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POWs of the First World War

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 10:49    Onderwerp: POWs of the First World War Reageer met quote

POWs of the First World War
John Chapman

At the end of the First World War it was estimated that 674,000 servicemen had died in the conflict. Some 160,000 British soldiers were captured and held prisoner in Germany. But an estimated 20,000 British troops who succumbed during the Great War died not from bullets or shrapnel, but from starvation and disease in prisoner of war camps. Their living conditions were hard. They were subject to attacks of vermin and exposed to diseases, especially in the camps where prisoners from different armies were grouped together. They were also required to work in order to recover part of the expense of their detention and to replace men sent to the front. Few records exist revealing the conditions and numbers who were confined in camps. John Chapman has been seeking information on POWs from the Royal Berkshire Regiment. His list of about 1000 POWs from the Regiment can be found at <www.purley.demon.co.uk/1-RBR/G1500Apows.htm>.

Both sides took prisoners during the First World War. Many died in captivity and many suffered appalling brutality. The principal sources of information are contemporary newspapers and surviving letters. To date no detailed official records have been Found. The Red Cross in Geneva are the only known source and they are unco-operative to say the least in releasing information. It was not until January 1916 that the first lists of POWs began to appear in British newspapers. Many of the men had been reported missing and a good number as killed so the news of their captivity came as a great relief to their relatives.1 The worst cases of brutality which involved men from Berkshire arose from the fall of Kut and the capture of men from the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry by the Turks on 29 April 1916. An example was Pte Robert James Nash of Purley who died in captivity on 25 September after forced marches and appalling treatment.2

A street collection organised to provide comforts for British POWs, held in Reading on New Year’s Day 1915, was organised by Mrs L D Fullerton of Purley Park. The enormous sum of £550 was raised.3 A Committee was founded called the ‘Royal Berks Regiment Prisoners of War Care Committee’. It was chaired by William Mount MP. The Committee organised the collection of money and built a network of contributors who assembled the parcels to be sent to the men. These parcels were then brought to a depot where an army of volunteers addressed them and looked after the administration and records.

Over the years it cared for over 1400 POWs but extended its scope beyond the Royal Berkshire Regiment to any man who was (or had been) a resident of Berkshire. Naturally they could send parcels only to those men with a known address in Germany. Usually this would be the name of the camp in which they were interned; however, the Germans maintained a set of ‘Registration Camps’ such as Gustrow, Stendal, Limburg, Friedrichsfeld and Parchim. They were used as the designated addresses of men who had been sent to work in mines and factories and on farms. To assist communication and exchange information a number of ladies looked after the different Royal Berkshire Battalions. Mrs Mount of Wasing took on the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 8th, Mrs Hedges of Wallingford took on the 4th and 7th and Mrs Dowell of Colchester looked after the 6th. People whose relatives were missing or POWs were asked to make contact with the appropriate lady.4

Every 28 days six parcels were sent to each man, each worth initially 10s and later 15s plus three kilos of bread which usually came from a nearby neutral country such as Switzerland. Each prisoner was sent a special pack containing a complete change of clothing as soon as his address was received and this was renewed every six months. Each parcel contained a card which the recipient was asked to sign and return, but many often enclosed letters of thanks.

The number of prisoners from Berkshire increased dramatically as a result of the Spring Offensive of 1918. At the end of 1917 there were only some 200 on the books but by Armistice Day this had swelled to 1400 with 42 reported as having died. As a result the frequency of despatch and the amount of bread had to be drastically reduced. At the end of the war there was £3401.11s.1d left in the fund which was distributed to ex-POWs and disabled men from Berkshire or from the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

An agreement negotiated through the Red Cross enabled seriously wounded prisoners to be exchanged. The first batch came home via Holland in December 1915 but it was not until July 1916 that the second batch returned via Switzerland. They brought back tales of appalling treatment: brutality, starvation and unsanitary conditions. As a result of strong representations made through the Red Cross things did improve although tales continued to leak back of terrible treatment, especially in the first few weeks of captivity when they were in the hands of the German forces in the battle zones.

The Reading Mercury of the 12 December 1918 recorded the return home of officers who had been taken prisoner. Lt Norman Langston, 8th Royal Berkshire, and other officers of the same battalion, including Capt Gentry-Birch, MC, reached home from Germany where they had been prisoners of war since the first day of the great German offensive on 21 March 1918.

Lt Langston and his brother officers and the medical officer, Capt Byrne, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who did excellent work afterwards in Germany, making it much better for his fellow prisoners, were taken just behind the lines where for thirty six hours they had no food. Their eventual destination was Rastatt in Baden. Here, said Mr Langston:

'we had three months starvation. Our daily fare was two plates of thin soup and one fifth of a loaf of bread a day. It was rather a pathetic sight at the baths to see your brother officers getting so appreciably thinner. At Rastatt they treated us like dogs. Capt Gentry-Birch was for a time in hospital with his wounds.’

‘When the soldiers’ councils took control we used to be allowed into the town and to visit the cafes and we had a good time. The people invited us to their houses. On being released we left Cologne and came down the Rhine on a 9,000 ton vessel which carried 160 officers and 1690 men. They did us very well on the boat and at Rotterdam everything that a man could want — change of uniform, razors, parcels etc.— was provided by the British Government. We could not have been treated better. As we sailed up the Humber to Hull the sirens were sounded and a very cordial welcome was accorded us and there was much enthusiasm at Scarborough.’

