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Plaque recalls Lethbridge internment camp for “enemy aliens”

UCCLA - For immediate release (Lethbridge, Calgary, Ottawa) – Oct. 29, 2013


On Tuesday, 29 October 2013, at 1:30 pm, a commemorative plaque recalling the internment of Ukrainians and other Europeans during the First World War was unveiled at the Lethbridge Exhibition. One of 24 camps set up during Canada’s first national internment operations, most of the prisoners were civilians who had immigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The camp was in operation from 30 September 1914 to 7 November 1916. Other camps remained open until the spring of 1920. Internees were forced to do heavy labour for the profit of their jailers and suffered other state-sanctioned indignities, not because they had done anything wrong but only because of who they were and where they had come from.

The commemorative plaque was placed by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, in cooperation with the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation. This is the 22nd such plaque placed by UCCLA. Just two more First World War-era internment camp sites remain to be memorialized: Montreal and Halifax.

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