I only knew of the WWII internment camp near Ripples, New Brunswick when I read the book Prisoner of Warren by Andreas Oertel back in 2016. Even then, I didn’t know Canada had so many camps for captured enemy personnel, or as in the case of Camp B near Ripples, enemy sympathizers, many of whom should not have even been held there in the first place.
Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers is volume 26 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series published by Goose Lane Editions. While it is under 200 pages, New Brunswick born author Andrew Theobald has filled it with an extensive amount of research, not only about the existence of the camp itself but of the many who were held there, (including, at first Jews, later Germans and Italians) escape attempts and almost total disappearance of any existence of the camp today, aside from the concrete base of the water tower and the camp’s museum which can be visited today.
“Ultimately, the Ripples Internment Camp, established during humanity’s worst moments, demonstrated New Brunswick and its people at their best.”
As with the other books in this series that I have read, I found it fascinating to read, as well as learning a bit about WWII and the effect it had on those “back at home.” There was a colourful collection of internees held at Camp B and the text shares some of the lighter moments as well as the grim ones. Good reading for any history enthusiast and Goose Lane Editions is to be commended for publishing this on-going series of books that deal with the military history of New Brunswick at home and abroad.
Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers has been shortlisted for the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards (Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing)
About the Author: Andrew Theobald holds degrees in history from Mount Allison University, the University of New Brunswick, and Queen’s University. He is also the author of The Bitter Harvest of War: New Brunswick and the Conscription Crisis of 1917 and numerous scholarly articles.
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James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.