The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within

| 52 min

This feature-length documentary looks at German POWs from the WWII who were housed in 25 camps across Canada. Filmmaker Eva Colmers follows her father's story - Theo Melzer - who spent three and a half years in a POW camp in Lethbridge, Alberta. Growing up in Germany, she had always been puzzled by her father's fond memories of his POW life, so when she moved to Canada, she set out to rediscover this story. What she found surprised her. Watch as Theo Melzer, along with other POWs, recount how their lives were changed by the unexpected respect and dignity they received at the hands of their Canadian captors.

  • director
    Eva Colmers
  • writer
    Eva Colmers
  • narrator
    Eva Colmers
  • editor
    Justin Pasula
  • editorial consultant
    Scott Parker
  • director of photography
    Randy Tomiuk
  • additional camera
    Trevor Wilson
    Morton P. Molyneux
  • sound recordist
    Larry MacDonald
  • additional sound
    Jamie Kidd
    Igal Petel
  • graphic design
    Kim Clegg
  • online editing
    Picture Engine
  • original music
    Jan Randall
  • choir
    Liederkranz Choir
  • conductor
    Donalee Inglis-Gorfer
  • music recordist
    Garth Hobden
  • harmonica player
    Hans Pfeffel
  • sound mix
    John Blerot
  • mix
    John Blerot
  • assistant sound editor
    Mike Sanders
  • transcription
    Bridget Toms
    Inge Fenger-Anderson
    Eva Colmers
    Ursula Ulrich
  • translation
    Bridget Toms
    Inge Fenger-Anderson
    Eva Colmers
    Ursula Ulrich
  • actor
    Brad Payne
    Bradford Walker
    Lance Casson
    Craig Hamilton
    Michael Richey
    Kurtis Markuson
    Mark Wynder
    Bradley Moser
    Julius Urban
    Kevin Durksen
    Timothy Murphy
    Mario Lechowski
  • voice
    Sebastian Fiedler
  • production assistant
    Claudette Breton
  • unit clerk
    Ginette D'Silva
  • production supervisor
    Kelly Isaac
  • program administrator
    Darin Clausen
    Margaret Smith
  • producer
    Bonnie Thompson
    Jerry Krepakevich
  • executive producer
    Graydon McCrea

The Enemy Within
Also available
  • owfsanio

    My dad spent almost the whole war in a Canadian POW camp. He was part of the 7th Air Division (Flieger-Division) a paratroop division sent in to take the airports and bridges and was captured on May 10, 1940 shipped to England then to Canada to Gravenhurst and later while they were building the camp at Lethbridge they were sent there. The first winter they slept in bell tents because the camp was incomplete. In Gravenhurst, he worked in the bush cutting wood after you cut a cord you had free time and he said he a few friends built a sailboat which they sailed on the lake beside the camp. In Lethbridge, he worked as a farmhand on some of the farms in the area and even turned down the position as an officer so that he could continue to work outside the camp. And you are right. They were generally treated well. He was one of the millions whose land was turned over to the Poles/Russians/ Czechs/Slovaks etc. His family was living in Pomerania at the time so he had no place to return to. He eventually married and returned to start a new life in Canada and even became a Canadian citizen in 1971 or 1972.

    owfsanio, 22 Mar 2017
  • Barnhill

    This is an excellent doc. It simply highlights the fact that kindness can gain the long-term cooperation and respect of an individual while brute force only garners hatred.

    Barnhill, 26 Jan 2012

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The Enemy Within, Eva Colmers, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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