Several months ago, Eric Spoeth from Edmonton contacted me to let me know that he had written and filmed a movie and would be showing it in Vancouver on April 8th, 2018. I agreed to promote the film in my “Das Schwarze Brett” magazine and on this blog. We even traded ad space. He received a half-page ad and I was able to see my 30-second advertising spot on the big screen.

Here is a picture of film director Erich Spoeth, with one of the “stars” of the show. His mother, Erika, was the youngest of 4 children, born towards the end of the war. She had two older sisters (Alwine & Altertine aka Tina) and one brother (Wiegand). This movie was the story of them being forced to flee the USSR in 1944 and end up staying in a house in a small village along the way. That is the last time the children saw their father alive. Baby Erika was only 1 year old.

Here are two of the young people waiting out front in the line up and the three teenagers sitting together in the theatre.  One of these girls was born in Germany, one was born in Vancouver to a German father and one was born to a German mother. Each of them had a reason to attend this film.  To learn about their heritage.  To learn historical facts from a German-citizen-born-outside Germany perspective (Volksdeutsche) and to be a part of the German Community here in Vancouver.

After the event in the lobby

Here is one of the young ladies raising her hand to ask a question in the Q & A season after the film was over.  The questions were typical ones you might expect:  How did you end up in Canada?  What made you decide to make the film? Where was the story filmed?

The main thing when talking it over with some of the youngest audience members was hearing how this story was all new to them. Only one out of 3 had heard a little bit about this turbulent time in history, when Germans living in the USSR and other territories were caught up in the violence of war and forced to leave their homes, sometimes in the dead of winter, forever.

The girl who knew about Russian Germans had an  Oma (grandmother) who came from Bessarabia, a place where Germans had been invited to live by Katarina the Great and had built prosperous farms and villages over 150 years. World War II changed everything. First, they had been forced to leave their homes in 1941, and had been relocated to West Prussia.  Then, they had been overrun by Soviets and again, where forced to leave a place they had just gotten used to. But at least, the Bessarabians had been relocated as one group and had even arranged to stay in the same relocation camps as one united group during the war.

Unlike having woman and children, as well as entire families, separated as men were either fighting in the war, working for the war effort or supporting their families with long-distance work.  The women, the children, the elderly were the ones who made the escapes in the big so-called “Trek”.  That is what happened to the Zernickel family.  Just as the father left, the mother and her four young children were forced to leave.  Helene tried everything she could to stall, to wait, so that Waldemar could catch up with her, but alas.

Waiting for Waldemar never does come up with an answer to the question:  Where is Waldemar?   Instead, he has been missing since 1944. Nobody ever found out where he went or what happened to him.  There is nothing they would like better than to see him one more time.  Talk to him one more time.  Spend some time with him, listening to his music, his piano, his singing…  If Waldemar Zernickel was alive today, he would be 105 years old, but that wouldn’t matter. The movie did its part by pulling in the audience and letting us feel the anguish, the loss, the pain, as well as the hope and belief that kept them going.

I can recommend everyone to watch this movie and be transformed by the story.  As ordinary Germans who just wanted to be together, to enjoy family life, to play piano, and eat farm fresh food and who were caught up in events beyond their control.  Yet they still came out of it with the knowledge that “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Waiting for Waldemar is a moving 45-minute film about a family that escaped to Germany from Russia during the Second World War. Erika and her brother Wiegand, who were only babies when their father Waldemar disappeared during the escape and are now in their 70’s, combine fragments of memories and third-hand testimonies to paint a picture of the man that meant – and means – so much to them. Waiting for Waldemar is a bittersweet affirmation that love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Eric Spoeth has directed two full length documentaries and a dozen short films. His work includes working as an Assistant Director on The Matrix, Cut Bank, Blackstone, and other film and TV productions across Alberta.

