top of page

The Enemy Within 

52 min  |   Canada   |    2003    |   betaSp

Writer / Director - Eva Colmers

Producer - Bonnie Thompson, NFB

In May, 1943, Theo Melzer, a 20-year-old German soldier, was captured by the British army in Africa and shipped to a prisoner of war camp in Canada. When filmmaker Eva Melzer-Colmers was growing up in Germany, her Dad always told her that his ” time in the Canadian POW camp was the best thing that could have happened to me”.

When she found herself living in Alberta, Eva went looking for her father’s camp and discovered that many ex-POWs had returned to settle in the “enemy” country that had once detained them behind barbed wire. Canada, which abided by the Geneva Convention, housed and fed 34,000 German soldiers during the Second World War in remote camps in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Interspersed with excerpts from letters home, archival footage and dramatic reenactments, Theo Melzer and four other former POWs recall with gratitude and appreciation how their lives were changed for the better because of Canada’s humane treatment.


Global Visions International Documentary Film Festival (Audience Choice Award)
Columbus International Film Festival (Honorable Mention)
at many museums, public libraries and schools such as Lethbridge, Wainwright, Thunderbay, Calgary, Halifax.
History Television, Knowledge Network
3 AMPIA nominations

the enemy.jpg
Cast & Crew

Camera - Randy Tomiuk
Sound - Larry MacDonald
Narration - Eva Colmers
Editor - Justin Pasula
Consultant - Scott Parker
Composer - Jan Randall

bottom of page