Recovering a millennium of German presence in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The first German arrived in Newfoundland with Leif Eirikson's Viking expedition. By 1914 St. John's was home to a vibrant German community while a Moravian enclave thrived in Labrador. Contemporary Newfoundland, however, remembers its German heritage largely in terms of U-Boat captains and local spies. Gerhard Bassler reveals what was lost when almost all earlier memories of Germans in Newfoundland and Labrador vanished.
Vikings to U-Boats explores the colony's hidden multicultural history, examining both sides of the German-Newfoundland/Labrador experience. From first recorded contacts to the end of World War II, Bassler traces the lives of German-speaking fishermen, musicians, doctors, engineers, and entrepreneurs. He reconstructs the historical reality behind U-Boat and spy stories and analyses the change in status of the colony's German-speaking people from neighbours to "enemy aliens." Vikings to U-Boats challenges the assumption that the history of Newfoundland and Labrador was shaped solely by English-speakers from the British Isles.