Prisoners of the home front: A social study of the German internment camps of southern Quebec, 1940–1946

TitlePrisoners of the home front: A social study of the German internment camps of southern Quebec, 1940–1946
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsAuger, Martin F.
JournalProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global
Pagination1-226
Date Published2000
Abstract

During the Second World War (1939–1945), five internment camps were created on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river for the incarceration of male individuals of German descent. The camps aimed to neutralize any potential threat to the defence of the Canadian nation. With the entire country being mobilized for war, vigilance on the homefront was necessary. Any person suspected of sympathizing with the enemy was perceived as a potential “spy and Saboteur” and was incarcerated in internment camps. During the first phase of southern Quebec's internment operation, 1940–1943, civilians formed the bulk of the inmates, while during the second phase, 1942–1946, prisoners of war made up most of the camp population. This thesis analyzes how the region's internment operation developed. It deals primarily with the issue of life behind barbed wires and how psychological strains came to affect inmates. It also looks at how Canadian authorities attempted to counter such problems by introducing labour projects and re-educational programs. This case study of southern Quebec demonstrates that the internment camp operation in Canada was an integral part of the effort to produce total war. ( Auger, M.F.)

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