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Glossary

This glossary provides definitions and detailed information about some of the key terms used throughout the Homefront in Alberta Web site.

Allied Powers
The Allies of the Second World War were those countries officially opposed to the Axis powers. The USSR, the United States, the United Kingdom (including countries within the British Commonwealth of Nations), and China comprised the Allied Powers. France, before its defeat in 1940, and after its liberation in 1944, was also considered a major Ally.
Anschluss
Also known as the Anschluss Österreichs, the Anschluss refers to the 1938 annexation of Austria into Greater Germany by the Nazi regime (under Adolf Hitler). 12 March 1938 marked the culmination of pressures to unify the German populations of Austria and Germany under one nation. A well-planned overthrow of Austria’s state institutions took place in Vienna on 11 March 1938: power was quickly transferred over to Germany, and the Wehrmacht troops entered Austria to enforce the Anschluss.
Axis Powers
Those countries opposed to the Allied powers during the Second World War. Officially founded on the signing of the Tripartite Pact in September 1940, the Axis powers consisted of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan, all three of whom had formed a military alliance. At the height of their power, the Axis ruled large parts of Europe, east and southeast Asia, northern Africa, and the Pacific Ocean. The Second World War, however, ended with the total defeat of the Axis powers.
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain was the effort by the German Luftwaffe to gain air superiority over the RAF before a planned sea and air invasion of Britain. Hitler’s plan was to destroy aircraft production and ground infrastructure, attack areas of political significance, and terrorize the British people into seeking armistice or surrender. Hitler, however, underestimated the massive superiority of the Royal Navy, and Nazi Germany, as a result, failed to destroy Britain’s air force or to break the spirit of the British people and of their government.
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP)
Also known as the Empire Air Training Scheme, the Empire Air Training Plan, the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, “The Plan”, or “The Scheme”, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was, during the Second World War, a massive air training program involving the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Southern Rhodesia. The single largest aviation training program in history, the BCATP was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, gunners, wireless operators, and flight engineers of the Commonwealth.
casualty of war
Military or civilian casualty suffered in war or deployments.
civil defence
An effort to prepare civilians for the defence of a military attack. Civil defence uses the principles of emergency operations: prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation, and recovery.
conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is any individual, who, following the religious, moral, or ethical dictates of his or her conscience, believes these to be incompatible with being a combatant in military service or with being part of the armed forces.
conscription
Involuntary labour demanded by some established authority; more commonly, however, conscription refers to government policies that requires citizens (usually just males) to serve in their country's armed forces.
enemy alien
A citizen of a country which is in a state of conflict in which he or she currently lives. Usually, but not always, these two countries are in a state of declared war. Well-known examples of enemy aliens include the Japanese citizens living in the western portion of the United States and Canada during the Second World War. Many of these Japanese were imprisoned in internment camps. People living in the United States but who had citizenship in an enemy country during the Second World War were required to carry an Enemy Alien card and to register with authorities on a monthly basis. Similar regulations existed in Canada.
Fifth Column
Refers to a population assumed to have loyalties to countries other than the one in which it resides or that supports some other nation in war efforts against the country in which it resides. This makes members of such a population traitors.

