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Banner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History

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Second World War
Multicultural Communities

The war had sudden, profound effects on ethnic minorities in Canada. Japanese and Ukrainian Canadians -- immigrants, naturalized Canadians and Canadian-born citizens alike -- were interned as "enemy aliens" or evacuated from supposedly sensitive areas. Other minorities faced a struggle to be accepted into the Canadian Armed Forces.

In addition to the works cited below, see also the under "War Crimes and Prisoners of War" in the Troops and Traditions section. Individual biographies, particularly those of prisoners of war, can be accessed in the Personal Stories section.


The authors have included the English edition of works if they are available in both French and English. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are known to be available in French. Most titles included in this guide are held by Library and Archives Canada, and many are available for interlibrary loan, both within Canada and abroad.

Adachi, Ken. -- The enemy that never was : a history of the Japanese Canadians. -- Toronto : McClelland and Stewart, 1976. -- 456 p.

Broadfoot, Barry. -- Years of sorrow, years of shame : the story of the Japanese Canadians in World War II. -- Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 1977. -- 370 p.

Canadian Jewish Congress. -- Canadian Jews in World War II. -- Montreal : [s.n], 1947-48. -- 2 vol.

Cohn, Werner. -- "The persecution of Japanese Canadians and the political left in British Columbia, December 1941 - March 1942". -- BC studies. -- No. 68 (Winter 1985-86). -- P. 3-22

* Cormier, Ronald. -- The forgotten soldiers : stories from Acadian veterans of the Second World War. -- Fredericton, N.B. : New Ireland Press, 1992. -- 174 p. -- Also published in French under the title: J'ai vécu la guerre : témoignages de soldats acadiens, 1939-1945

Dreiziger, N.F. -- "7 December 1941 : a turning point in wartime policy toward enemy ethnic groups?" -- Journal of Canadian studies = Revue d'études canadiennes. -- Vol. 32, no. 1 (Spring 1997). -- P. 93-111

  • Deals with the easing of security regulations against immigrants following the Canadian declaration of war on Finland, Hungary and Romania

Enemies within : Italian and other internees in Canada and abroad. -- Edited by Franca Iacovetta et al. -- Toronto : Univ. of Toronto Press, 2000. -- 429 p.

  • Essays illustrating the position and treatment of Italian Canadians in Canada during the Second World War, and comparing that treatment with other interned groups and with the treatment of Italians in other allied countries

Ito, Roy. -- We went to war : the story of the Japanese Canadians who served during the First and Second World Wars. -- Stittsville, Ont. : Canada's Wings, 1984. -- 330 p.

Kaye, J.V. -- Ukrainian Canadians in Canada's wars -- Edited by J.B. Gregorovich. -- Toronto : Ukrainian Canadian Research Foundation, 1983. -- 125 p. -- (Materials of Ukrainian Canadian history, vol. I)

Keyserlingk, Robert H. -- "The Canadian government's attitude toward Germans and German Canadians in World War II". -- Canadian ethnic studies = Études ethniques au Canada. -- Vol. 16, no. 1 (1984). -- P. 16-28

Kitigawa, Muriel. -- This is my own : letters to Wes & other writings on Japanese Canadians, 1941-1948. -- Edited by Roy Miki. -- Vancouver : Talonbooks, 1985. -- 302 p.

Koch, Eric. -- Deemed suspect : a wartime blunder. -- Toronto : Methuen, 1980. -- 272 p.

  • German refugees interned in Canada

Kordan, Bohdan Stephan. -- "Ethnicity, the state and war : Canada and the Ukrainian problem (1939-1945) : a study in statecraft". -- Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms International, 1988. -- 4 microfiches. -- Ph.D. thesis, Arizona State Univ., 1988. -- 302 l.

Martens, Hildegard M. -- "Accommodation and withdrawal : the responses of Mennonites in Canada to World War II". -- Histoire sociale = Social history. -- Vol. 7 (November 1974). -- P. 306-327

On guard for thee : war, ethnicity, and the Canadian state, 1939-1945. -- Edited by Norman Hillmer et al. -- Ottawa : Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War, 1988. -- 282 p.

  • Proceedings of a conference held at Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., September 1986

Palmer, Howard. -- "Ethnic relations in wartime : nationalism and European minorities in Alberta during the Second World War". -- Canadian ethnic studies = Études ethniques au Canada. -- Vol. 14, no. 3 (1982). -- P. 1-23

Prymak, Thomas M. -- Maple leaf and trident : the Ukrainian Canadians during the Second World War. -- Toronto : Multicultural History Soc. of Ontario, 1988. -- 192 p. -- (Studies in ethnic and immigration history)

Roy, Patricia E., et al. -- Mutual hostages : Canadians and Japanese during the Second World War. -- Toronto : Univ. of Toronto Press, 1990. -- 281 p.

Sunahara, Ann Gomer. -- The politics of racism : the uprooting of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. -- Toronto : J. Lorimer, 1981. -- 222 p.

Wong, Marjorie. -- The dragon and the maple leaf : Chinese Canadians in World War II. -- London, Ont. : Pirie Pub., 1994. -- 274 p.

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