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Module 26

World War II and the Internment of Enemy Aliens: Circumscribing Personal Freedoms

Marcel Martel

When Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939, Canadians were resigned to the fact that this new era of war would cause them to make sacrifices and bring limits to personal freedoms. Contrary to what happened during WWI, the internment process of enemy aliens was more selective, except in the case of Japanese Canadians. Japanese Canadians were the ethnic group that faced the greatest injustice during WWII and this module looks back at this episode.

Primary sources:

  1. Text: David Suzuki, The Autobiography (2006).
  2. Cartoon: ‘Right on the Job’, The Toronto Daily Star (13 June 1940)
  3. Cartoon: ‘Strategic Withdrawal to Prepared Positions’, The Toronto Daily Star (21 January 1942)
  4. Cartoon: ‘Let Canada Answer This’, The Halifax Herald (11 March 1942)
  5. Cartoon: ‘Japanese Canadians signing a petition to stay in Canada’ The Daily Colonist, Victoria (20 December 1945)
  6. Text: The Defence of Canada Regulations (Consolidation) (1942)

Secondary sources:

  1. Pamela Sugiman. ‘Passing Time, Moving Memories: Interpreting Wartime Narratives of Japanese Canadian Women’, Histoire sociale/Social History (2004)
  2. Patricia Roy et al. ‘Behind the Barbed-Wire Fence: Internees and POWs in Japan, Japanese-Controlled Territory, and Canada’ from Mutual Hostages: Canadians and Japanese During the Second World War (1990)
  3. Reg Whitaker and Gregory S. Kealey. ‘A War on Ethnicity? The RCMP and Internment’, from Franca Iacovetta, Roberto Perin, and Angelo Principe (eds.), Enemies Within. Italian and Other Internees in Canada and Abroad (2000)

Introduction

List of Modules -- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50