First used in 1936 by Emilio Mola, a nationalist general during the Spanish Civil War, to refer to his militant supporters in Madrid who were intent on undermining the Republican Spanish government from within while four of his army columns moved on the capital. The term caught on and was used extensively by those fighting the Fascists and Nazis. During the Second World War, use of the term was widespread in Britain as justification for the mass internment there of German Jews.  It was also widely used in the western portion of Canada and the United States in the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese immigrants and naturalized citizens.
internment
The imprisonment or confinement of people without trial, usually in large groups and usually for preventative or political reasons.
Johnny Canuck
Created in 1869 and later re-invented in 1942, Johnny Canuck was a cartoon superhero lumberjack national personification of Canada. Often depicted as a wholesome habitant, farmer, logger, or soldier, Johnny Canuck resisted the bullying of Britain's John Bull or the United States' Uncle Sam. During the Second World War, Johnny Canuck's cartoon exploits helped Canada fight Nazism.
League of Nations
Founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919–20, the League of Nations was an international organization whose goals included disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries, diplomacy, and improving global welfare. After a series of successes and failures during the 1920s, the League proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis Powers during the 1930s. It was replaced, after the Second World War, by the United Nations, and it inherited a number of organizations and agencies founded by the League.
Lebensraum
A word meaning “habitat” or “living space”, Lebensraum was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler and an important component of Nazi ideology, serving as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany. Lebensraum was meant to provide extra space for the growth of the German population and for a Greater Germany. Hitler, in his book Mein Kampf, detailed his belief that the German people needed Lebensraum and that it should be found in the East. Lebensraum, Hitler believed, could be achieved through the killing, deportation, or enslavement of Polish, Russian, and other Slavic peoples, all considered by Hitler to be inferior. These lands would then be repopulated with Germanic peoples. In addition, the entire urban population of eastern Europe was to be exterminated by starvation. This would create an agricultural surplus to feed Germany, and the vanquished populations would be replaced by a German upper class.
Luftwaffe
Also known as the Deutsche Luftwaffe, the Luftwaffe is the term commonly used to refer to the German air force.
Munich Agreement
Of tremendous strategic importance to Czechoslovakia because of the number of border defenses there, the Sudetenland was the subject of debate and crisis. The Munich Agreement was reached following a conference in Munich, Germany in 1938 whose purpose was to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia in the face of territorial demands by Adolf Hitler. In the end, the Munich Agreement divided the Sudetenland between Nazi Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Czechoslovakia was not invited to the conference; for this reason, the Munich Agreement is commonly called the Munich Dictate by Czechs and Slovaks.
Nazi Party
Known as the German Workers Party prior to 1920, the Nazi Party, also known as the Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party or the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, was a political party in Germany. In existence between 1919 and 1945, the Nazi Party grew out of smaller, nationalist political groups that formed in the wake of Germany's defeat in the First World War.

Appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, the party's leader, Adolf Hitler, rapidly established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich under which the Nazi Party gained almost unlimited power. However, upon Germany's surrender to the Allies in May 1945, the Nazi Party was banned by the Allied occupation authorities.
Nazism
Nazi ideology stressed the racial purity of the German people. It persecuted those deemed inferior or enemies: this included Jews, Roma, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, the mentally and/or physically disabled, socialists, and communists. In addition, the Nazi idea of Lebensraum, and the pursuit of the creation of "Greater Germany" as a means to achieve it, are considered one of the major causes of the Second World War. By the end of the war, however, Nazism had been reduced to little more than loyalty to Adolf Hitler. His suicide released most Nazis from their oath of loyalty and from any desire to sustain the party. A formal process of denazification removed former Nazis from the administration, judiciary, universities, schools, and press of occupied Germany.
Northwest Staging Route
Used to ferry aircraft to Siberia in the former Soviet Union, the Northwest Staging Route consisted of a series of airstrips, airports, and radio ranging stations built in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska during the Second World War. Built to provide a land route to Alaska, the Alaska Highway connected the airfields together.
Paris Peace Conference
Organized by the victors of the First World War to negotiate the peace treaties between the Allied and Associated Powers and the defeated Central Powers, the Paris Peace Conference took place opened in Paris, France on 18 January 1919 and ended 21 January 1920. It was at the Paris Peace Conference that the decision to create the League of Nations was reached.
Pearl Harbor
A harbor located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and much of the surrounding land, is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 that brought the United States into the Second World War. The attack, in which 2,333 were killed and 1,139 wounded, destroyed two US Navy battleships, one minelayer, two destroyers, and 188 aircraft.
prisoner of war
Any combatant who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately following an armed conflict.
Quisling
Used to describe traitors and collaborationists, Quisling is derived from Norwegian fascist politician Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany in conquering Norway. Quisling commonly refers to fascist political parties and military and paramilitary forces and to their members and other collaborators. In Europe during the Second World War, these parties collaborated with Axis occupiers in occupied Allied countries.
rationing
The controlled distribution of resources, services, or scarce goods such as gasoline, rubber tires, clothing, sugar, and meat. Rationing controls the size of one's allotted portion of the goods being distributed on a particular day or at a particular time. In wartime, it is important for governments to maintain "equality", particularly since, in most countries, it is the working class and the poor who contribute most of the soldiers. During the Second World War, the Government of Canada issued ration tokens, stamps, and coupons which allowed civilians to purchase a certain amount of a product each month. In order to forestall hoarding, coupons were valid for only a set period. The number of ration coupons, tokens, or stamps issued to any one family was determine by the size of the family, ages of the children, and family income. Rationing allowed the Allies to supply huge amounts of food to troops overseas. It also later provided a surplus to aid in the rebuilding of Germany after its food supplies were destroyed.
Social Credit
Started in the early 1920s, Social Credit is an economic ideology centred around the idea of making the betterment of society the goal of the monetary system. The Canadian social credit movement reached the height of its popularity during the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression. William "Bible Bill" Aberhart, elected Premier of Alberta in 1935, embraced social credit ideology and its conservative Christian social values. Under Aberhart's leadership, the Social Credit Party of Alberta formed nine consecutive majority governments spanning 36 years.
Sudetenland
The German name, used in English during the first half of the 20th century, for the western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, called Sudeten Germans. Although the name is derived from the Sudeten mountains, the Sudetenland extended beyond them.
Third Reich
Also known as Nazi Germany, the Third Reich refers to the period from 1933 to 1945 in which Germany was governed by the Nazi Party with Adolf Hitler as chancellor and, from 1934, as head of state. Dropped, at Hitler's behest, from propaganda in 1939, the term Third Reich is used to refer to Nazi recognition of former German empires while envisioning future prosperity and Germany's alleged destiny. The policies of the Third Reich centred around Lebensraum, Aryan racial purity, anti-Semitism, anti-communism directed at the former Soviet Union, and revenge for Germany's territorial losses as a result of the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles. By the early 1940s, Germany, at least from a military and territorial standpoint, was the dominant nation in Europe. However, upon Germany's surrender to the Allied Powers at the end of World War II, the Third Reich collapsed.
Victory Bonds
During the First World War, the Canadian government sold Victory Bonds to Canadian citizens, private corporations, and various organizations to help raise funds to pay for the war. A loan to the government, bonds could be redeemed, with interest, after five, 10, or 20 years. The Victory Bonds campain was re-introduced during the Second World War.
Wartime Prices and Trade Board
Anticipating steep price increases, the Canadian government, on 3 September 1939, established the Wartime Prices and Trade Board. The Board imposed a general ceiling on prices, wages, and rents, and it also rationed and controlled the production of certain necessary goods such as sugar and gasoline. In other words, it reflected the government's concern that the inflation and social unrest that characterized the First World War should not return.

The Board seemed ineffective until 18 October 1941: it was then that Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King announced a price freeze and the stabilization of wages and salaries. Canadians supported the Board until 1943, when labour officials criticized it for its arbitrariness, farmers complained about discrimination, and businesses tried to escape price caps.

Annual inflation in 1941 had been 6 percent. However, a mere 2.8 percent overall increase in prices between October 1941 and April 1945 underlines the Board's overall effectiveness. After the Second World War, wage and price ceilings were eventually eliminated, and the Wartime Prices and Trade Board was dissolved in 1951.
Wehrmacht
Meaning “defence might”, Wehrmacht was the name of the unified armed forces of Germany from 1935 through 1945. The Wehrmacht consisted of the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy), and the Luftwaffe (air force).

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