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'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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