Proclamation of the Government (2 September 1914)

In September, the Berliner Journal printed a proclamation from the Canadian government, stating that “all persons in Canada of German or Austro-Hungarian nationality quietly pursuing their ordinary vocations would be allowed to continue to enjoy the protection of the law,” whereas soldiers, officers, people trying to leave the country, and those who “engage in espionage”, or any other suspicious behavior, would be arrested.

The German population therefore was worried about their safety, “freedom to hold property or to carry on business”, and possible resentment they faced. Two weeks later the government released a public notice, stating that “so long as [persons in Canada of German or Austro-Hungarian nationality] respect the law” they were protected by the law and had “nothing to fear”.

Furthermore, the editors of the Berliner Journal calmed their readership down. They clarified that only property of immigrants who were not naturalized, i.e. did not have the Canadian citizenship, would be confiscated. They justified the proclamation by explaining the difficult situation due to the war. However, they recommended to their readers that they become naturalized in order to prevent further problems.

BJ-1914-08-12-German spies

(“Proklamation” Berliner Journal, 2 September 1914; “Oeffentliche Bekanntmachung” Berliner Journal, 16 September 1914; “Unser Artikel“ Berliner Journal, 30 September 1914)