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Ellin speaks to the Mississauga South Probus Club about Canada’s Jewish fighters in WWII
November 19, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am EST
As the world marked Remembrance Day 2020 under COVID-19, Toronto author and journalist Ellin Bessner takes us back in time to the days when Canadian troops began cleaning out the remnants of Nazi Germany’s occupation forces in Europe. During the spring of 1945, the troops were met with a joyous welcome by the Dutch people. But the Canadians also came face to face with the truth about the fate of Europe’s Jewish community, as they liberated Nazi concentration camps like Vught and Westerbork, and Bergen-Belsen.
Bessner’s new book “Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military and WWII” tells the story of the 17, 000 Canadians of Jewish faith who served in WWII, helped defeat Hitler, and rescued the survivors of the Holocaust. Jewish Canadians served in all the major battles from Dunkirk to D-Day and beyond. They faced great personal risk, should they be captured by the enemy and their religion be discovered.
Ellin will speak about some of the more famous Canadians who volunteered including Wayne and Shuster, Monte Hall, hockey stars, politicians and rabbis. You’ll also hear about how Jewish military personnel experienced antisemitism at home, and on the battlefield.
Bessner is a contributing author to “Northern Lights: A Canadian Jewish History” (2020, Lola Stein Institute).
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