Another unidentified POW, believed to be a major, had managed to write home and his experiences were recounted in the Reading Mercury of 1 Jan 1916. He had been overun by the Germans and thrown from his horse onto a pile of dead. He was saved from being bayoneted by a German officer who intervened. As they were marched away they got a very bad reception from the civilians. They were punched, kicked, robbed and had all their buttons and badges cut from their uniforms. They were marched for three days to a train with 800 others and then moved to a barracks for two weeks. He wrote:

‘It would make you cry to see the state of the civilians, even though they are our enemy. Conditions are very bad. The women will do anything for a piece of bread. Meat is 3s a pound and can be sold only on certain days. We are receiving parcels from home and the German soldiers are begging to buy food from the prisoners, they are offering 20 pfennigs, about 2d, for a single slice of bread.’

Initially he only had straw to sleep on although it was very cold. Eventually he was given a blanket. Food improved when a new commandant took over. However, it was still only fit for pigs to eat. They were moved around from camp to camp and at one place the traitor Roger Casement appeared and tried to tempt men with money to join the Casement Brigade. He got a very bad reception and did not return.

Frank Bates of Reading was luckier. He was put to work on a farm in Germany and was treated well. Most prisoners however were held in prisoner of war camps in Germany or Austria. The Germans went to extraordinary lengths to use them to counter the tales of mistreatment that were abounding. Men were made to smarten themselves and then had their photograph taken looking well and contented either singly or in groups. These photos were then made into postcards which were mailed back to families in England. Many of these were published in the Reading newspapers and collected together after the war in Berkshire and the War.

German POWs in England

The possibility of the need to accommodate German prisoners in this country was realised from the beginning of the war. By 29 August 1914 preparations were well underway to transform Newbury Racecourse into a POW camp. By the 19 September no fewer than 1500 prisoners were guarded there by the Newbury Battalion of the Berkshire National Guard. Initially the prisoners interned were aliens. These were all removed at the end of 1914 to prison ships — liners anchored offshore. A number of allegations were made about ill-treatment and these were used as the justification for the brutal treatment meted out to British POWs in Germany. However, the allegations of British ill-treatment proved to be false.5

One of the camps for German officers was at Philberds, a large house near Maidenhead. This housed over 100 officers and 40 other ranks who acted as their servants. The camp was guarded by Territorials from the Devon Regiment. Early in 1915 the prisoners took to gardening and eventually the adjutant, Captain Armstrong, became suspicious and called in workmen to lay some unneeded drainpipes. While they were digging their picks struck a tunnel eight to twelve yards long and two feet square. It was cased with wood and had pads for elbows to rest on. The Germans had cut through the concrete foundations of a high wall and would probably have escaped had it not been for the adjutant.

eferences

1 Reading Mercury 29/8/14, 19/9/14 and 26/9/14

2 Neville, History of the 43rd/52nd Light Infantry in the Great War. 1935

3 Reading Mercury 8/1/16

4 Reading Mercury 8/7/16

5 Berkshire and the War (Reading Standard) page 44

6 Reading Mercury 10/4/15

© http://www.berksfhs.org.uk/journal/Jun2003/POWsOfTheFirstWorldWar.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 15:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Acting up helped PoW survive camp

By GLORIA GALLOWAY
The Globe and Mail


First World War soldiers were rarely taken prisoner.

Most of the Allied casualties died in the mud with a German sniper's bullet in their head, or riddled with shrapnel, or drowned in their own mucus after poison gas filled their lungs. Of the more than 600,000 Canadians who fought in the War To End All Wars, only 4,000 were captured.

Private William McLeish was among the unfortunate few. He was captured in France in April of 1915 and spent the last 2½ years of the war at Rennbahn PoW camp near Munster, Germany.

Pte. McLeish survived, while nearly 60,000 other Canadians perished, but it would be wrong to say he was lucky. The hardships he endured took away his ability to function in a postwar world. He could not provide for his family or enjoy the life he had fought to protect.

In Rennbahn, at the age of 22, Pte. McLeish was put to work in the salt mines, a gruelling task overseen by civilian bosses who treated the PoWs like slaves.

But camp life was a world of bizarre contrasts and the unfortunate souls who found themselves the unwilling guests of the Germans did what they could to alleviate the cycle of toil and tedium. Thus the Rennbahn Empire, a stage troupe of prisoners, was formed.

Mr. McLeish died in 1966 after spending his last decades in and out of mental hospitals, a victim of what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder. He left a box of mementos that his daughter, Glen Fayet, submitted to the Memory Project organized by The Globe and Mail and the Dominion Institute.

They include cast photos of the plays her father and other prisoners performed. The men took all parts, slipping into dresses, wigs and hats as required by the script. In the yellowing photos they pose with faces contorted into character.

Jonathan Vance, a history professor at the University of Western Ontario and a leading expert on the lives of prisoners of war, says it wasn't uncommon for First World War PoWs to be permitted to put on plays.

"It kept them out of trouble, for one thing," he said. "For another thing, international laws provided for prisoners to take advantage of recreation opportunities, including intellectual opportunities. So most camps had not only theatres, but libraries and art classes and occupational therapy classes . . . orchestras in some cases." A book of remembrance created by prisoners of Rennbahn thanks family and friends for sending props, costumes and even grease paint into the camps.

"In the First World War, you could get in pretty well anything. You could get food hampers sent in from major London department stores," Dr. Vance said.

The theatrical paraphernalia made it possible to stage performances at Rennbahn every Wednesday. The shows had titles like Roll on Blighty! and Le Danseur Inconnu. Listed on the playbills is one W. McLeish.

"We didn't think that he had that type of outgoing personality," Pte. McLeish's daughter, Ms. Fayet, said with a quiet laugh.

Her father had immigrated to Montreal from Scotland in 1911 when he was 18 and joined the army reserve soon after his arrival. He signed up when war was declared and was quickly shipped overseas.

While on leave in Britain, Pte. McLeish visited an aunt in Edinburgh, where he met Margaret Watson. Love quickly followed, and the Canadian in uniform remained in Ms. Watson's thoughts after he returned to the front. Then came word of his capture. Ms. Watson wrote to the Red Cross, asking his whereabouts. He was in the camp near Munster, she heard. But "this man does not write very often," said the official response.

