Deutscher Bund Canada

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Deutscher Bund Canada (Deutscher Bund Kanada also known as the Canadian Society for German Culture, German Association of Canada and German League of Canada Inc.) was founded January 1, 1934 in Waterloo, Ontario. Five Canadian Hitler supporters Ernst Kopf, Otto Geisler, Georg Messer, Paul Lechscheidt, and Karl Gerhard were the Bund's first members.[1] The group was less political than it’s predecessor the Friends of New Germany and wanted to emphasize social and cultural aspects of the recent German Revolution. The Canadian Bund did not wear uniforms but did wear swastika armbands at their meetings.[2]

Karl Gerhard, the group's leader from Montreal, was a NSDAP member under the direction of the Hamburg-based Auslandsorganisation der NSDAP (AO), which dealt with Party matters abroad. The second leading figure of the Bund was Bernhard Bott of Winnipeg.

The Bund organized German-language schools, cultural facilities, and recreational clubs and had around 2,000-2,500 members. They had their own schools in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Kitchener. Its affiliate, the German Labour Front, had an estimated 500 Canadian members. However the German-Canadian Bund had no intention in becoming a mass organization a but wanted an elite who would train other Germans in Canada with völkisch beliefs and attitudes.[3] Interestingly, the Bund did not have formal associations with other Canadian fascist organizations such as the National Unity Party.[4]

The RCMP began to arrest Canadian Bund leadership in September 1939 the first month of World War II in Europe. By May 1940, 400 key members were interned in detention camps.

The group issued a newspaper from Winnipeg called Deutsche Zeitung für Canada.

Notes

  1. Brothers beyond the Sea: National Socialism in Canada, by Jonathan Frederick Wagner, page 65
  2. On The Way!, By Christopher R. Kilford, page 106
  3. Brothers beyond the Sea: National Socialism in Canada, by Jonathan Frederick Wagner, page 66
  4. Brothers beyond the Sea: National Socialism in Canada, by Jonathan Frederick Wagner, page 77

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