You can buy the movie on the website:

10 Apr 2018
April 10, 2018

Canada’s Concentration Camps

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You might be wondering if I am referring to residential schools.  But no, I am talking about the internment camps in World War I and II – right on Canadian Soil.  For Germans. Japanese. Ukranians. Austrians, Hungarians. For anyone they considered “enemy aliens.” They are listed here:

Amherst, Nova Scotia Malleable Iron Foundry April 1915 to September 1919
Beauport, Quebec The Armoury December 1914 to June 1916
Banff-Castle Mountain, Alberta Dominion Park July 1915 to July 1917
Brandon, Manitoba Exhibition Building September 1914 to July 1916
Edgewood, British Columbia Bunk Houses August 1915 to September 1916
Fernie-Morrissey, British Columbia Rented premises June 1915 to October 1918
Halifax, Nova Scotia The Citadel September 1914 to October 1918
Jasper, Alberta Dominion Park February 1916 to August 1916
Kapuskasing, Ontario Bunk Houses December 1914 to February 1920
Kingston, Ontario Fort Henry August 1914 to November 1917
Lethbridge, Alberta Exhibition Building September 1914 to November 1916
Monashee-Mara Lake, British Columbia Tents and Bunkhouses June 1915 to July 1917
Montreal, Quebec Immigration Hall August 1914 to November 1918
Munson-Eaton, Alberta Railway Cars October 1918 to March 1919
Nanaimo, British Columbia Provincial government building September 1914 to September 1915
Niagara Falls, Ontario The Armoury December 1914 to August 1918
Petawawa, Ontario Militia Camp December 1914 to May 1916
Revelstoke-Field-Otter, British Columbia Bunk Houses September 1915 to October 1916
Sault-St-Marie, Ontario The Armoury January 1915 to January 1918
Spirit Lake, Quebec Bunk Houses January 1915 to January 1917
Toronto, Ontario Stanley Barracks December 1914 to October 1916
Winnipeg, Manitoba Fort Osborne September 1914 to July 1916
Valcartier, Quebec Militia Camp April 1915 to October 1915
Vernon, British Columbia Provincial government building September 1914 to February 1920

World War II Info

German Canadian internment[edit]

During the Second World War, 850 German Canadians were accused of being spies for the Nazis, as well as subversives and saboteurs. The internees were given a chance by authorities to defend themselves; according to the transcripts of the appeal tribunals, internees and state officials debated conflicting concepts of citizenship.

Many German Canadians interned in Camp Petawawa were from a nineteenth-century migration in 1876. They had arrived in a small area a year after a Polish migration landed in Wilno, Ontario. Their hamlet, made up of farmers primarily, was called Germanicus, and is in the bush less than 10 miles from Eganville, Ontario. Their farms (homesteads originally) were expropriated by the federal government for no compensation, and the men were imprisoned behind barbed wire in the AOAT camp. (The Foymount Air Force Base near Cormac and Eganville was built on this expropriated land.) Notable was that not one of these homesteaders from 1876 or their descendants had ever visited Germany again after 1876, yet they were accused of being German Nazi agents.

756 German sailors, mostly captured in East Asia were sent from camps in India to Canada in June 1941 (Camp 33).

World War I Info

In World War I, 8,579 male “aliens of enemy nationality” were interned, including 5,954 Austro-Hungarians, including ethnic Ukrainians, and Croatians. Many of these internees were used for forced labour in internment camps.

The Ukrainian Canadian internment was part of the confinement of “enemy aliens” in Canada during and for two years after the end of the First World War, lasting from 1914 to 1920, under the terms of the War Measures Act that would be used again, in the Second World War, against Japanese Canadians.

About 4,000 Ukrainian men and some women and children of Austro-Hungarian citizenship were kept in twenty-four internment camps and related work sites — also known, at the time, as concentration camps.

Many were released in 1916 to help with the mounting labour shortage. Another 80,000 were registered as “enemy aliens” and obliged to regularly report to the police. Those interned had whatever little wealth they owned confiscated and were forced to work for the profit of their gaolers.Internment[edit]

Most of those interned were young men apprehended while trying to cross the border into the U.S. to look for jobs; attempting to leave Canada was illegal.During the First World War, a growing sentiment against “enemy aliens” had manifested itself amongst Canadians. The British government urged Canada not to act indiscriminately against subject nationalities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who were in fact friendly to the British Empire.