Many soldiers emerged from captivity "with job-related injuries that would prevent them from earning a living for the rest of their lives," Dr. Vance said. "You have all kinds of stories about people losing hands and feet, getting arms mangled in machinery, getting bit of their bodies blown off in mine explosions."

This was William McLeish's life for nearly three years. It must have been a very strange existence, Dr. Vance said, to be working in such trying conditions for 12 to 14 hours then return to camp to take part in a music hall or a play.

Certainly the men would have derived some comfort from the performances. But the evening diversions weren't enough to keep Pte. McLeish whole.

When he was freed after Germany surrendered, he found the Scottish lass and they wed. They settled in Canada and had a son and a daughter.

"He was quite well to begin with," Ms. Fayet said, "but then he had problems dealing with everyday life and eventually he could no longer go into the office to work."

He quit his job at the Grand Trunk Railway and his wife became the family's breadwinner.

"She took any job that she could in order to supplement the income. As I understand it, they received $25 a month for four people to live on from the government," Ms. Fayet said.

Her father's nerves were shot and he became a regular patient at the veterans' hospital in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. "People knew that there was such a thing as shell shock, but, in a lot of minds, that was a moral failing rather than a physical or psychological failing," Dr. Vance said. "It wasn't really appreciated, the degree to which prolonged stress has physiological impacts on the brain."

But Mr. McLeish's family knew the toll it had taken. Ms. Fayet said he never talked about the war, except occasionally to mention a practical joke someone had played or an amusing anecdote.

The horror of the war remained buried inside Mr. McLeish until he died. Perhaps it was softened by a box of photographs and fading playbills that bear his name.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/special/memoryproject/features/pow.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 16:05    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Goed initiatief om eens aandacht te besteden aan krijgsgevangenen. In alle deelnemende landen moeten kampen voor krijgsgevangenen zijn geweest, maar er is weinig over te vinden op Internet.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 20:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lingekopf @ 23 Apr 2008 17:05 schreef:
Goed initiatief om eens aandacht te besteden aan krijgsgevangenen. In alle deelnemende landen moeten kampen voor krijgsgevangenen zijn geweest, maar er is weinig over te vinden op Internet.


Zelfs in Nederland waren krijgsgevangenen kampen, zo ook in Wolfheze:

De Hindenburgstrasse en de Kaiser Wilhelmplatz in Wolfheze. Ze zijn verdwenen. Het enige dat nog herinnert aan het Duitse Kamp is het kleine cellencomplex - dat jarenlang is gebruikt als koeienstal - en de naam Duitsekampweg.

Het 'Interniertenlager' of 'Kriegsgefangenenlager' in Wolfheze werd gebouwd in 1917, tijdens de eerste wereldoorlog. Zowel Engeland als Duitsland wisten zich met de vele krijgsgevangenen geen raad, en zochten steun bij het neutrale Nederland. Er werd een overeenkomst getekend, en zo ontstonden op verschillende plekken in ons land kampen voor Britse en Duitse militairen, onder neutrale Nederlandse leiding.

In Wolfheze werd, tegenover blindeninstituut Het Schilt, een stuk bos opgeofferd voor het kamp. De bouw begon in oktober 1917. Het werd bijna een zelfstandig dorp, bestaande uit 65 barakken, en rechte straten met Duitse namen.

In het midden van het terrein stond een grote kantine, met een bühne waar toneelstukken werden opgevoerd. Aan de randen van het terrein stonden aparte officiersbarakken (mooi ingericht met oud-Hollands meubilair) en ziekenhuisbarakken.

En de mannen hoefden zich niet te vervelen. In de 'Tischlerei' werden complete woonkamer- en slaapkamerinrichtingen gemaakt, die naar Duitsland werden vervoerd. Er was een schoenmakerij, een werkplaats waar lampen werden vervaardigd, een kofferfabriek en het belangrijkste onderdeel was nog wel de landbouwafdeling, waar op een gegeven moment 250 mannen werkten. Op het terrein waren verder badgelegenheden en keukens te vinden, en een kerkje waar om de beurt katholieke en protestantse diensten werden gegeven.

De eerste bewoners kwamen via de haven van Rotterdam aan in maart 1918. Op het drukste moment woonden er 725 mannen, hoewel er plaats was voor zo'n 2500 man. Toch was dat voor een dorpje dat in die tijd ongeveer 200 inwoners had een behoorlijke invasie.

Het was natuurlijk de bedoeling de krijgsgevangenen in Nederland te houden, maar toch lijkt het erop dat het niet bepaald een streng bewaakt kamp was. De mannen konden veelal hun eigen gang gaan. Van de officieren en onderofficieren - die trouwens vaak ook ondergebracht waren op meer comfortabele plekken zoals pensions in Oosterbeek - is bekend dat zij gingen sporten in Oosterbeek-Laag.

Van in ieder geval één Duitse militair is bekend dat hij in Oosterbeek is blijven hangen, omdat hij verliefd was geworden op een Oosterbeeks meisje. Amateur-historicus U. Anema ontmoette vorig jaar de dochter van het paar. Maar veel informatie over het kamp kon zij hem niet geven. Haar vader had nauwelijks gesproken over het dagelijks leven in het kamp.

Een speciale uitgave van de Deutsche Wochenzeitung uit 1918 geeft wel een schat aan informatie over de kampen in Nederland, waaronder in Wolfheze. Er staan veel oude foto's in van het kamp, en een historische groepsfoto van de manschappen met - waarschijnlijk - de kamphond.

