Item MC2768 - Henry Kreisel diary of an internment

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Henry Kreisel diary of an internment

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  • Textual record

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36 pp.

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(5 June 1922 - 22 April 1991)

Biographical history

Henrich Kreisel (Henry Kreisel) was born on 5 June 1922 in Vienna, Austria. Educated locally, he emigrated to England, on 22 July 1938, after the Anschluss. His brother and father followed him there, arriving in January and August 1939 respectively, just months before the outbreak of World War II.

Henry was working as an apprentice cutter for Montague Burton Company, a large clothing factory in Leeds, England, when he was taken into custody as an "enemy alien" by British government officials and subsequently sent to Canada. Here he was interned at Ripples, New Brunswick, with other Austrians and Germans, many of them Jews who had fled Nazi Germany. While at Ripples, he worked on his writing in the English language. He was still in custody at Ripples in October 1941, but was eventually released.

Following the war, he studied at the University of Toronto, earning an M.A. in English, and, in 1947, after graduation, he began teaching at the University of Alberta as a lecturer in English. In 1954, he obtained a Ph.D. from the University of London. Returning to the University of Alberta, he served as chair of the English department and became vice-president academic in 1970. He was named University Professor in 1975.

Kreisel wrote a number of novels that dealt with wartime and immigrant experiences. His internment diary and other autobiographical material, along with critical essays on his work, appeared in "Another Country: Writings By and About Henry Kreisel,"which was published in 1985. Henry Kreisel was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1988. He died at Edmonton, Alberta, on 22 April 1991.

Custodial history

Article published in White Pelican in 1974

Scope and content

Photocopied, printed copy of Henrick Kreisel's account of his internment in the camp at Ripples, near Fredericton, from 1940-1941, and the events leading-up to his incarceration.

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