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Orders for factories in Waterloo and Berlin (19 August 1914)

As a manufacturing town, Berlin’s economy was expanded because of the war. Immediately after the war began, factories in Waterloo and Berlin received contracts worth $150,000 to produce goods and clothes for the Canadian soldiers.

Canadian boot suppliers even hoped to gain a portion of the orders to manufacture boots for the Italian army, but the reporter believed that these types of foreign contracts would more likely be given to enterprises in the United States .

BJ-1914-08-12-Orders for factories in Waterloo and Berlin

(„150000$ in Kriegslieferungen für Berliner und Waterlooer Fabriken“, Berliner Journal, 19 August 1914; „Neue Kriegslieferungen in Canada“, Berliner Journal, 9 June 1915)


The opinion of the Berliner Journal (19 August 1914)

The publishers of the Berliner Journal wanted to make sure that their readers knew they were trying to remain neutral, and did not judge the decisions of world powers simply from a German perspective. Their goal as publishers was to create a neutral German-Canadian newspaper to support German culture in Canada, but not to follow a specific political platform. They also emphasized their understanding of the Anglo-Canadian desire to help Great Britain. The publishers at the Journal expected that the Canadian government would do everything to support the German population in Canada, but realized that would not protect Germans from the negative reactions of some of their neighbours, of course.

BJ-1914-08-19-The opinion of the Berliner Journal

(“Der englische, französische, russische Krieg gegen Deutschland und Österreich“, Berliner Journal, 19 August 1914)


“Opening of the Dominion Parliament” (26 August 1914)

In a speech given at the opening of the Dominion Parliament in late August, 1914, it was said that “Germans in Canada belong to the best citizens. Great Britain does not fight the war against the German nation itself. The Asquith government had tried very hard to avoid the war, but Germany and Austria-Hungary had insisted on it. Germany had intended to hurt Belgian neutrality.” The speech was made before a vote on the Canadian war budget, and again emphasized a belief that the German government, and not the German people, were to blame for the current state of affairs.

The difficult position of the German-Canadians (17 February 1915)

A speech given six months later by Sir Wilfrid Laurier noted that the position of the German-Canadians would continue to be difficult. Blood would be thicker than water and nobody remaining at home in Canada would require the same sacrifices as the Germans yet the things demanded from the German-Canadians, were being fulfilled whole-heartedly.

BJ-1914-08-26-“Opening of the Dominion Parliament”

(„Eröffnung des Dominion Parlaments“, Berliner Journal, 26 August 1914; „Sir Wilfrid Laurier…“, Berliner Journal, 17 February 1915)


Patriotic fund (7 October 1914)

On October 7 1914 an advertisement in the Berliner Journal was published for the Canadian government encouraging donations to the Canadian Patriotic Fund which supported the families of soldiers. Since the city of Berlin had not provided many men to fight, its residents tried to raise large amounts of money for the Patriotic fund to show their loyalty to Canada (Löchte, Anne. Das Berliner Journal 1859-1918. Eine deutschsprachige Zeitung in Kanada. Göttingen: V&R unipress 2007. Print. P. 167). After Waterloo, Berlin collected the largest amount in Canada (Löchte, Anne. Das Berliner Journal 1859-1918. Eine deutschsprachige Zeitung in Kanada. Göttingen: V&R unipress 2007. Print. P. 171).


BJ-1914-10-07-Patriotic fund

(„Sie sollen keine Noth leiden“, Berliner Journal, 7 October 1914; Löchte, Anne. Das Berliner Journal 1859-1918. Eine deutschsprachige Zeitung in Kanada. Göttingen: V&R unipress 2007. Print. P. 167/171; English, John and McLaughlin, Kenneth. Kitchener: An illustrated history. Toronto: Robin Brass, 1996. Print. P. 118)


A happy return from Europe (14 October 1914)

Canadian citizen Anton Krähn was travelling in Europe when the war began, and had to flee to Alsace, France where he stayed with relatives. Luckily, he was able to return to Canada in October and wrote about his experiences in Europe in the Berliner Journal.

