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Charmion BS: The Good Nazi (13) RE: BS: The Good Nazi 30 Aug 19


German PoWs who either managed to not be sent back after the war, or returned during the great waves of post-war immigration, were critical actors in Canada’s post-war (and post-Depression) recovery.

The founder of the Kopp Labs, a chain of store-front medical laboratories in the Ottawa area, was a medical student conscripted into the Wehrmacht in 1941 and captured in North Africa in 1943. He must have been a low-level resister all along, because he shows up in Canadian military intelligence records as a “white” prisoner interned at the Hull Gaol (in Hull, Quebec, across the river from Ottawa) to keep him away from hard-line Nazi types, who were held in isolated camps in the bush country of northern Ontario. Within a few weeks, he was paroled to work in the laboratory of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, where he was still employed at the end of the war.

A different group of Canadian Army records from the Home War Establishment contains lists of prisoners being repatriated to Germany in the months after V-E Day, and correspondence about parolees wanting to stay in Canada. Private Kopp turns up in those records, too. The pressure to return all the prisoners was enormous, but Kopp never went back.

I read those records in 1987 while employed at the National Archives in Ottawa.


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