Tag: wartime

Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World

In his book Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World, Montreal author Marc Raboy points out that Guglielmo Marconi was the Bill Gates or Steven Jobs of his day, and was the world’s first champion of and visionary for not just global wireless communications, but two-way global wireless communications. Although associated primarily with the development…

My return to Konin (Poland)

August 2018 The moment I stepped out of the car, I realized that this was the first time a member of my family had been back in our ancestral town in more than 130 years. I was in Konin, in the Lodz district of Poland, the town where my paternal ancestors had lived for generations…

Mary Berg and the Warsaw Ghetto

Four years ago, a Pennsylvanian antiques collector purchased a trove of old scrapbooks and photo albums at an estate sale in the town of Red Lion, Pa. The cache, which included hundreds of photographs including some taken in the Warsaw Ghetto between 1940 and 1943, cost only $10. Discovering that the material was related to…

Jewish Soldiers of World War One

The number of Jews who fought in the First World War has always been difficult to tally because Jews fought on both sides and in multiple armies involved in the conflict. On the Allied side, at least 500,000 Jews served in the Russian Army, about 250,000 served in the United States Army, roughly 50,000 in…

Obit: Simcha Simchovitch, eminent Yiddish writer (2017)

From Canadian Jewish News, July 2017 Simcha Simchovitch, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor and prominent poet and writer in both Yiddish and English, died in Toronto on July 12, 2017 at the age of 97. The winner of various literary prizes including several Canadian Jewish Book Awards and two I.J. Segal awards for Yiddish Literature, Simchovitch…

Review: Sailor and Fiddler, by Herman Wouk (2016)

Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-old Author, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster) This slim volume, which the author describes as a “non-autobiography,” will be of special interest to people interested in literature, for it focuses primarily on Wouk’s writing life and how he came to create such popular works as The Caine Mutiny,…

Nate Leipciger’s ‘The Weight of Freedom’

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2016 The powerful Holocaust movie Son of Saul, which is up for the “best foreign film” prize at the Academy Awards on February 28, presents a gut-wrenching view of Auschwitz-Birkenau from the point of view of a sondercommando: part of a group that herds prisoners into the gas chamber, processes…

Jews loyal to British throne, says Scheuer (1914)

Jews Responded Splendidly to England’s Cause Sons of Israel in Great Britain Gave Themselves and Their Fortunes to the Cause EDMUND SCHEUER RETURNS TO TORONTO From the Toronto World, August 31, 1914 Mr. Edmund Scheuer, the well known Yonge street merchant, has returned to Toronto after spending some time on the continent. Mr. Scheuer was…

From the DP Camps to Canada via the Tailor Project

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2015 In late 1947 and early 1948, representatives of the Canadian garment industry organized what became known as the Tailor Project, a plan to select more than 2,200 skilled tailors from the Displaced Person camps of Europe and give them jobs and housing in Canada. The Tailor Project had…

Obit: William Tutte, mathematician and codebreaker (1917-2002)

William Tutte, the mathematician who deciphered the complex codes by which the Nazi high command encrypted their military communications during World War II, has died in Waterloo, Ontario at the age of 84. Although the accomplishment has been called “the greatest intellectual feat of the war,” and was described as such on the citation for…