Tag Archive for wartime

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…

Ottawa prof wins Yad Vashem prize for Holocaust research

Ottawa history professor Jan Grabowski used the recently accessible records of thousands of wartime trials of Nazi collaborators while researching his book, “Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland,” which earned him the 2014 Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research. Some 40,000 to 50,000 collaborator trials occurred in Poland after…

Toronto’s Jewish ‘Unknown Soldier’ from WWI

◊ An item in the Toronto Star from 1936 explains a certain inscription on a tombstone found at the Pape Avenue Cemetery, Toronto’s oldest Jewish cemetery. George Sorblum, Toronto’s “unknown soldier,” died in 1919 but his family only learned what happened to him in 2007.   * * *  From the Toronto Star, November 7, 1936 Some…

Stefan Zweig’s ‘Impossible Exile’

Review of: The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World, by George Prochnik (Other Press, New York) From the Canadian Jewish News, June 2014 Born in Vienna in 1881, Austrian-Jewish writer Stefan Zweig was one of Europe’s most popular and most-translated writers until the Nazis forced him and countless others into exile in…

Review of The 40s: The Story of A Decade (New Yorker)

Monuments Men, a new movie directed by George Clooney and starring Clooney and an impressive roster of A-list actors, tells the story of the special Allied unit tasked with rescuing artistic treasures looted by the Nazis from European museums and galleries during World War Two. The film is based loosely on Robert Edsel’s 2009 book…

Why Canada should admit Jewish refugees from Europe (1939)

Economics of Refugees : Canada Could Strike a Great Blow for Democracy From Saturday Night, March 1939 By Gwethalyn Graham ◊ Gwethalyn Graham (1913 – 1965) was a Toronto-born writer, whose 1944 novel Earth and High Heaven was the first Canadian book to reach number one on the New York Times best-seller list. Graham won the…