Tag: wartime

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…

Toronto gripped by war fever (August 1914)

From the Toronto Star Weekly, August 1914 An artist and photographer for the Toronto Star Weekly captured these “unprecedented scenes” in Toronto in August 1914 as the city and the nation prepared for war in Europe. The above drawing (based on a photograph) shows recruits drilling outside Toronto’s Armouries. The photograph below showed more recruits drilling at the…

‘My Mother’s Secret’ (Witterick) is riveting read

My Mother’s Secret, by J. L. Witterick, and other titles So many books, so little time. In my years of reviewing books, I have always endeavoured to focus not only on works from great international writers (Ozick, Englander, Stern, Roth, et al) but also on works from lesser known writers from our own national community.…

Stones of Remembrance installed in Vienna sidewalks

From Canadian Jewish News, July 2013 Toronto psychologist Dr. Edna Magder was just a baby when the Nazis deported her grandmother from Vienna, but she knows it wasn’t the first time the Nazis had come to her grandmother’s door. A group of drunken Nazi soldiers had previously visited her grandmother — Theresia Hanni Brodi —…

Holocaust survivor sees photo of family for first time

From the Canadian Jewish News, October 2013 Some 70 years after he last saw his father, mother, brothers and sisters alive, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Bergen Belsen concentration camp was recently given a photograph of his family for the first time. “When I received this photo, I said, ‘This is better than…

Genealogical Resource: Canadian Jews in World War II

◊ In 1947 the Canadian Jewish Congress published the first of two parts of the book Canadian Jews in World War II. The books were edited by David Rome. The first part deals with Decorations and the second part, which appeared in 1948, memorializes the Casualties. The books were dedicated to the millions of Jews everywhere…