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Until 1916, the city of Kitchener, Ontario was known as Berlin, Ontario. With rising anti-German sentiment a motion was made to change the name of the city to Kitchener. Although it was contentious, the motion was passed by 1,569 votes to 1,488. After the war there was talk of reinstating the name of Berlin but the city remained, and still remains, Kitchener.

Berlin name change newspaper clipping.

Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Sept. 2nd, 1966 Article.
"When Berlin Became Kitchener: Name Change Approved by Scant 81 Votes."

Anti-German Sentiment
The name change to Kitchener wasn't the only thing that came out of the anti-German sentiment in the city. On May 5th, 1916 the Acadian German social club was raided by soldiers.

Acadian Club document.

Letter from the Acadian Club President to the Under Secretary of Militia Affairs
Discusses the incident along with an attached memo with a detailed list of damages.

 

Kaiser Wilhelm
As part of the anti-German sentiment in the region, a bust of Kaiser Wilhelm was stolen from its monument and thrown into the lake at Victoria Park. It was later recovered from the lake but its current location is unknown.

Newspaper clip of Kaiser Wilhelm bust retrieved from lake.

The dunked bust of German emperor was salvaged from mud of Victoria Park lake.

Page source: GA 114 sousfonds 4

<< Norman C. Schneider

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