However, Ottawa took a hard line. These enemy-born citizens were treated as social pariahs, and many lost their employment. Under the 1914 War Measures Act, “aliens of enemy nationality” were compelled to register with authorities. About 70,000 Ukrainians from Austria-Hungary fell under this description. 8,579 males and some women and children were interned by the Canadian Government, including 5,954 Austro-Hungarians, most of whom were probably ethnic Ukrainians.[4] Most of the interned were poor or unemployed single men, although 81 women and 156 children (mainly Germans in Vernon and Ukrainians at Spirit Lake) had no choice but to accompany their menfolk to two of the camps, in Spirit Lake, near Amos, Quebec, and Vernon, British Columbia. Some of the internees were Canadian-born and others were naturalized British subjects,[citation needed] although most were recent immigrants. Citizens of the Russian Empire were generally not interned.

Commemorative statue and damaged plaque at the “Ukrainian cemetery” of the Kapuskasing Internment Camp; Kapuskasing, northern Ontario

Commemorative stone at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum, formerly “Eaton Siding” near the Eaton Internment Camp, one of twenty-four, where 8,579 civilians were interned. It reads “Fortitude. To the memory of those who were interned at this site during the Great War. Eaton Internment Camp 1919.”

Many of these internees were used for forced labour in internment camps.[5] Conditions at the camps varied, and the Castle Mountain Internment Camp where labour contributed to the creation of Banff National Park[7] — was considered exceptionally harsh and abusive.[8] The internment continued for two more years after the war had ended, although most Ukrainians were paroled into jobs for private companies by 1917. Even as parolees, they were still required to report regularly to the police authorities. Federal and provincial governments and private concerns benefited from the internees’ labour and from the confiscation of what little wealth they had, a portion of which was left in the Bank of Canada at the end of the internment operations on June 20, 1920.[9] A small number of internees, including men considered to be “dangerous foreigners”, labour radicals, or particularly troublesome internees, were deported to Europe after the war, largely from the Kapuskasing camp, which was the last to be shut down.

Of those interned, 109 died of various diseases and injuries sustained in the camp, six were killed while trying to escape, and some — according to Sir William Dillon Otter’s final report — went insane or committed suicide[10] as a result of their confinement.


Edelweiss fieldCanadian Edelweiss Growers ist eine von sehr wenigen Firmen die sich ausschließlich mit der Züchtung des seltenen Edelweiss (Leontopodium Alpinum), und der Herstellung von original Edelweiss-Produkten beschäftigt . Die Edelweiss Blumen werden auf unserer Plantage handkultiviert und wachsen ohne Pestizide oder chemischer Düngung in der frischen Luft der Kanadischen Rocky Mountains. Wir ernten im Juli nur die hübschesten Edelweiss und trocknen sie in feinem weissen Sand. Form und Farbe bleiben erhalten. Die Blüten können zu Girlanden, Boutonnières, Blumensträuße und Kopfschmuck verarbeitet werden. Getrocknete Edelweiss Blumen finden auch für speziellen Geschenk- und Produktverpacken Verwendung, sowie Grußbillets, Einladungen und vieles mehr.

Edelweiss Grußkarten, Trockengestecke und Anstecker aus unserer eigenen Herstellung sind beliebt als Geschenke für eine Vielzahl von Anlässen wie Geburtstage, Heiratstage, Weihnachten und auch nur mal so zwischendurch um jemanden zu zeigen wie gern man ihn hat. Entdecken Sie auf unseren Webseiten www.edelweissgrowers­­­­­­­­­­.com Interessantes und Wissenswertes rund um diese besondere Blume.

Edelweiss Growers is unique. Germans in Vancouver and across Canada will be intrigued by the fact that this business is operating in BC since 1987 and is supplying the world with Edelweiss. Half of our business is in the US, one third in Europe and the rest anywhere else. Go ahead and share anything you like I am sure all Edelweiss lovers will thank you for it


Name :                                 Patrick Ziliax

Nationality:                         German

Date of birth:                     11.06.1972

Height:                                5.8 ft.

