“Refugee Stories” Oral History Project

Leaving the Ueberseeheim in Bremen, bound for Canada on the SS Beaverbrae. Source: Canadian Lutheran World Relief.

“Refugee Stories: The Immigration and Resettlement of Germans in Western Canada, 1947-1960” is a research project I’ve been leading since 2016, assisted by Ambrose University history students and members of various German-Canadian communities in Calgary and throughout Alberta.

Our project combines scholarly research and oral history interviews to discover the history and memory of the emigration of Lutherans, Baptists, Mennonites, Catholics and others from Germany and/or Eastern Europe and their resettlement in Canada during the fifteen years after the end of the Second World War.

“Refugee Stories” has the support of the ELCIC Alberta Synod, the LCC Alberta-BC Synod, and the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta, among others. It is funded in part by Canadian Lutheran World Relief and by the University of Winnipeg’s Chair in German-Canadian Studies. “Refugee Stories” runs from 2016-2018.

So far we have conducted almost twenty interviews, which we’re combining with interviews provided by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and a variety of printed sources, both published and unpublished. In fall 2017, the second round of interviews will begin.

To learn more about the project, ask questions, or get involved, please contact Kyle Jantzen at 403-410-2000 (ext. 6902) or kjantzen@ambrose.edu. Please share this information with others who might be interested in the “Refugee Stories” project.