In April 2013, Sardar Tim Uppal, Canada’s minister of state for democratic reform, announced that Harper government has decided to erect a National Holocaust Museum on federal land near Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa “in the memory of six million Jews and others persecuted and murdered by Nazis and their collaborators during WW II“.
Sardarji, was at loss to say what the pro-Israel Harper government has in mind for the Japanese, Ukranian, Poles, German, Turk, Bulgarian, Croatians, Hungarian, Russian, Italian and Native Indians who suffered in Canada’s 26 Concentration Camps (later on called “Internment Camps”) in Alberta (4), British Columbia (6), Manitob (2), Nova Scotia (2), Ontario (6), Quebec (4) and New Brunswick (1).
One Jewish holocaust museum already exists in Montreal (Quebec).
Last week, Toronto-based The Canadian Press whined about the plight of 700 Jews kept inside internment camp in New Brunswick. 850 German Canadians, most Jews, were sent to the internment camp by Canadian government on the orders of British prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, who suspected some of these Canadian Germans were spies working for Nazis.
The Japanese Canadian men were separated from their families and forced to work on building roads, railroads, and sugar beet farms. The women and children and older people were sent inland to internment camps (desolate ghost towns and farms made into small cities) in the interior of British Columbia at Greenwood, Sandon, Kaslo, New Denver, Rosebery, Slocan City, Bay Farm, Popoff, Lemon Creek, and Tashme.
Self-supporting camps were established in Lillooet, Bridge River, Minto City, McGillivray Falls, and Christina Lake. 1,161 internees paid for their relocation and leasing of farms in these desolate areas that provided a less restrictive, less punitive environment. These Japanese Canadians were still considered “enemy aliens” by the government.
About 945 men worked on road construction camps at Blue River, Revelstroke, Hope, Schreiber, Black Spur. Those men who complained of the separation from families (Nisei Mass Evacuation Group) as well as other “dissident men” who violated curfew hours were sent to the “prisoner of war” camps at Angler and Petawawa in Ontario (699 men). They were forced to wear shirts with round, red targets on their backs.
Roy Miki in 1991 book, ‘Justice in Our Time, The Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement’, wrote: “The Japanese Canadians had property, businesses, cars, and boats confiscated and sold by the Canadian government before they were forced into labor camps. Without their property, assets, or jobs they were then charged inequitably for their internment. Harold Hirose, a veteran of the second world war, had five acres of Surry farmland (a neighboring area of Vancouver) which was confiscated and sold for $36. He received a check for $15 which included charges for the administrative costs in a transaction which he did not approve. He subsequently made several appeals to the government to recover the land but these failed”.
The Japanese Canadians were not allowed to join the military until after 1945. In spite of the incarceration, the Japanese Canadians volunteered to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces.
For the Japanese Canadians there were no homes, farms, and other property left behind before internment. They were forced to start their lives over, with no economic resources, in an estranged and racially repressive environment of midwest and eastern Canada.
In 1988 redress for the Japanese Canadians was passed and the Prime Minister issued an apology for the miscarriage of justice that led to internment and incarceration. Yet the $21,000 of redress money hardly compensates for the lost years of incarceration, property confiscated, family separations and disruptions, and the invisible psychological scars and memories of racial injustices that remain.
Canada?s Jewish ?Concentration Camp?! | Rehmat's World