Detention of Second World War Prisoners of War and Great Britain’s Enemy Aliens
From 1940 to 1947, Canada detained some 34,000 German combatants, Great Britain’s civilian internees, and enemy merchant mariners in 26 permanent camps and hundreds of smaller work camps across the country. This internment at the request of the British government was important to the Allied war effort, as it kept these men far from the battle zones. At camps detainees provided non-military labour in essential sectors such as agriculture and forestry. Canada’s humane treatment of military prisoners was favourably noted internationally and prompted hundreds of former prisoners to immigrate after the war.