World War II Prisoners Treated So Well They Didn’t Want To Leave

Samuel Reason | September 13th, 2018

Often referred to as the happiest prisoners, during World War II, Canada had some of the best-equipped prisoner camps for captured German soldiers. Generally located in beautiful wilderness areas, Canada had 25 prisoners of war camps during World War II and help over 35,000 German soldiers, sailors or airmen at one point.

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And though you may think that being captured and imprisoned would have been a terrible affair, most of the German soldiers later referred to it as “the best thing that happened to me.” In fact, once the war had finished around 6,000 of the captured military troops wanted to stay in Canada.

At first, the camps were made just to round up some individuals whose loyalty to Canada was questionable, it was secured by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and started shortly after the war in 1939. In June 1940, Churchill asked Canada to accept 7,000 enemy PoWs from British camps. And that was followed by several thousand troops captured during the North Africa campaigns.

All the camps were built to be well equipped, with large recreation halls and educational huts; there were even workshops for the prisoners to learn new trades from. Entertainment was not overlooked, in the camps, they held regular soccer tournaments. There were numerous activities like handball, boxing, wrestling or even tennis.

The Canadian government even authorized employment in 1943, they were given jobs primarily on farms or logging camps. Farmers would house them for days and over 11,000 PoWs held down jobs. It is noted that many of the farmers would eventually see them as a family, which is probably why many wanted to stay.

That being said there were still escape attempts, at the end of the day, it is part of a PoW duty to try to escape. But getting from Canada to Germany, well that is easier said than done.

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