Tag: Holocaust

Book review: The Dentist of Auschwitz

From The Canadian Jewish News, 2001 SS commander Otto Moll had a tooth-ache, and so visited the dentist of Auschwitz, a Jewish inmate from Dobra, Poland named Berek Jakubowicz. Settling into the chair, the pulled out his revolver and pointed it at the emaciated attendant. “Don’t try anything stupid, dentist,” he warned. “Herr Hauptscharfuhrer,” the…

One of Mengele’s experimental twins tells her story

From the Canadian Jewish News, 1995 It was, finally, the melody of a Hebrew song that brought Sora Vigorito fully back into the Jewish fold. As a child, she had been tortured at Auschwitz. The Nazis had murdered all her loved ones except her father. She had met him for the first time after the…

Rabbi Schild’s memoir of an ‘uncertain passage’

From Books in Canada, 2002 One evening some months ago, a crowd of about 600 people gathered in Toronto’s Adath Israel Synagogue for the launch of Rabbi Erwin Schild’s latest book, The Very Narrow Bridge: A Memoir of an Uncertain Passage. The hall in the synagogue was packed (standing room only) as the rabbi delivered…

Nine books celebrated at Canadian Jewish Book Awards

Eli Pfefferkorn says he was walking in the park one day, thinking about the story he had been longing to tell, when suddenly he experienced a rare and startling revelation. “I found the voice,” he said. “One day, one morning, I heard the voice from inside coming . . . a voice I had not…

Josef Krystal, 74, Labour Zionist activist (2000)

Josef Krystal, who was national president of the Labour Zionist Alliance of Canada, died recently (2000) after a long illness. He was 74. Owner of the Krystal Cap Company, he was active in the business until he became ill. His son Steven, who worked with him in the business for 20 years, is continuing to…

Orchestrating the American dream

Family Matters: Sam, Jennie and the Kids, by Burton Bernstein, was first published in 1982, and remains, 30 years later, one of the most interesting family histories this reviewer has read. The reason is not so much that Burton Bernstein was the brother of a celebrity, the great composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, but because he treated…

Publisher has strong ideological mission

Nearly a decade after he founded a publishing company with a strong ideological mission, Howard Rotberg may take his place among that small and proud group of Canadians who operate successful small publishing houses. Although Mantua Books started off slowly, it now publishes one new title each month. Some of the books sell tens of…

How Yad Vashem computerized names of victims

Faced with a non-negotiable deadline of March 31, 1999, an army of some 1,200 data entry clerks, software technicians, Holocaust scholars and other specialists worked at a feverish pitch through late February and March to computerize the names of three million or more Holocaust victims from a collection of documents at the Yad Vashem Holocaust…

Abram’s latest crime novel features hard-boiled cop

As a volunteer for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, the organization created by filmmaker Steven Spielberg, author Alvin Abram gained first-hand knowledge of the experiences of Holocaust survivors. In his recently published seventh book, The Minyan, Abram combines his flare for detective crime mysteries with a story about the Holocaust, featuring locales…