Anton Krähn and his brother George travelled to France at the end of June to visit their relatives near Straßbourg. They were surprised by the war and couldn’t travel back to Canada because all of the trains in Europe were being used for mobilization. Thirteen nephews of Anton Krähn were conscripted as well as all of the family’s horses so they had to use cattle to harvest the crop. Krähm and his brother were eventually able to reach the Netherlands, from where they could board a ship which brought them back to Canada.

BJ-1914-10-14-A happy return from Europe

(“Dr. Anton Krähn…”, Berliner Journal, 14 October 1914; “Reise-Erlebnisse eines Berliners”, Berliner Journal, 21 October 1914)


War surgery in Germany (14 October 1914)

In this article in the Journal, a medical expert praised the effort that Germany had put into the subject of war surgery over the last few decades. They have developed not only new weapons to destroy lives, the expert said, but also explored how to heal the wounds their guns make. In German clinics and medical departments there were always doctors from all over the world seeking to learn about German war surgery. Germany had sent new weapons, but also proper dressings to other countries. Based on their training, German war surgeons would only lose 10% of their patients, whereas 90% had died in the Balkan war because they were not properly attended to by medics.

BJ-1914-10-14-War surgery in Germany

(„Kriegschirurgie“, Berliner Journal, 14 October 1914)


“A former Berlin woman in Berlin, Germany” (21 October 1914)

In October, 1914, another firsthand account of the situation in Germany was published by the Berliner Journal; this time the account was provided by a local woman who travelled to Germany with her American friend. Surprised by the outbreak of the war, the two made their way to Berlin, where they found many Americans at the embassy. While helping out at the embassy, these women made contact with the German government and many private persons and only had positive things to say about their behavior. According to this account, while North Americans were getting excited and afraid of increasing prices for groceries, the Germans kept calm. The two women were not able to note any increasing prices at all. The Germans supported and helped the Americans very much and at one point, the Canadian woman even helped catch a Servian spy.

This account differs immensely from much of what was printed in the local English papers about the situation in Germany, and again shows the unique perspective the Berliner Journal was trying to provide.

BJ-1914-10-21-A former Berlin woman in Berlin

(“Eine ehemalige Berlinerin in Berlin, Deutschland”, Berliner Journal, 21 October 1914)


An appeal of Sir Wilfrid Laurier (28 October 1914)

In late October, the Journal reported on a speech given by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in Montreal, where he encouraged Canadian men to enlist. He begged his audience to help Britain, France and Belgium immediately for the cause of humanity. Knowing that he was asking young men for a great sacrifice, he also said that he envied them their youth which allowed them to make such sacrifices. Laurier felt it important that Canada should create a volunteer army into which every member would make an individual choice to enlist.

BJ-1914-10-28-An appeal of Sir Wilfrid Laurier

(„Sir Wilfrid Laurier…“, Berliner Journal, 28 October 1914)


“Farewell celebration for the volunteers from Berlin“ (28 October 1914)

At half past eleven in the morning on October 27, 1914, forty volunteers from Berlin rushed to London to enlist in the second Canadian contingent to be sent overseas. Of these forty men, only 25 were actually admitted for active service after the medical examinations. Three of them were born here in Berlin.

It was resolved at a special City Council session on Saturday evening that there would be a festive celebration for the volunteers.

BJ-1914-10-28-Farewell celebration for the volunteers from Berlin

(„Abschiedsfeier für die Berliner Freiwilligen“, Berliner Journal, 28 October 1914)


Ban of German newspapers? (2 December 1914)

By December, 1914 the Berliner Journal already had a scare over the possibility of being shut down by the Canadian censorship board. A reader’s anecdote demonstrated the confusion about which newspapers were allowed to publish in Canada during the war. He wanted to pick up the Berliner Journal, but the people at the post office claimed that this German-Canadian newspaper would not be available any more. The reader complained about this and asked whether this reflected the gratitude of the Canadians or the British for what the German population in this region had already done for the war effort. The people here had given more money to the Patriotic Fund than any other city in Canada.

The Berliner Journal replied to this letter by assuring readers that the newspaper was allowed to continue publishing after an investigation by Ottawa and that the post office staff must have been mistaken.

BJ-1914-12-02-Ban of German newspapers

(„Deutsch-canadische Zeitungen nicht verboten“, Berliner Journal, 2 December 1914)