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"I don't want to go back" : the complicated case of Polish displaced children to Canada in 1949

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posted on 08.06.2021, 12:27 authored by Monika Katarzyna Payseur
On September 7, 1949, a group of 123 Polish displaced children from Tengeru Camp in Tanganyika (Tanzania) arrived in Halifax on board the U.S. Army transport, the General Heitzelman. The Canadian government accepted these children on the assumption that they were all orphans, but shortly after their arrival, the Communist regime in Warsaw accused Canada of kidnapping the children and demanded their immediate repatriation claiming that some of them had parents and relatives living in Poland. This paper examines the diplomatic row between the Canadian and Polish governments over the resettlement of these children and argues that the Canadian authorities assessed the problem from a more balanced and less ideological point of view while taking into account the interests of the children and a humanitarian image of Canada.





Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University