Weight:                               170 lbs.

Hair:                                  Rudy blond

Eyes:                                   Blue

Marital Status:                     Married

Children:                               2

Tel. :                                    (+1) 778-885-5343

Residence:                           1025 Granville St Vancouver, Canada


Studies:                               Direction in Scene study, Michael Russotto,
Wash. D.C. / ‘97


Professional Working Background:

National Geographic – Locked up abroad – Guayaquil, Ecuador 2012

Commercials and Photographs – Quito, Ecuador 2000-2018

Teacher of Theatre and Arts – Cotopaxi Academy, Quito, Ecuador 2002
Improvisation and Dramatization of Real Life Events as Techniques to lose Fear of Spoken English 2010

Training:    Advanced acting for TV/Film, Chuck Paris, Wash.D.C. / ‘97

Acting for Auditioning, Joe Jolles , Wash. D.C / ‘97

Acting for Commercials, Joe Jolles, Wash. D.C. / ‘97

Acting for Industrials, Joe Jolles, Wash. D.C. / ‘97


Skills:                Fluent in German, English and Spanish

Multi – Personalities, Language Instructor

Improviser, Guitar player




Acting and Modelling Experience

Year Name of Production Type of Prod. Character Prod- /Director Client / Place
       1988 Moonlight Shadow Music Video Guitarist (Principal) University of Arts

Jens Lehnert

Student production

Jena, Germany

1988 The Runner Independent


Sprinter (Extra) Czechoslovakia Films

Martin Jelínek

Student production

Berlin, Germany

1990 Carmen on Ice Music-Drama The Spaniard A DEFA Prod.

Horant Hohlfeld (USA)

Horant Hohlfeld

Berlin , Germany

1995 When a little girl makes a difference Short film Teacher (Extra) American University

Shandra Mc. Donald

Film Institute

Wash. D.C. , USA

1996 Fat City Short film Boxer


George Town University

Roy Mritjurijoy (India)

Students production

Wash. D.C. , USA

1997 A well built girl Independent Film Dancer


Michael Blumenstock Summer Film Institute

Wash. D.C , USA

1998 The Wall

(Tributo a Pink Floyd)

Musical Singer Schiller Gymnasium

Michaela Scheithauer

Students Production

Weimar, Germany


Todo a su nivel

Commercial Executive (Principal) Cuest Ordoñez Hotel Colina

Quito, Ecuador

2004 Generico Nifa

(Principal Jeff. Perez)

Commercial Executive Filmar

Ivan Chávez

Pharmaceutics NIFA

Quito , Ecuador

2005 Doctor Commercial Psychologist (Principal) Filmofilm

Fernando Cruz

Ruffles (Nestle)

Quito, Ecuador

2005 Buenos Momentos Commercial Executive 4Publicom

Cristian Klett (Chile)

Banco MM, J. Artega

Quito, Ecuador

2005        50 años

Siempre junto a ti

Commercial Father & Son Filmar

Ivan Chávez

Empr. Electrica Quito

Quito, Ecuador

2005 Familia protegida Photoshot Familyfather Diego Diledes


Banco Internacional

Quito, Ecuador

2006 Tesalia Mundialista Commercial Crowd



Gustavo Coral

Tesalia – (Water)

Quito, Ecuador

2006      Vivant

Siempre Contigo

Commercial Familyfather 4Publicom

Jorge Malatesta (Arg.)

Cheverolet / Gen. Motors

Quito, Ecuador

2006 NIU Banda Ancha Commercial Executive Kino-Productions

Ramiro Bustamante

Alegro (Telephone-Comp.)

