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Organization > Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Subject > Politics and Society

Sir Ernest MacMillan Recalls Being a POW

Type: Sound

They called it "The Great War" and "The War to End All Wars" – though of course it didn't. When hostilities erupted in Europe in 1914, Canadians rushed to Britain's side. But the cost was terrible: more than 60,000 were killed, 172,000 wounded. There are no more Canadian combat veterans alive to recall the horrors of the First World War, but their voices and memories live on in the archives of the CBC. Lest we forget, here are some of their stories.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

First World War Teddy Bear Among War Museum's Artifacts

Type: Film and Video

It's "an especially intimate and heartbreaking reminder of the sorrows of war." This ragged teddy bear, now on display at the Canadian War Museum, accompanied a Canadian medical officer overseas during the First World War. His daughter gave it to him to keep him safe. Sadly, the officer died at Passchendaele and the bear was sent home. As the Canadian War Museum opens its new location in 2005, this CBC-TV report looks at the teddy bear as well as other fascinating items on display at the museum.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Carry On Canada! Canadians Urged to Boost War Effort

Type: Film and Video

It starts off as a casual conversation about politics. But by the end of the conversation, both men are convinced: it's time to join the army. "I guess we better swing into line," concedes one of the men in this short radio skit. This dramatized chat is part of the 1941 CBC program Carry On Canada, a weekly show aimed at persuading Canadians to help with the war effort. This episode also includes "a call to every Canadian housewife" to collect unused aluminum and donate it to "your government for war purposes."

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Propaganda and the Second World War

Type: Film and Video

"Buy Victory Bonds!" Spread war-related rumours and you risk becoming "one of Hitler's Little Helpers." Ladies, join the army and you'll be "the proudest girl in the world!" Persuasive messages like these were everywhere during the Second World War, including on CBC Radio and Canadian movie screens. Indeed, wartime propaganda wasn't just the domain of Nazi Germany — Canada too created films, radio dramas and posters aimed at convincing citizens to join the military or help out on the home front.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Jewish Refugees Already Fleeing Germany

Type: Film and Video

The war hasn't even begun yet, and Germany's Jews are already under attack. Persecuted by the Nazi government, many are trying to escape. "Thousands are seeking asylum and sanctuary on our doorstep," says Lord Baldwin, Britain's former prime minister. In this appeal broadcast on CBC Radio, he asks listeners to send money to aid the refugees. The situation is so desperate that parents are willing to send their children to safety even if it means they'll never see them again.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Japanese Canadians: Fighting for Inclusion

Type: Sound

Japanese-Canadian names are added to a Second World War memorial, thus helping to lesson the painful memories of internment, relocation, and prejudice against this minority during the war.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Keen-Eyed Women Volunteer for Aircraft Detection Corps - Second World War

Type: Sound

Reporter Marion Angus describes the work of female ADC plane-spotters in this 1943 radio broadcast. These homefront volunteers sight, recognize (ie. identify) and report aircraft flying overhead.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Auschwitz: Mengele's Twins

Type: Film and Video

Six decades after Auschwitz was liberated, the biggest and most brutal Nazi death camp remains a potent symbol of terror and genocide. More than a million Jews were murdered there, as well as tens of thousands of Poles, Gypsies and Soviet prisoners of war. When Allied soldiers liberated the complex in Poland in January 1945, they found skeletal prisoners, mounds of corpses, gas chambers and cooling crematoria. Survivors scattered, many to Canada, to rebuild their lives. But the Nazi atrocities they witnessed have echoed through the years along with the cry "Never again."

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Japanese Internment Re-examined

Type: Film and Video

Debunking of myth of threat posed by Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War, through interviews with both government officials and victims of internment. Argument that it was in fact the very act of resettling and interning Japanese-Canadians that could have alienated them enough to pose a threat in case of Japanese invasion of the Pacific coast.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Auschwitz: Hana's Suitcase

Type: Film and Video

It's a remarkable story of survival, perseverance and hope and it all began with a plain brown suitcase. As told in this excerpt of the award-winning documentary, the owner of the suitcase was Hana Brady, a Jewish girl from Czechoslovakia who died at Auschwitz in 1944. She was just 13. Her story would have been forgotten if it weren't for Fumiko Ishioka, the director of the children's Holocaust Education Centre in Tokyo.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation