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Camp Boys / Internment in Canada dossier

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A grey denim long-sleeved collared shirt. On the back, a large red circle has been sewn into the fabric. First detail of the shirt label. Second detail of the shirt label. The circle has been covered over with more grey denim on the outside, and is only visible from the inside of the shirt.

Alfred Bader’s internment shirt from Camp I (Île-aux-Noix, Quebec), circa 1940-1941. Bader arrived in Canada on-board the S.S. Sobieski and was interned for fifteen months before his sponsored release on November 2, 1941. After attending Queen’s University, Bader became a noted chemist, businessman and collector of fine art.

– Courtesy Alfred Bader

“The uniform an internee is required to wear is both degrading and unworthy of a civilization that believes in encouraging the individual, rather than treading on his soul. It was disturbing to find distinguished university professors dressed as clowns. The red circle, which is commonly supposed to be a target for the machine guns, is a shabby insult to men who are ready to wear the red cross.”
– Alexander Paterson, “Report on Civilian Internees Sent from the United Kingdom to Canada During the Unusually Fine Summer of 1940”