Canadian War Museum Features Exhibit on Mac Paps

June 2, 2013
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Banner for the Canadian War Museum’s new exhibition on Peace

It is as rare for a war museum to talk about peace as it is for the Canadian government to mention the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, a group of 1,700 Canadian volunteers who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, yet the Canadian War Museum’s latest special exhibition, entitled “Peace”, explores both.  Indeed, this is the first time that the Canadian War Museum has dedicated a sizable display to the Mac Paps and the Spanish Civil War since its opening in 2005.

The Spanish Civil War section includes a display on the only surviving Canadian combat veteran of the war, 96-year-old Jules Paivio, who was awarded Spanish citizenship two years ago. “Tears came to my eyes thinking about my dad,” says his son, Martin, who drove to Ottawa from Aurora to see the exhibition. “He wanted to come.”

“Peace” also covers debates over the Afghan War, Canada’s 2010 mission to Haiti, and a section on Conscientious Objectors in the Second World War.

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4 Responses to “ Canadian War Museum Features Exhibit on Mac Paps ”

  1. Stan Squires on June 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I am from vancouver and i was wondering if the people here in BC.know about what is happening in Madrid concerning a monument there for foreign volunteers who came to Spain during the civil war.There are some city officials in Madrid who want to remove the monument.Needless to say there are many people who are against this reactionary idea.I signed a petition yesterday in support of the monument in madrid.So far no city officials in victoria wants to remove the monument there in support of the canadians who went to Spain.I hope lots of people here in canada supports the people in Madrid who wants to keep their monument in support of the foreign volunteers.

  2. Margarita (Puerto Rico) on June 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Some Puerto Ricans were part of the Mac-Paps, four of them from my hometown (two died in Spain).

  3. Maria Cristina on June 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Margarita,

    Me interesa poder contactarte y saber más de los puertorriqueños en Mac-Paps. Enseño y escribo sobre la inclusión de la Guerra Civil Española en la literatura anglófona y en español fuera y dentro de España. Me consigues en marzo@caribe.net

  4. Jim Dyer on November 10, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    When I was young my mother talked about the Canadians who went to fight in Spain – that they were the warning of what was coming in WW2. I think I remember that she had known one or more of those veterans. Later I learned about their treatment upon returning to Canada, and the reason. They were labelled as Communists and were victims of the paranoia about Communism during the 1930s and long after. One often hears talk about Canada’s forgotten war heroes. But the Mac-Pap’s, as I later learned they were called, weren’t just forgotten, they were shamed and treated with hostility by Canada. A couple of years ago I was moved enough by this sad chapter of our history to write a song about it. I won’t give the name of that song because I am not writing this to promote my song (I am not even sure if it is a good song). I only mention it to show how much this story moved me.

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