Een half jaar na de opening van het kamp, was de oorlog op 11 november 1918 voorbij. Toen kwam er een einde aan het interneringskamp. De ontmanteling ervan duurde in ieder geval tot 1919. Nu bestaat het terrein uit landbouwgrond en staan er woningen.

[Bron: De Gelderlander, 29 juli 2003]

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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 20:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

EDMONTON - Maksym Boyko was walking home from work in Ottawa in the autumn of 1914 when he was confronted by two police officers and promptly arrested.

The 42-year-old unmarried carpenter, who came to Canada from the Ukraine in 1911, had committed no crime. But he was a Ukrainian immigrant.

Boyko's personal effects, including his prized pocket watch and the $150 cash he had saved since arriving in Canada, were seized and he was interned at Camp Petawawa, Ont., where he was forced to build facilities for the army.

Boyko was one of more than 8,000 eastern Europeans, mainly Ukrainians, who were confined in internment camps across Canada -- including some in Alberta -- between 1914 and 1920 under the War Measures Act.

Another 80,000 of these immigrants were not sent to camps, but were forced to report to police and had their liberties and movements restricted. Some were deported; others were stripped of their right to vote.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Paul Martin signed an agreement recognizing Canada's historical wrongs committed against Ukrainian-Canadians during the First World War.

Maksym Boyko's son, Otto, a retired RCMP officer in Edmonton, is part of an Edmonton-based group of internee victims' descendants.

"We're still kind of angry, not only that it happened, but that the acknowledgement isn't there," Otto said.

"If Dad had been a threat to the security of Canada, I would have no problem. But I do have problems with the seizure of his property -- what little he had -- and it not being returned."

With the outbreak of the First World War, many Canadians were suspicious of immigrants from eastern Europe, many of whom were unemployed because of the recession.

The 1914 act allowed the government to arrest and remove these "enemy aliens" from public sight.

"You had the perfect storm happening," Andrew Hladyshevsky, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko, said Wednesday.

"You had the storm of wartime hysteria, economic pressure and the people that did not fit in with existing society. At that point, people not of Anglo-Saxon heritage were easy to attack."

There were 24 internment camps across Canada, including ones in Vernon, Banff, Jasper, Brandon and Kapuskasing, Ont.

Some camps housed only men, while others, like the large Spirit Lake camp, held women and children, too.

The camps provided a cheap way of clearing land, benefiting government and private industry at the expense of second-class immigrants, and reduced unemployment in cities.

Workers were meant to be paid 20 to 30 cents a day, but many didn't get their money.

"Nine holes of the Banff Springs golf course was hacked out of the bush with this slave labour," Hladyshevsky said.

Otto remembers his father telling him about life in the camps.

"He said it was very cold, the food was substandard and the guards were very rough. If (the internees) felt sick, they wouldn't get food for the day, so that was a way of getting them out to work."

Otto's father told him camp guards used racial slurs like 'bohunk' when they talked to the immigrant labourers. Some who tried to escape were shot; others died of disease or exposure. There are internee cemeteries in both Kapuskasing, Ont. and Spirit Lake.

In June 1916 Maksym was released from Spirit Lake (he had been transferred from Camp Petawawa) on the condition that he work in a steel mill in Hamilton. After the war ended, he moved to St. Catharines, then Saskatoon, where he married and raised a family. The carpenter's watch and money were not returned. The Canadian government auctioned off immigrants' confiscated possessions following the war.

Maksym died in 1948, at the age of 77, when Otto was only 12. The government still owed Maksym $24.61 for his labour.

Otto, now 69, said his father's treatment affected their entire family.

"I recall when the Second World War was on, he called the whole family together, and he said, 'If you see anybody come to the house that you don't recognize, you let us know right away,' " Otto said. "He was still concerned that the same thing might happen again."

He said it still bothers him that his father's prized watch wasn't returned.

But he's happy the government is finally recognizing its historical mistreatment of Ukrainian-Canadians.

"Our organization is quite elated, after all these years of pursuing this, that finally, finally, something is coming forward," Otto said.

©
Elizabeth Withey
The Edmonton Journal
http://www.orangerevolution.us/blog/UkrainianDiasporaCanada/_archives/2005/8/26/1171015.html

Meer over dit onderwerp:

http://209.82.14.226/history/internment/

http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=4642
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 20:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The 'Great War'. For recent immigrants and political radicals in Canada, the war was a time of censorship, repression and, for many, life in an internment camp. During the war, the federal government waged its own internal conflict against potential subversives through the registration and internment of enemy aliens. In total, 80 000 enemy aliens were registered and 8579 men, 81 women and 156 children had been interned during the war. Many of those interned were mostly ‘foreign aliens’ with radical political ideas and found guilty of possessing prohibited literature, attending illegal meetings, or being a member of an illegal group. Six reported cases of individuals tried for sedition during the war resulted in four convictions for expressing pro-German sentiments. Censorship was initially limited to two items in 1914 and sixteen in 1915, jumping to a total of 184 bans by 1918. Rather than ending with the war, the powers of Canada’s chief censor increased, allowing him to ban any publication in an enemy language. PC 2381 was passed on 25 September 1918 with the attendant penalties of $5000 and/or five years imprisonment for distributing banned publications. Rooted in concerns over the implications of the Bolshevik revolution and support for socialism at home, the legislation had more to do with suppressing socialism than dealing with the exigencies of war. Political and labour groups were also outlawed through PC 2384 which effectively banned freedom of association, assembly, and speech for a select group of Canadians, most of whom were recent immigrants.

Perhaps the greatest legacy of the war for the human rights movement was the War Measures Act. In 1914 the War Measures Act was created and passed by the Conservative government of Robert Borden. It would later be invoked again in 1939 to deal with the Second World War and Igor Gouzenko's defection, and during the October Crisis in 1970.

