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"The Huns and Vandals are thundering at our gates and within our gates": Faces of the Enemy in Saskatoon during the Second World War

Brendan Kelly
Urban History Review / Revue d'histoire urbaine
Vol. 39, No. 2 (Spring 2011 printemps), pp. 3-16
Published by: Urban History Review
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43562361
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"The Huns and Vandals are thundering at our gates and within our gates": Faces of the Enemy in Saskatoon during the Second World War
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Abstract

Although at a safe remove from combat during the Second World War, many citizens of Saskatoon exhibited a strange sense of embattlement. During these years fearful residents believed the city to be under threat by a succession of enemies, including German Canadians, Hitler's Wehrmacht, Japanese Canadians, communists, and the provincial Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Which foe occupied the spotlight shifted with time and the changing fortunes of war. Come the summer of 1944, enemies that had seemed so real during the early years of the war had all but vanished. By D-Day and the June provincial election, Saskatonians had overcome their wartime paranoia and optimistically turned their attention towards the more pressing needs of domestic reconstruction. Bien que loin des combats de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, de nombreux citoyens de Saskatoon ont éprouvé l'étrange sensation d'être assiégés. Durant ces années, des résidents apeurés croyaient que la ville était sous la menace d'une succession d'ennemis, y compris les Canadiens d'origine allemande, la Wehrmacht d'Hitler, les Canadiens japonais, les communistes et la section saskatchewanaise de la Fédération du commonwealth coopératif. L'ennemi qui occupait le feu des projecteurs a changé au gré du temps et des vicissitudes de la guerre. À l'été de 1944, les ennemis qui avaient semblé si réels durant les premières années de la guerre avaient presque disparu. Au lendemain du Jour J et des élections provinciales du mois de juin, les résidents de Saskatoon ont progressivement surmonté leur paranoïa de guerre et tourné avec optimisme leur attention vers les besoins plus urgents de la reconstruction nationale.

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