Friday, February 19, 2010

If Day

February 19, 1942, was a fascinating day for Canada. It was “If Day”—a World War II staging of a fake Nazi invasion of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The intent was to show what it would be like “if” Canada fell under the harsh occupation of Nazi forces, and so that Canadians would support the war effort more fully (a campaign of the federal government to raise $600,000,000 in Victory bonds to fund the war effort).

Participation in the event was excellent. Both the active and reserve forces, as well as numerous volunteer organizations, were involved in making If Day as realistic as possible. Col. D. S. McKay was the commander of the “defence” forces. RCAF planes were used as Nazi dive-bombers. Trucks, anti-aircraft guns and other military equipment were used during If Day.

"If Day" was conceived and organized by the Greater Winnipeg Victory Loan organization, which was led by prominent Winnipeg businessman J. D. Perrin as Chairman.
A sample of proclamations and commands plastered all over telephone poles, announcing Nazi supremacy and new civil rules:


1. This territory is now a part of the Greater Reich and under the jurisdiction of Col. Erich Von Neuremburg, Gauleiter of the Fuehrer.

2. No civilians will be permitted on the streets between 9:30 p.m. and daybreak.

3. All public places are out of bounds to civilians, and not more than 8 persons can gather at one time in any place.

4. Every householder must provide billeting for 5 soldiers.

5. All organizations of a military, semi-military or fraternal nature are hereby disbanded and banned. Girl Guide, Boy Scout and similar youth organizations will remain in existence but under direction of the Gauleiter and Storm troops.

6. All owners of motor cars, trucks and buses must register same at Occupation Headquarters where they will be taken over by the Army of Occupation.

7. Each farmer must immediately report all stocks of grain and livestock and no farm produce may be sold except through the office of the Kommandant of supplies in Winnipeg. He may not keep any for his own consumption but must buy it back through the Central Authority in Winnipeg.

8. All national emblems excluding the Swastika must be immediately destroyed.

9. Each inhabitant will be furnished with a ration card, and food and clothing may only be purchased on presentation of this card.

10. The following offences will result in death without trial
a) Attempting to organize resistance against the Army of Occupation
b) Entering or leaving the province without permission.
c) Failure to report all goods possessed when ordered to do so.
d) Possession of firearms.


published and ordered by the Authority of (signed) Erich Von Neuremburg

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