Despite these extensive restrictions on civil liberties at home, there does not appear to have been any active civil liberties association in Canada. This does not mean there was no opposition to the government's actions - far from it! But dedicated civil liberties groups with a strong organizational foundation and no link to another movement did not exist at this time.

Soon after the war the modern security apparatus in Canada began taking shape. By 1920, the Royal North West Mounted Police had merged with the now operating Royal Canadian Mounted Police, responsible for all federal law enforcement and national security. From a force of 303 at war’s end in 1918, by September 1919 the RCMP employed 1600 men. Fingerprinting was one of the weapons deployed by the Canadian state to deal with criminal activity and soon adopted by the RCMP. By 1919, the Canadian Criminal Identification Bureau was active in collecting and disseminating fingerprints among police forces in cities across the country, and by 1920 the RCMP was regularly exchanging fingerprints with Britain to identify people deported for criminal activity. A great deal of the force’s increased activity during the postwar period was directed against labour and radical organizations. In February 1919 the number of detectives and secret agents was almost doubled, and a system of security files was created (housed in Ottawa). The expanding security apparatus was effective enough to place an agent (Inspector John Leopold) among the twenty-two members in a secret meeting founding the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) in 1921.



Further Reading

* Larry Hannant, The Infernal Machine: Investigating the Loyalty of Canada’s Citizens, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995.
* Greg Kealey, “State Repression of Labour and the Left in Canada, 1914-20: The Impact of the First World War,” Canadian Historical Review (Vol.73, No.3, 1992): 281-314.
* Reg Whitaker and Gary Marcuse, Cold War Canada: The Making of a National Insecurity State: 1945-1957 ( Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994).


Christmas celebration at Internment Camp in Canada, W.W.I - 1916 (C-014104).

http://www.historyofrights.com/events/ww1.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 20:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

MEMORIAL PLAQUE HONOUR UKRAINIANS INTERNED DURING FIRST WORLD WAR IN CANADA


by Ray Turchansky, Staff Writer
Edmonton Journal
Edmonton, CANADA



EDMONTON (CP) Retired RCMP officer Otto Boyko wore his scarlet tunic Sunday as he unveiled a plaque honouring thousands of Ukrainians interned by the Canadian government from 1912-1920. His father Maksym Boyko had been one of them. Boyko said his father was taken into custody after the First World War broke out by the very police force he served.

``He was not arrested because he had broken any law, nor had he committed any crime,'' said Boyko, 66, during Ukrainian Day celebrations at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Edmonton. ``He was arrested only because he held an Austro-Hungarian passport and was labelled an enemy alien.'' The plaque was one of dozens unveiled across Canada on Sunday, to draw awareness to the government's internment of 8,579 Eastern Europeans under the War Measures Act of 1914.

Another 88,000 people were forced to report to police and many Ukrainians were deported or lost their right to vote.

People in labour camps helped develop Banff National Park, logged in northern Ontario and Quebec, worked in steel mills in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and laboured in mines in British Columbia.

The federal government has made financial restitution to interned Japanese Canadians and has formally apologized to Italian Canadians.

But Ukrainian Canadians have received no notice from the government, although a private member's bill the Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act was brought forth in 2001.

When Maksym Boyko was taken into custody, authorities seized $150 in personal savings, his pocket watch, clothes and other personal effects.

He was forced to work at Ontario's Camp Pettawawa, expanding facilities for the Canadian armed forces.

He was then moved to Spirit Lake, Que., where he was put to work clearing land for government experimental farms.

``They suffered because of cold and lack of proper clothing,'' said Boyko, who was 12 years old when his father died in 1948 at age 77.

``Food was poor, and after all this, they suffered the humiliation of racial slurs and profanity directed at them by the guards.''

About 171,000 Ukrainians settled in Canada between 1896 and 1914. But Ukraine territories of Glacia and Bukovinia were held by the Austro-Hungarian empire. Those Ukrainians were declared enemy aliens by Canada.

Craig Mahovsky of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association said: ``The Dominion of Canada confiscated their personal property, including religious items, conscripted their labour, stripped them of their citizenship, silenced their presses, and suspended their voting rights, all on the basis of a perceived allegiance to a homeland many of them had fled.'' In 1915, the British Foreign Office in Ottawa instructed that Ukrainians were not the enemy, but Canada did not end the internment until 1920.

Alberta member of the legislative assembly Gene Zwozdesky, speaking English and Ukrainian, said the plaque will stand as a testament of ``wrongs that we cannot understand.'' ``Injustices such as what our ancestors persevered cannot easily be corrected, but they will always be remembered, until they are properly acknowledged,'' Zwozdesky said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has estimated that confiscated possessions, auctioned off by the Canadian government after the war ended, would now be worth $33 to $35 million.

For More Information Please Contact:
Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association
tel: (519) 323-9349
e-mail: uccla@infoukes.com
website: http://www.uccla.ca
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Apr 2008 6:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

THE PRISONERS OF RUHLEBEN CIVILIAN INTERNMENT CAMP

1914 - 1918


"Although unable to fight for our King and country on the battlefield, we endeavoured to maintain the British ideal of patriotism, patience, courage and usefulness through four years".

Inscription on Union Flag presented to the King at the Ruhleben Exhibition in February 1919.



INTRODUCTION
johnpatoninruhlebenweb.jpg
Above: My great uncle, John Paton (seated), in Ruhleben, 1916, shortly after his internment.

In 1914, thousands of British civilians and merchant seamen, along with foreigners from other nationalities with British connections, were interned at the hastily constructed prisoner of war camp at Ruhleben racecourse by Spandau, near Berlin, Germany. Most would not see freedom from the camp until the end of the war, but managed to create and maintain a unique way of life for the four years of their unwelcome internment.

This site was constructed to try and tell the stories of as many of those civilians as possible, and to act as a memorial for those who found themselves as the unwitting victims of circumstance, caught up in a struggle that should never have happened.

