"Swimming, carving, and canoeing through the summer's days." Life in a Canadian POW Camp for Germans

#History

Tue, Sep 4th, 2012 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

During World War II, Canadians held over 33 thousand German prisoners of war in 26 camps scattered throughout Canada. The captured soldiers enjoyed their stay so much, some emigrated back to Canada at war's end.

Making 50 cents a day cutting wood to buy cigarettes, sweets or fishing gear was a snap after a while and he recalled the men swimming, carving, and canoeing through the summer's days.

Lieberwirth and others described their fellow soldiers to be so close to their captors that they adopted a father-son relationship, leading to some remarkable situations. The supervisors would take the prisoners hunting, for example. There was one occasion where taking two prisoners to the dentist in Kenora, Ont. the guards became so inebriated at a local pub that the captives even held their rifles as they boated their captors back to camp.

He told the Daily Miner and News in 1990: “We came as temporary enemies in war and we left as permanent friends in peace.”

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