Opening reception for Behind the Wire

On November 5th, a wine and cheese reception was held in the Shannon Library of St. Thomas More College to welcome and hear from Dr. Stefan Manz, Professor of German and Global History and Head of Languages and Translation Studies at Aston University (Birmingham, UK).

Dr. Manz was on hand to officially open Behind the Wire: Civilian Internment in the British Empire, 1914-1919, a traveling exhibit organized by Aston University and Edinburgh Napier University (Edinburgh, Scotland), in partnership with Archaeology Scotland and the Internment Research Centre, Hawick Museum (Hawick, Scotland). The exhibit is hosted by the Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage (PCUH), in association with the St. Thomas More Art Gallery.

Dr. Manz discussed how the First World War was not only truly global in scope, but was a war fought between empires and, as such, subjects of those empires who lived and worked abroad found themselves labeled ‘enemy aliens’ and a danger to the internal security of nations. The British Empire interned a total of ~50,000 individuals over the course of the war and afterward. In Canada, 24 internment camps existed from 1914 to 1920.

The display marks the centenary end of the Great War, and is scheduled to run from October 28th December 15th in the St. Thomas More Art Gallery.