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Barbed Wire, Black Flies, 55 F Below
The wee village of Monteith, Ontario was the home to thousands of German prisoners of war from 1940 to 1946. Day to day tedium at Camp 23 was interrupted by escapes, strikes, death, conflicts, controversy and humour. Guards, staff and support troops kept vigilance over the enemy who were mainly young men, committed to their cause, regardless of how maligned that cause might seem today. The winters were bitterly cold and snowy. The summers were hot and humid with millions of insects that tormented both the prisoners and the Canadians. The residents of Monteith adapted to the presence of the enemy a couple of hundred yards away from their homes, opened their doors and hearts to the Canadian men and women in uniform who operated the camp and enjoyed the extra amenities that the camp offered to locals.