How Canada’s Jewish community celebrated Purim under the Second World War As this will be the first time in living…
For International Holocaust Remembrance Day this year, I was honoured to be able to pay tribute during a virtual tour…
A Belgian tour guide and historian, Niko Van Kerckhoven, wrote to me recently.Van Kerckhoven, 50, and his teenaged son, regularly visit the graves of the Canadian soldiers who were killed liberating his town, called Wommelgem, during the Battle of the Scheldt.
This was the Canadian campaign in the area surrounding the crucial port of Antwerp in the fall of 1944. It cost over 6,000 Canadian casualties to take it, including that of Jewish volunteer Pte. Paul Sklut.
Von Kerckhoven has found photos of nearly all of the Canadian “boys” whose graves he visits, but not Sklut’s. As he writes to me, “I’m quite desperate, You are pretty much my last chance for a picture!”
A Vancouver college student has discovered that he has a lot in common with a Canadian RCAF airman who was killed during the Second World War. This past Remembrance Day, Sam Wise was reading a news story about the international efforts to put a Star of David symbol on the grave of navigator Morley Ornstein, who was shot down over Germany in 1945. It was a name Wise knew.
When I spoke in Edmonton in November 2019 for Holocaust Education Week, I was touched to have the opportunity to meet the family of Harry Uretzky. He was a young Edmonton student who enlisted in the RCAF in 1941, went overseas in 1942, and, after training to be a bomb aimer/navigator, was killed in action in 1943.
At my talk that night, his niece Karen Hering revealed that her uncle’s war time diary was a treasure: it contained his personal musings as well as a series of poems that he wrote in November 1942, while he was training to fly heavy bombers over German-occupied Europe.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular Remembrance Day services will not be taking place, or at least, they will not be permitted large gatherings. The Jewish War Veterans of Canada, B’nai Brith, CIJA and other organizations have come together to offer an online event Wednesday Nov. 11, 2020.
You can watch it beginning at 10:50 a.m. Toronto time on the B’nai Brith website. Check here for the link.
It has been eighty years since the Vancouver Daily Province published a front page photo of this five-year-old boy breaking away from his mother’s grasp to run after his soldier father.
Canadian rabbis overseas in 1945 send men Jewish New Year greetings
Some think the young Jewish officer should have won the Victoria Cross Seventy-seven years ago this week, a McGill University…
Although the global pandemic cancelled the usual Canada Day fireworks and celebrations this July 1, some of the military personnel…