Sources trawled for information on the inmates include Ruhleben based websites on the internet, printed publications, the National Archives catalogue in London, issues of the Ruhleben Camp Magazine, sales on E-bay of Ruhleben related memorabilia, and many, many more.

Lees verder over dit fascinerende verhaal op:

http://ruhleben.tripod.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Jun 2008 8:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://books.google.nl/books?id=RH3h40DjiK0C

POWs and the Great War: Captivity on the Eastern Front
Door Alon Rachamimov

Zie ook:
http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=14871&highlight=
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Jun 2008 19:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Pforzheim prisoner of war camp (1)

Several views of the building where the Allied officer prisoners were held.

http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/dms/past/ww1/pforzheim1.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jun 2008 8:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Voor wie verder onderzoek wil doen:
http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/publications/fact-sheets/fs106.aspx
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Jul 2008 18:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Krijgsgevangenenkamp Barcelonette in Frankrijk:

http://ubaye-en-cartes.e-monsite.com/rubrique,prisonniers-allemands,1059005.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Jul 2008 8:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Internment during World War I
Internment during World War I

Internees are enemy aliens who are obliged to reside within prescribed 'camps' during time of war, generally unable to leave until the termination of the conflict. During World War I internment in Australia was regulated by the War Precautions Act 1914 and its regulations.

Some 6890 people were interned in Australia during the War. They were mainly of German or Austro-Hungarian background, and included some who were naturalised British citizens (including second or third generation Australians, some with siblings serving in the forces), crew of enemy nationality taken from ships in Australian ports, as well as Government officials and Lutheran missionaries from New Guinea. A small number of members of the International Workers of the World organisation (IWW) were also interned. After the War many internees were voluntarily repatriated to Europe, with some subsequently returning to Australia.

Many internees were allowed on 'parole' rather than being detained in a camp, and were required to report regularly to local police.
Records held in Adelaide

Wartime internment was a significant matter in South Australia because of the relatively high number of migrants of German origin residing in the state. Internees were held at a camp established on Torrens Island.

The office in Adelaide holds a wide range of records dealing with internment during World War I. They include:

* lists of internees;
* internee identification photographs;
* a register of internees on parole;
* records of the wartime control of enemy property; and
* case files (except for Torrens Island camp case files, which have not survived) of the Attorney-General's Department Investigation Branch.

These files, which document the investigation and surveillance that preceded internment, often extend into the 1930s.

© http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/publications/fact-sheets/fs106.aspx
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Jul 2008 8:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

German Internment During the First and Second World Wars

A section of: Canada's "Tradition" of Internment

By Alexandra Bailey



First World War



Of Canada’s seven million people, 393,320 were of German origin in 1911 and 129,103 had roots within the boundaries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[1] Many Germans were well settled in Canada before the First World War. However, about 18,000 Germans and 90,000 Austrians arrived in the country after 1901.[2] The sense of threat, created when the War broke out overseas in August of 1914, was heightened by the perception that the German enemy was outnumbering Canadians who had been naturalized. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, set off a chain of alliances.[3] Canada went to war on behalf of France, Britain, Russia and the United States against Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, later, the Ottoman Empire.[4] The aggression of Germany towards Canadian allies led to a drawn out history of cyclical alienation and re-integration of Germans into Canadian society.



Even before 1914, incipient anxiety could be detected in relation to the commercial choices made by Germans living in Canada. Suspicious eyes were cast at people such as Count Alvo von Alvensleben, who endeavoured to buy enormous amounts of land in British Columbia.[5] Figures of authority in the European Canadian community would sometimes aggravate the problem. Count Haun von Hannhein, the Austro-Hungarian consul in Montreal, periodically took the time to remind his ‘subjects’ that naturalization did not relieve them of their former allegiances to Austria and their military obligations. The call to reservists extended across the ocean.[6] Prewar popular fiction also occasionally posed Germans as apostles of a foreign militarism and naval debates in the Parliament of Canada demonstrate that German conquest was never far from the minds of politicians and military strategists.[7]



However, these suspicions were still the exception before 1914. Germans who had immigrated to Canada were generally acculturated with ease because they were considered racially akin and had suitable customs and traditions.[8] Interaction with other immigrant groups appears to have been largely cooperative. In the East, including New France, Nova Scotia, and Labrador, eighteenth century settlers found themselves rapidly intermarrying with Francophones.[9] In Alberta, German settlers from Galicia, a region now divided between Poland and the Ukraine,[10] connected with former Ukrainian neighbours, encouraging them to immigrate to Canada and heralding in a wave of immigration from the Ukraine in 1892. This group of Ukrainians worked on Mennonite farms and built roots next to German speaking communities near Fort Saskatchewan. The Germans and Dutch were assigned to townships in Ontario, living together harmoniously throughout the nineteenth century.[11] Problems over dual identity or divided loyalties were muted. As J.S. Woodsworth, a pioneer in the Canadian social democratic movement,[12] pointed out: “‘in the long run it would seem as if it is the others who are Germanized’.”[13]



After the outbreak of the First World War, however, Germans became the most reviled immigrant group in Canada.[14] Unlike their Ukrainian neighbours, this revulsion was not mitigated by attempts to recruit the Germans to the cause of the war.[15] Although the Canadian government had considered war with Germany in great detail, a plan for dealing with possible internal saboteurs and agents had not evolved at the outset. Haphazardly, some army reservists were initially allowed to go back overseas. But, by the end of the first week of war, both naval and army reservists were detained. The cabinet vacillated between reassuring German Canadians and Austro-Hungarians that they were accepted and devising new strategies to limit their freedoms.[16] The German invasion of Belgium, however, and the early blows to the British and French forces turned Canadian popular opinion against this immigrant group.[17]



