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The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior

A History of Canadian Internment Camp R

Ernest Robert Zimmermann, Michel S. Beaulieu & David K. Ratz, Editors

Canadian Studies, Military History, Holocaust

Published: September 2015
ISBN: 9780888646736
Pages: 300 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 26

For 18 months during World War II, the Canadian military interned 1,145 prisoners of war in Red Rock, Ontario (about 100 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay). "Camp R" held an unlikely assortment of German prisoners: Nazis, anti-Nazis, Jews, soldiers, merchant seamen, and refugees whom Britain feared might comprise Hitler's rumoured "fifth column" of alien enemies residing within the Commonwealth. For the first time and in riveting detail, the author illuminates the conditions of one of Canada's forgotten POW camps. Through interviews and meticulous archival research, Zimmermann fleshes out this rich history. Written in an accessible, lively style, The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior will captivate military and political historians as well as non-specialists interested in the history of POWs and internment in Canada.

Born in 1931, in Cologne, Germany, historian Ernest Robert Zimmermann grew up in war-time Nazi Germany. After many adventures and through hard work, he received a doctorate from the University of London, England. He began a long career at Lakehead University in 1967. He passed away in 2008.

Michel S. Beaulieu is an associate professor and chair of the department of History at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

David Ratz, a professor in the department of History at Lakehead University, specializes in Canadian military history. He lives in Slate River, Ontario.

The study shines light on the lesser-known Canadian prisoner of war (POW) camps in World War II. In this well-researched study, Zimmermann describes not only Camp R, but the inmates, guards, military command structure, politicians, and general political environment in Canada and Britain.... Zimmermann offers an important study of the unjust imprisonment of German and Austrian refugees during World War II. The work is easy to read and deftly supported by a broad array of sources. Zimmermann’s analysis encompasses Canadian and British history, making it of interest to a wide audience. It can also serve as a comparison to the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States. The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior sets a high standard for future research into civilian internment camps.

– Anna Marie Anderson, The Journal of Military History

Zimmermann's thorough research, along with numerous photos of daily life in Camp R, paints a vivid picture of life at the camp and the political context that spawned it... [A] fascinating look into the politics of wartime internment camps and the role Canada played as host to the unique group of internees at Camp R.

– Sandy Klowack, Canada's History