Quito, Ecuador

2006 Agua pura Commercial Scientist



Gustavo Coral

Tesalia – Ecuadorian Water

Machachi, Ecuador

2006 Etapa Telecom Commercial Guard Primal

Vicky Quimbiulco

Andinatel (Phone company)

Quito, Ecuador

2006 El Shaman Commercial Gringo Vertigo

Bayardo Chávez

Canal de TV – RTS

Quito, Ecuador

2006 Disfrúte su vehiculo Documental Familyfather Ecuavisa Canal 8

Roberto Rodríguez

Cheverolet Vivant

Quito, Ecuador

2006 Días mundiales Commercial Soccerplayer AND Digital

Fernando Soto

Artefacta (Domestics)

Quito, Ecuador

2006 Rostro Photoshot Facemodel


Roberto Rodríguez (Photographer) Andinatel (Phone company)

Quito, Ecuador

2006 Familia americana Photoshot Familyfather Roberto Rodríguez (Photographer) Atún Starsky

Quito, Ecuador

2006 Planeta moda Commercial Familyfather Resolución

Gabriela Calvache


Quito, Ecuador

2007 Vida larga Commercial Familyfather Spot

Luis Fernando Jervis

Mertens Aso. S.A.

Quito, Ecuador

2007 Vida larga Photoshot Familyfather Spot

Luis Fernando Jervis

Mertens Aso. S.A.

Quito, Ecuador

2007 Día del padre Photoshot Executive


Roberto Rodríguez



Quito, Ecuador

2007 Siempre mejor estar protegido Photoshot Doctor


Ramiro Salazar


Salud S.A.

Quito, Ecuador

2007 Siempre mejor estar protegido Photoshot Executive Ramiro Salazar


Salud S.A.

Quito, Ecuador

2007 Que sabor…? Commercial Familyfather Pablo Escaldaferro Octavo Arte Pinguino

Quito, Ecuador

2007 Gelatina con pulpa Commercial Familyfather Kino-Productions

Ramiro Bustamante

Nestle, Gelatina

Quito, Ecuador

2007 Sentirse mejor Commercial Familyfather Kino-Productions

Vicky Quimbiulco

Chaide y Chaide

Quito, Ecuador




More information:

We’re currently looking for international participants from 50+ nationalities to join our drum circle in Vancouver on July 1, 2018, in celebration of Canada’s diverse culture and together setting a new Guinness World Record for “Most Nationalities in A Drum Circle.” It’d be awesome if you could please help us share the word with the German community! 🙂

Please feel free to shoot me a message at if you have any questions.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration!



From website:

Canada Day 2017 not only marked the nation’s 150th birthday, but also a historic moment of the first ever simultaneous drumming across Canada!

On July 1st, 2017, drummers across five time zones and the eight Canadian cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax drummed simultaneously to celebrate Canada’s birthday, multiculturalism, and diversity. Everyone was welcome to drum for six minutes across Canada as the event was broadcasted live on social media platforms.

With the support from all regions, the celebration in Vancouver, BC, attempted a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for “Most Nationalities in a Drum Circle” (single venue). While the attempt fell short of the requirement of 50 nationalities, it marked a special moment of unity and rhythm between the drummers representing 37 nations that participated. Canada, China, Australia, USA, United Kingdom, Syria, Mexico, Brazil and Bulgaria were some of the nations among the 37 nationalities represented in the drum circle.

We thank everyone for coming out to the Canada 150 Atlantic to Pacific Celebration on Canada Day and hope you enjoyed all the energetic and loud drumming!

Following the success of the 2017 Canada 150 Atlantic to Pacific Celebration, the Canada 150 Atlantic to Pacific Celebration committee is excited to announce the celebration will return to take place on Sunday, July 1st, 2018!

Remember the Canada 150 Atlantic to Pacific Drumming Celebration last year? 🥁🇨🇦🗺️

We’re throwing the party again!

Call for international drummers to celebrate #Canada‘s diverse culture with us this July 1 at #Vancouver‘s Creekside Park!

And we need drummers from 5️⃣0️⃣️+ nationalities to set the #GuinessWorldRecord for “Most Nationalities in A Drum Circle”!

💃🕺2 Drummers/Country

🎖️ Personalized #GuinessWorldRecord certificate if attempt is successful. (We’re paying for it!)

💆‍♂️💆‍♀️ Previous drumming experience is not a must. Just show up at the rehearsals.

🥁 SIGN UP, but do it NOW cause the spots go fast.