German immigration to Canada

There is no doubt whatsoever that nowadays Canada is in the world’s spotlight as being  one of the best countries to live. Currently, it is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world and it is known for its quality of life. Especially regarding its healthcare, and welfare system.

Not only that, Canada’s exports gross up to $377 billion per year.

However, the desire to migrate to this great nation is nothing new. 

Early History

Take the German migration for instance. It began began more than 300 years ago and though early German settlements can be dated back to the 1600’s, with the French Colonization of the area, it wasn’t until after the British conquered the area o Nova Scotia it received it’s first mass settlements.

At first, most of the settlers in this territory were German soldiers ho had served in the British military. Once the land was dominated by the British rule, some of the thousands of German soldiers stayed behind. 

Soon the influence of these German settlers could be seen in the names of towns such as Waterloo, Lunenburg, just to make a few. 

Between 1765 and 1783, time of the revolution for the succession of the British Colonies, in the what is now the United States, once again soldiers came to the new world from Germanic lands in order to fight in the war. Once again, some of these soldiers decided to stay after the struggle. This is what is called the second great German migration. Some of the soldiers decided to move northwards and settle in the area which would later become known as Canada, more specifically in areas of Quebec and the southwest portion of what is today Montreal.

There were several groups trying to make Canada a home for themselves, many left behind poverty and a war struk home.

A group of Germans known as the Mennonites, a Christian religious group who had been severely persecuted by both the Tsarist regime in Russia as well as discriminated in the United States for their pacifist ways, also migrated to Canada. Around fifty thousand Mennonites were drawn Canadian lands in search of new home. Persecuted in many different areas, and fleeing from suffering, people such as the Mennonites caused them migrate to Canada.

Though relations between those of German descent, as well as with Germany itself, have generally been of great partnerships, during the first and the second great war, such relationship can be described as being at a low point.

Canada even joined in the struggle against Nazi rule during World War II, even claiming responsibility for the liberation of The Netherlands

Though during this time the relationship between theses nations wasn’t at its highest point, internally in Canada there were intellectual struggles between those who wanted to join the war effort against the Nazi regime and those who opposed Canada’s involvement; in events such as Canada’s refusal to supply air support to Britain to blockade Berlin.

The period around and after the second world war was also a time for people who had been persecuted to try and find a new land to settle. A number of German Jews who suffered through Nazi rule found in Canada a new home. 

In sum, the relationship between Germany and Canada wasn’t fully restored until 1975, with the establishment of the German Democratic Republic, time in which Canada also  reestablished diplomatic relation with Germany.

Modern Times

Today, Germany is Canada’s number one importer inside of the European union exporting machinery, Chemical and pharmaceutical products, transporting equipment, vehicles in general, among other products and services.

To this day, Canada is still a main target for migration of people who seek out better living and more opportunities, not only from Germany, since it’s today referred as one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

There is no doubt that this German presence in Canada has helped it become what it is today, nowadays German’s presence is so strong, far removed from tragedy and war, nowadays Germans do face another kind of struggles, violence and racists groups emerge in the old country.

Churches and schools built by German immigrants in Canada are still standing to this day. These immigrants also helped with the development of  farming as well as industry in Canada by bringing along such advances as German-style mills; all built by theses immigrants upon their arrival. Each mass German Migration to Canada brought along builders, educators, doctors, judges, among other professionals who sought out a better life in a new land. 

Traditions continue

Currently there are about over 3.3 million of people who call themselves German-canadians, which is the name given to those born in Canada but who are from German descent.  Another fun fact is that about 10% of Canadians in the country claim to have some German root. 

May Day (first of may), is celebrated in Canada by those of German descent. It is a celebration made by decorating tree poles and dancing around them to celebrate the German Unity.

German Canadians also celebrate Canada Day, contributing to the local culture. 

All of this German presence in Canada make for a continuous relationship of cooperation between both countries.