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The Enemy Within

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During World War II, a war-ravaged Britain realized it could not billet all its captured German soldiers. Canada stepped forward to house and feed more than 34,000 prisoners of war in 25 remote camps across the country. Today little is left of these war camps, but those who were there--inmates and guards alike--will never forget.

Among the captured German soldiers was Theo Melzer--father of filmmaker Eva Colmers--who spent three and a half years in a POW camp in Lethbridge, Alberta. Colmers, while growing up in Regensberg, Germany, had often been puzzled by her father's fond memories of his POW life. When she made Canada her new home, she set out to rediscover this little-known chapter in Canadian-German history.

Eloquently weaving poignant excerpts from her father's letters with wartime archival images and dramatic re-enactments, Colmers' film shares the powerful stories of these now elderly men, once the "enemy within." Watch as they recall with gratitude, how their lives were changed forever bacause of the unexpected respect and dignity they received at the hands of their Canadian captors.

2003, 52 min 04 s

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Honorable Mention - Category: Social Issues
International Film and Video Festival
November 10 to 14 2004, Columbus - USA