Today marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
At Camp 133 in Lethbridge, Alberta, the Camp Spokesman, Assistant Spokesman, and Interpreter were paraded in the Commandant’s office to inform them of the news. Shortly after, the PoWs were assembled in the camp and read the proclamation. The Commandant described the scene,
At Camp 132, in Medicine Hat, the situation was much the same. Having assembled the PoWs in the camp stadium, the Camp Interpreter read the proclamation and the Spokesman made a short address. Commandant Colonel Elwood noted the PoWs maintained perfect discipline and that the ceremony was “most impressive.” However, an informant inside the wire noted a significant change in attitude that evening,
Although the war in Europe had ended, the work of Canadian Internment Operations was far from over. Most PoWs would not leave Canada until the following year and, after working to help rebuild Britain, did not return to Germany until 1947 or 1948.
- Colonel E.D.B. Kippen, “Report of Commandant, Lethbridge Internment Camp,” May 9, 1945, HQS 9139-4-133, Camp Intelligence, 1944-1946, C-5365, LAC.
- Colonel W.J.M. Elwood, “V.E. Day,” May 9, 1945, HQS 9139-4-132, Camp Intelligence, 1944-1946, C-5365, LAC.