The War Measures Act[18] (1914) was used to authorize an ever-increasing deprivation of rights including, internment, exclusion, arrests for suspicious behaviour, and censorship.[19] Citizenship was taken away from German nationals as well as those that had been naturalized. The Wartime Elections Act [20] of 1917, which stayed in place until 1920, disenfranchised all citizens naturalized after March 1902, if they spoke the language of or were born in an enemy nation.[21] The number of unemployed aliens became alarming, particularly in the west, making officials hope that these people would flee to the States. In the end, however, the government ordered that those who could not support themselves should be interned.[22]



In 1916, violence became a popular form of protest against German presence in Canada and the government largely sanctioned this behaviour by refusing to take action.[23] In the same year, an anti-German league, run by prominent Canadians in Toronto, rallied around banning German imports, eliminating Germans from civil service positions, and halting immigration from Germany.[24] Reminders of this tense climate can be found in the prolific number of name changes made to cities and towns during this time. For instance, the city of Berlin in Ontario was re-named Kitchener after businessmen and manufacturers pressed politicians for the change.[25] The city also raised $100,000 for the newly founded Patriotic Fund, for the promotion of “Canadian” values.[26] By 1917, German associations were unheard of, German-language schools dissolved and German content was removed from university curricula.[27]



Twenty-four camps across Canada were set up and filled with almost 9,000 of the 88,000 registered enemy aliens from Europe residing in the country. Just over 2,000 of those confined were German.[28] An Order-in-Council made in October had authorized a system of registrars in major centres.[29] Aliens were obliged to register with the centre and were denied the freedom to leave the country without a permit. The system of registrars gave the Department of Justice the ability to decide who would be interned.[30] The reasons for internment ranged from simply being unemployed to uttering disapproval of state action.[31] Mass expulsion of the entire population, whether aliens or naturalized, was seriously considered at the time. Only a shortage of transportation and fear of international disapproval kept the number of Germans who were expelled from the country to around 1, 600.[32] The majority of internees were not released until after the armistice in 1920.[33]



Between 1914 and 1918, Canadian police boasted that no acts of sabotage had occurred.[34] Later, German state archives were found to indicate that none had ever been intended and, yet, the Canadian government had spent $4,445,000 on internment camps, not including the cost of personnel.[35]



After the war, most Germans living in Canada reacted to the prejudice against them by stifling their German identity.[36] Some Austro-Hungarians even assumed Scandinavian, Dutch or Russian identities in order to avoid the prejudicial treatment. Not until 1923 did Canada re-open its borders to German immigration.[37] Nonetheless, pro-British sentiment continued to be advanced by labour leaders, veteran’s organizations and other nationalists.[38] They were concerned about the findings of the 1921 census, which indicated that more than 40 percent of the prairie province population was comprised of non-British immigrants. Canadianization became a popular term and under this rubric, German schooling remained altogether prohibited.[39]

Voor de voetnoten en ©
http://www.law.ualberta.ca/centres/ccs/Current-Constitutional-Issues/German-Internment-During-the-First-and-Second-World-Wars.php
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Dec 2008 7:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Orchestra, education part of life for inmates of World War I prison

By Dr. R. Smith Murray

The World War I prisoners at Fort Oglethorpe were certainly a different breed from the prisoners kept there during World War II. World War II prisoners were German soldiers captured on the battlefield. Most of the World War I prisoners were arrested in the United States.

Many of those arrested were classified as “enemy aliens.” Technically, an “alien” was defined as one who had not completed the naturalization process, meaning he or she was not a U.S. citizen. And there were a lot of them. At the onset of the war, there were 3 million German or Austro-Hungarians living in the United States who had not been naturalized. Although there were a lot of them, arrests weren’t rampant. By the end of the war, only 4000 were actually arrested.

However, these were not the only people arrested. U.S. citizens of German or Austro-Hungarian descent could be and were incarcerated if they were believed to be abetting or aiding the enemy. Mostly they were arrested on suspicion of spying or sabotage, but a few were arrested for making pro-German statements. Although these people didn’t fit the technical classification of “enemy alien,” they were also referred to that way.

Another group of prisoners were arrested in U.S. ports. These were sailors and merchant men arrested on German ships anchored in U.S. ports when war was declared. These men were classified as military and as such could be more properly called prisoners of war as opposed to enemy aliens.

There was still another group whose members were arrested as troublemakers. These were the radical members of the I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World, the so-called “Wobblies”). Members of this group were not necessarily connected to Germany.

As you can see, the prisoners came from quite diverse groups. Nonetheless, at the beginning of the war, all these groups were put in prison compounds together.

President Woodrow Wilson was the man responsible for these policies of incarceration; and although the policies had the potential to threaten a large number of people, massive incarcerations did not occur. If you combine the three groups (enemy aliens, sailors and Wobblies), the total number of World War I prisoners was by no means huge. At its peak, Fort Oglethorpe held 3,400 prisoners, and it was the largest of all the war-prison barracks in the United States.

There were only three war-prison barracks is the country. The other two were Fort McPherson, near Atlanta, and Fort Douglas, Utah.

Prisoners came in all ranges of status and wealth. There were businessmen, musicians, scholars, poets and journalists, as well as illiterate laborers.

Prisoners fell into two classes. The first class was wealthy enemy aliens. They paid for their own upkeep and were quartered in a separate compound. They weren’t required to perform any labor, and they could even hire lower-class prisoners to act as their servants. The lower-class prisoners (the non-wealthy, the sailors and the Wobblies) were required to work. Refusal to work meant going onto half-rations.

The prisoners were served three meals a day, which could be supplemented with items grown in their own vegetable gardens or bought in the prison exchange store. Comfort items could be sent to prisoners from family or friends. The items could be food (although no canned goods were permitted) or money. Money was especially useful because goods in the prison exchange were plentiful and less expensive than they were outside the camps.

