' was the original source for the National Film Board of Canada production 'The Enemy Within'; and for the CBC TV COUNTRY CANADA documentary 'Murder Behind the Wire', and for a GERMAN ZDF-TV film for viewing in Germany. 'Murder Behind the Wire' was seen by an estimated 1.2 million viewers across Canada.
Storyline Entertainment, Toronto produced a TV documentary for History Television.
Much of the documentary was based upon David Carter's book and he supplied them with research and photographs.