- This event has passed.
Ellin speaks to the Probus Club of South Edmonton about the city’s Hidden Heroes: How the Jewish Community helped defeat Hitler in WW2
March 23, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am MDT
As Jews around the world prepare to observe the festival of Passover, Canadian author and journalist Ellin Bessner takes us back in time to the darkest days of WWII. In her new book, “Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military, and WWII”, Ellin tells the story of how Canadian Jewish troops brought Passover to the front lines, even as the battle raged to liberate Europe from Hitler’s murderous regime.
Learn how and why more than 17,000 Canadian Jewish men and women put on a uniform and went off to war, including some of Edmonton’s most prominent Jewish citizens. Not only were they fighting for freedom and democracy, but they were also fighting as Jews, to save their own people from Hitler’s Final Solution.
For these Canadian Jewish volunteers, the war was a “double threat”: they served at great personal risk should they be captured and their Jewish faith discovered. They also had to overcome widespread antisemitism at home, in the barracks and on the battlefield. Some of Edmonton’s veterans include Justice Samuel Lieberman, Hollywood movie director Arthur Hiller, and Rabbi Jacob Eisen, who became the RCAF’s Canadian Jewish chaplain in London.
Ellin will introduce you to Harry Uretzky of Edmonton (one three best friends who went off to fly with the RCAF, but only one came home), and to local soldier Paul Comisarow, who helped liberate the Dutch town of Tilburg and also helped facilitate the first wedding of Holocaust survivors there in November 1944.