1944 letter from German POW Camp 132 Medicine Hat Alberta to Germany

$50.00 CAD

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June 1944 long letter from German POW interned at Camp #132 Medicine Hat Alberta to family back home. Written one day before D-Day!

Sender: (?)    No. W2040641
Rank: Unterofficer (“Sub-officer”) Service: Heer (Army)
Internment Camp: 132  Ablg2


Mailed to ‘Great Germany Fraulein ----- '.

Text in German:

Kanada die  5 juni 1944…

On front 2 ‘POW JN 7 44--CAMP 132’ cancelations and ‘EXAMINED BY D.B. 552’. Purple Germain cancelation on back …Oberkommando…’ (‘high command’)

Smudges on outside. Small creases/tears.

9 x 15.5 cm


General concern about 'Fifth Columnists' in Britain, inflamed by the press and exacerbated by the invasion of Holland in May 1940, resulted in the internment of Category B aliens who had previously been subject to light restrictions. The fall of France and Mussolini's declaration for the Axis prompted the 'Collar the lot' approach and those previously categorised C - largely refugees from Nazi oppression - were also interned.

The risk of invasion and increased internee numbers made Australia and Canada seem safer places to hold both internees and pows. Approaches were successful and Canada agreed to accept 7,000. This resulted in the transfer to Canada in June/July of some 4,000 enemy aliens with about 2,000 captured enemy combatants whose numbers were to be greatly increased by those captured in North Africa in 1942/3 and following D-Day in 1944.

Camps were set up mainly in eastern Canada with 26 centres established during the period of hostilities. Two were large, Camp 132 at Medicine Hat and 133 at Lethbridge each held between ten and thirteen thousand men.