Medical and dental care were free. At Fort Oglethorpe, camp health was quite good. The exception was an influenza outbreak that claimed 48 lives in 1918.

A separate women’s barrack was planned, but since there were few female prisoners, it was never built. Even so, women were by no means absent. With prior permission, wives of prisoners were allowed two-hour visits. They were ordered to speak in English.

Fort Oglethorpe permitted a wide assortment of diversions. There were sports as well as abundant educational material. Prisoners conducted classes that ranged from science to language and literature. There were even remedial classes for the less educated. In addition, prisoners had their own 80-piece symphonic orchestra conducted by Dr. Karl Muck, who, prior to his incarceration, was the conductor of the Boston Symphony.

Furthermore, the prisoners had their own newspaper, the Orgelsdorfer Eulenspiegel. It was printed in German and a degree of irreverence ran through it. The Dec. 15, 1918, edition states, “Secondary to the influenza more or less 50 people died — unofficially.” It then states, “All here greater than a short time are more or less crazy — officially.”

A degree of tension existed between the military prisoners (the sailors and the merchant men) and the civilian enemy aliens. This was handled by a major swap of prisoners. The military prisoners were sent to Fort McPherson, and in exchange Fort McPherson sent a similar number of civilian enemy aliens to Fort Oglethorpe. Consequently, Fort Oglethorpe contained even more of the culturally elite. The prisoner swap, along with keeping the Wobblies more isolated, produced a more tranquil camp.

Escape attempts weren’t common. Only two prisoners were shot trying to escape from Fort Oglethorpe.

Despite World War I ending on Nov. 11, 1918, the U.S. government continued to maintain the war-prison barracks and even continued to arrest enemy aliens. The final arrest was made in February 1919.

During 1919, most of the prisoners were released, although some were held until June 1920.

Dr. R. Smith Murray is a retired Chattanooga urologist. He is president of the Chattanooga Area Historical Association. This article first appeared in Volume 11, No. 1 of the Chattanooga Regional Historical Journal.

© http://timesfreepress.com/news/2008/dec/07/orchestra-education-part-life-inmates-world-war-i-/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Dec 2008 8:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

May 20 1915 Alexander Dickson, 3 Bn
May 28 1915 Private William Wallace, Cdn Highlanders
Jun 4 1915 Treatment of Wounded Soldiers in Germany
Jun 14 1915 Canadian Prisoners of War
Jul 3 1915 British Officers Interned in Germany
Jul 6 1915 The Bitterest Memory [read bottom]
Jul 29 1915 Condition of German Prison Camps
Sep 1 1915 German Prison Camps
Sep 29 1915 For Canadian Prisoners of War
Oct 19 1915 Repatriated British Prisoners of War
Nov 5 1915 Conditions of British Prisoners
Jan 10 1916 Life at Sennelager Camp
Feb 23 1916 British Prisoners
Jul 1 1916 Officer Prisoners in Germany
Aug 9 1916 British Prisoners from Germany
Aug 21 1916 Viscount Grey and Treatment of Prisoners
Aug 30 1916 British Prisoners in Switzerland
Nov 22 1916 British War Prisoners in Switzerland
Jun 2 1917 German Brutality
Jun 23 1917 Prisoners of War
Jan 14 1918 Crown Prince Visits British Wounded [Did Crown Prince Rupert ever visit Canada? Did we stone him?]
Jul 4 1918 Ruhleben Prisoner Gains Oxford Doctor of Music Degree
Jul 16 1918 A Touching Scene in France
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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2009 20:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The history of Ruhleben : a record of British organisation in a prison camp in Germany ([1919])

http://www.archive.org/details/historyofruhlebe00poweuoft
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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2009 20:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

In Ruhleben, letters from a prisoner to his mother, with an account of the "university" life, classes, sports, good, accommodation, etc., of the internment camp of British prisoners (1917)

http://www.archive.org/details/inruhlebenletter00slad
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Aug 2009 10:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

German prisoners in Great Britain (1916)
Een fotoboek over het leven van Duitse krijgsgevangenen in Groot-Brittannië, met een zeer hoog propagandagehalte.

On-line te bekijken of te downloaden als PDF:
http://www.archive.org/details/germanprisonersi00bolt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Aug 2009 10:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De andere kant van de medaille:
Kriegsgefangen in Skipton; Leben und Geschichte deutscher Kriegsgefangener in einem englischen Lager (1920)

On-line te lezen of te downloaden als PDF:

http://www.archive.org/details/kriegsgefangenin00sachuoft
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Jan 2010 21:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Researching British Prisoners of War
During the Great War of 1914-1918, some 7,335 officers and 174,491 other ranks of the British Army were captured by the enemy. Of these, about half fell into captivity between 21 March and 11 November 1918. Unfortunately, for those wishing to research men who became prisoners, there are relatively few sources of information about what happened to them, other than the information presented on "Behind the wire".

http://www.1914-1918.net/POW/index.php
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Jan 2010 21:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/pow.asp
British prisoners of war: interviews and reports

You can now search and download First World War interviews and reports for over 3,000 named individuals. These reports have previously been available online, but we have just completed a project to improve access to them by enabling you to search for them by the names of the authors of each report.

These documents, from the series WO 161, were compiled by the Committee on the Treatment of British Prisoners of War and provide the main source of personal information for Prisoners of War (PoWs) captured during the First World War. They consist of pre-Armistice reports made by repatriated, escaped or interned Officers, Medical Officers and Other Ranks, and occasionally Merchant Seamen and Civilians. Unlike many other records, they often describe what happened after the battle. However, it should be noted that they represent a tiny percentage of the estimated 192,000 British and Commonwealth captives.

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