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The Globe and Mail

'Enemy Aliens' The Internment of Jewish Refugees in Canada

The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre was urged to create an exhibit before all the refugees it commemorates are gone

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The ‘Enemy Aliens’ exhibit at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre examines what some people call a Canadian footnote to the Holocaust.

Jeff Vinnick/The Globe and Mail

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An internee wood-cutting crew at work in 1941 in Ripples, N.B. The man bottom left is future Quebec chief justice and arbitrator Fred Kaufman.

Courtesy Fred Kaufman

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This photograph of an internee hard at work a camp in Sherbrooke, Que., was taken by Austrian refugee Marcell Seidler, who secretly used a handmade pinhole camera to document camp life.

Marcell Seidler/Courtesy Eric Koch/Library and Archives Canada

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For helping in the war effort, internees were paid 20 to 50 cents a day in stamps that could be redeemed at a camp’s canteen – and tried to put a positive gloss on a grim situation.

Courtesy Fred Kaufman

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This shirt was issued to Austrian-born Alfred Bader, who was interned on Île-aux-Noix, Que. After his release in 1941, he attended Queen’s University before becoming a noted chemist, businessman and collector of fine art.

Jessica Bushey/Courtesy Alfred Bader

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This suitcase was brought to Canada by Peter Oberlander, who was detained in camps in Quebec and New Brunswick. After his release in 1941, he went on to become a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of British Columbia and was named to the Order of Canada.

Jessica Bushey/Courtesy the Oberlander Family

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Letters on display at the ‘Enemy Aliens’ exhibit at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre.

Jeff Vinnick/The Globe and Mail

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Rabbi Erwin Schild, 92, left, had a long career at Toronto’s Adath Israel congregation. Walter Kohn, 89, went to the University of Toronto and Harvard, and eventually won a Nobel Prize in chemistry. He says he is fond of Canada.

Jeff Vinnick/The Globe and Mail

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